ICU Requirements and Duties

Critical-care nursing, or Intensive-Care-Unit (ICU) nursing, takes an understanding mind, quick thinking and requires focus and stamina.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurses treat acutely ill patients with life-threatening conditions, in settings requiring continuous vigilance and high-intensity therapies. ICU nurses can specialize in a variety of disciplines including medical, surgical, cardiac, burn or Neuro ICU.

Also known as: Surgical (SICU), Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU), Medical (MICU), General ICU (GICU), Critical Care Unit (CCU), Coronary Care/Cardiac Care (CCU), Cardiovascular (CVICU), Trauma (TICU), Neurosurgical (NSICU)


  • Active BLS and ACLS from the American Heart Association
  • Active professional license within the state of practice
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), NIHSS (stroke care certification) and Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) credentials are recommended and may be required for specific travel nurse positions
  • Other specialty-related certifications are preferred and may be required for specific travel nurse positions
  • Critical Care experience in a hospital setting
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as an RN