Quote from Circejane
I have worked LTC/subacute care, M/S, and now ICU. While there are some very sick people in LTAC, it is nothing like ICU nursing. Both are very challenging in their own way, but very, very different. I would suggest trying a practice CCRN exam before contacting the AACN.
Have you worked at a LTACH or an ICU at a LTACH? As a nurse who specialized in critical care and emergency medicine, and trauma flight for 34 years.......I have been a director, and manager, for ICU/CTPACU/EMERGENCY and CATH LAB. So, when I did my friend a "favor" and supervised for her (for how hard could it be)......I was God-smacked to find out how skilled those "LTC" nurses were and how sick those patients were. I was wrong in my assumption about these "LTC" nurses and this was NO nursing home!
The LTAC I worked for had an ICU. We received open hearts that were failure to weans......in my area these patients were usually within 7 post op days and were considered..... un-rehabable and long term. They came to that ICU intubated, some with chest tubes, fully lined with Alines and Swanz (PA catheter's) with drips! The LTACH's telemetry consisted of complicated post MI's and open hearts again with multiple co-morbities on drips. These were the patients that V-tached and SVT'd or went into PE because they had an extra sip of tea. We coded, intubated, trached, G-tubed, and lined these patients all at the bedside. These patients were dripped and cardioverted like at any other "real hospital. These patients were NOT DNR's and a majority of them went home or went on to sub acute.
These nurses did this with a fraction of the licensed staff and more CNA's than "typical" hospitalized patients. If we needed to scan someone in the middle of the night.....that required transfer to the "hospital" or a local ED. But there was an in-house MD (24/7)and radiology for most needs.
While I agree that the CCRN is heavy on intervention and interpretation of the typical Cardiac ICU patient, with an emphasis heavy in invasive monitoring and intervention, some expereince in a cardio/thorasic ICU is beneficial. I realize that not all LTACH's are this acute so........The question as to whether the LTAC nurse experience can qualify for the exam is a question that only the AACN can answer.