ICU nurse vs acute nurse?

  1. Does the role and activities of a nurse differ in an ICU vs on an acute floor? Do the nurse do the same things?

    I am very new to nursing and apologize if this is a too basic of a question.
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    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 2


  3. by   MultipurposeRN
    There's no dumb questions, only dumb people who don't ask questions!
    ICU you'll have usually a 1 nurse to 2 to 3 ratio, they'll be sicker, often w/ vasoactive drips, ventilators, frequent monitoring, etc. Acute care you'll have a higher patient load, less frequent vitals, pts (hopefully) not as sick.
    Both areas have their challenges and rewards. Generally to work in an ICU you have to have more certifications such as Advanced Life support, Trauma Nurse certification, etc.
    I just tried to give a brief overview. I'm sure others can add more info.
  4. by   tde1992
    I started in the ICU as a new graduate. I did my senior practicum in the ICU (1 to 1 with an ICU nurse). But I know people in my class who did practicums in other areas and they still began working in the ICU. Basically I would prefer ICU over a med-surg floor anyday. You can focus on 1 to 2 patients. Although they are sicker you can focus your care on them and not on a gazillion patients. Also the residents are always on the unit (large teaching hospitals) along with the fellows where you can pick their brains. I hear smaller hospitals doesn't have residents assessible to them at all times. The experience is great, I could not imagine being on a med-surg floor.