Icu nurse in USA

Specialties Critical


Hello to everyone, I'm an Italian ICU nurse working in U.K.

i would like to know a bit more about being an ICU nurse in US.

How many hours per month do you work? And I know the ratio is usually 1:2/1:3 , here in UK zia Always 1:1 but we do everything, we change the ventilation settings, we run the filter machine and we change the settings by ourselves, we mobilised pt.. so i'm Asking what are the differences in US? Because i'm planning to move there as soon as I pass my NCLEX..

thanks to everyone and nice to meet you all!

Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

Staffing ratios depend on the patient. For example a ECMO patient will have at least two dedicated nurses, one to sit pump and one to care for the patient, but may have a third if they are a fresh post-op heart for example. This may also depend on the system as in ours post-arrest patients are considered 1:2 for the first four hours and 1:1 for the next 8. We consider CRRT, impellas, and balloon pumps to be 1:1 (there are a few other 1:1s as well), but most ICU patients are 2:1 patients to nurse. Very low acuity ICU patients may be tripled but these patients are often very close to be transferred to the floor.

Our full time nurses work three twelve hour shifts, part time work one to two. Twelve hour shifts are the most common but there are some areas where they have eight hour shifts or may have a resource nurse working a different length shift then nurses with assignments.

Most ICUs will have respiratory therapists who manage the vents, how much nurses have to do with this varies greatly by system. Even within my hospital nurses that work in the ED, HEMS, and CCT are given much more leeway in managing the vents when pulling ICU shifts than nurses without that experience (since we often manage our own vents in those environments).

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