ICU pay differential?

Posted
by Mr. Murse Mr. Murse Member Nurse

Specializes in Critical Care/Vascular Access. Has 11 years experience.

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Mr. Murse

Mr. Murse

Specializes in Critical Care/Vascular Access. Has 11 years experience. 403 Posts

Where I work all nurses in ICU have to have ACLS and a 5 week critical care course run by my hospital.

are they paid the same as general med/surg nurses?

blondy2061h

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Critical Care nurses make $2 extra per hour at my hospital. I like it because I get it. But I never understood it. Working with 1-2 critical patients is no more stressful than 6 medsurg patients in my opinion. Another major hospital chain in my area recently did away with critical care differentials and raised everyone's rate to what the critical care nurses were making.

VANurse2010

VANurse2010

Has 6 years experience. 1,526 Posts

Well, for one example, ACLS is required for our ICU's. We also are required to go through an intensive care training course, but maybe that's not common elsewhere. I haven't worked many places so I don't have many other points of reference aside from talking to people.

ACLS is required for many floors, as well. Floors also have specialty training that's required, such as chemo-certification on oncology floors. A broad brush doesn't work in these comparisons.

Mr. Murse

Mr. Murse

Specializes in Critical Care/Vascular Access. Has 11 years experience. 403 Posts

ACLS is required for many floors, as well. Floors also have specialty training that's required, such as chemo-certification on oncology floors. A broad brush doesn't work in these comparisons.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I feel like critical care nursing is a more specialized field and hence deserves different pay, as many hospitals apparently do. ACLS was one example, the critical care course is another, and there are others.

SionainnRN

SionainnRN

Specializes in Emergency Room, Trauma ICU. Has 5 years experience. 914 Posts

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I feel like critical care nursing is a more specialized field and hence deserves different pay, as many hospitals apparently do. ACLS was one example, the critical care course is another, and there are others.

So what about ER nurses? We have to take care of ICU pts too. Should we get paid more? Or just a bonus when we officially have ICU pts?

VANurse2010

VANurse2010

Has 6 years experience. 1,526 Posts

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I feel like critical care nursing is a more specialized field and hence deserves different pay, as many hospitals apparently do. ACLS was one example, the critical care course is another, and there are others.

Why should specialization per se necessitate more pay?

roser13

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I feel like critical care nursing is a more specialized field and hence deserves different pay, as many hospitals apparently do. ACLS was one example, the critical care course is another, and there are others.

Med/Surg is a specialty as well. Any ICU nurses that have ever floated to a MS floor will tell you that they were as out of their element as a MS nurse is in the ICU. Different specialty, different skill set, same hard-working RN's.

And BTW, I've never worked a MS floor that DIDNT require ACLS. Even my ASC requires it, plus PALS.

Do-over, ASN, RN

Specializes in CICU. 1,085 Posts

I see both sides (I am ICU and have worked the floor and ER). The argument for more pay, to me, is that so much more is expected out of us (at least where I am). Knowledge, leadership, expertise, floating all over, etc. So I don't really see it as an issue of who "works harder" - clearly the floor nurses usually get that honor. To me, its the constant vigilance, etc, that make the ICU so exhausting. I don't really expect any more pay though, simply wouldn't fly.

I am CERTAINLY not saying that floor nurses don't have knowledge, etc. But there is a drastic difference in the two work areas, in my experience.

On the other hand, critical care experience can be worth its weight in gold and its own reward. I believe a critical nurse is much more marketable, and one that can work in several areas even more so. Get CC experience, and learn to float joyfully (or at least with a decent attitude) and you'll be welcome a lot of places.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 2,574 Posts

Maybe a union might have effected some type of differential?

To Grammar Police - should it be affected?

Yes. The union might have affected some type of differential. The union might have an effect on the type of differential.

OhioCCRN, MSN, NP

Specializes in SICU. Has 11 years experience. 572 Posts

I got ~$1 pay raise for moving to the ICU, also, i was ACLS certified before I got there. i think it depends on the acuity of your patients, our Med-surg patients would be in an ICU at other hospitals.

Mr. Murse

Mr. Murse

Specializes in Critical Care/Vascular Access. Has 11 years experience. 403 Posts

I keep seeing the same questions about why I think critical care nurses deserve to be paid more, please see my previous posts. Obviously I'm not the only one that sees why it makes sense because there are many hospitals that still do it.

Secondly, it has NOTHING to do with "working harder". I never said that and have never thought that. Again, see previous posts.

Lastly, I'm not bitter and I don't have a bad attitude about it. I was asked multiple times by many people in the ICU and their manager to come work there, so obviously I'm not pouting about the pay thing. I'm moving because I want to, my impression that it paid more was just a sort of cherry on top. I just wanted to see if it was normal in general to not have some kind of critical care differential because around here it's not unusual, and even expected.

Edited by Mr. Murse

scottaprn

scottaprn

292 Posts

Having worked ER, ICU and med surg along the way I don't hesitate to say that each floor has specialty training and skills to be successful.

I still will pick up nursing shift to keep my skills current in both the ICU and the ER. My last ER shift I had 3 Icu holds and 2 additional patients (one of those nights the hospital was busting at the seams). My pay that night was my normal rate as an RN despite doing the job of 1.5 ICU RNs (ratio at that hospital is 2:1 at the highest) and the job of .5 Of an ER nurse (normal ratio of 4:1). I drew on every critical care skill I had (I am an ACNP) as well as every ER skill. Easily the hardest night of nursing I have ever done.

That at said I wouldn't say I was as busy as a charge nurse on medsurg the same night with 7-8 patients. As much as I love critical care you will never hear me say I should be paid more than another nurse in the same hospital with the same experience who is drawing on their specialized skill set.