What do they do?

Provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

Also known as:

Cardiac Interventional Care Nurse, Charge Nurse, Preceptor, Progressive Care Unit RN (Progressive Care Unit Registered Nurse), Staff Nurse

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 8.3%

    Change

    Ranks #36 in job growth rate
    4,190

    Job Openings

    Ranks #24 in net job growth

Best colleges for Acute Care Nurses

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Colleges with the most graduates that become Acute Care Nurses

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (2%)
  • Master's degree  (11%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (53%)
  • Associate's degree  (28%)
  • Some college, no degree  (4%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (1%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (<1%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Acute Care Nurses

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Treat medical emergencies.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Assess patient work, living, or social environments.
  • Process healthcare paperwork.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
  • Evaluate treatment options to guide medical decisions.
  • Advise patients on healthcare system processes.
  • Establish nursing policies or standards.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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