Step-Down (SDU) nurses work in hospital and skilled rehab settings. The SDU is an intermediate unit between the ICU and med-surg. It is also called a Progressive Care or Transitional Care Unit. Patients are not as acutely ill as in the ICU, but are also not stable enough to be on a med-surg unit with a higher nurse-to-patient ratio. Job descriptions note excellent critical thinking skills and prior emergency or critical care experience. Are you looking for your dream job? Explore our Step-Down travel nurse opportunities below!
Job responsibilities of a Step-Down nurse include maintaining ventilators, administering treatments and medications, collaborating with members of the healthcare team, and interacting with patients and their families. Registered Nurses who specialize in Step-Down Unit will need BLS and ACLS certifications. They will manage many high-risk IV medications such as Heparin or Insulin infusions. The average nurse-to-patient ratio is usually between 3 and 4 patients; this may vary depending on the facility. Average annual salaries in the United States for a Step-Down nurse are around $88,000. Salaries may be higher if the nurse has relevant certifications.