Critical care nurses must be BCLS certified but also need ACLS certification. Many places prefer you have at least one year of experience in Med/Surg or a similar setting to grow your skills.
Apply for work in your critical care interest area. These units often offer internships and residencies to learn needed skills:
- Adult Intensive care unit (ICU)
- Pediatric ICU
- Neonatal ICU
Other high acuity areas that are considered to be critical care: Emergency department, Step-down units, Cardiac care units, Telemetry units, or Progressive care units.
You can apply for your CCRN in (Adult, Pediatric or Neonatal) from the AACN after completing the required clinical hours in either two or five years.
You can also advance by getting an MSN or doctoral degree with a critical care focus as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or an acute care nurse practitioner specializing in areas such as ED or ICU.