Acute Care Nurses


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+6.2% (as fast as the average)


What Acute Care Nurses 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.

Other Job Titles Acute Care Nurses May Have

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

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Acute Care Nurse ,

Orange Coast Memorial Hospital

I look at the surgery schedule and patient profile then I contact the patient to confirm their identity. I write up a brief medical history and enter the information into the computer, then I review their chart and make a note of any medications they’re on or illnesses they have. After I collect all this data, I check for abnormalities and it's my job to contact the surgeon or anesthesiologist if there are any concerns.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition-stabilizing interventions.
  • Manage patients' pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients' responses, and changing care plans accordingly.
  • Document data related to patients' care, including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.
  • Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.
  • Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.