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Critical Care Nursing Major

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Critical Care Nursing

518 Master's Degrees Annually
$75,510 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Critical Care Nursing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many critical care nursing graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 468
Graduate Certificate 100
Doctor’s Degree 15

What Critical Care Nursing Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to critical care nursing and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Critical Care Nursing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in critical care nursing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Critical Care Nursing Majors

A major in critical care nursing prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Critical Care Nursing Majors

As you progress with your critical care nursing degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • 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 there is a problem.
  • 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).

What Can You Do With a Critical Care Nursing Major?

People with a critical care nursing degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Acute Care Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Critical Care Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Nurse Practitioners 36.1% $107,030
Registered Nurses 14.8% $71,730

How Much Do Critical Care Nursing Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $75,510 to $110,030 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to critical care nursing. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Critical Care Nursing Major  ( 75510 to 110030 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some degrees associated with critical care nursing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to critical care nursing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.9%
Some College Courses 4.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 42.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 25.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.9%
Master’s Degree 24.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.9%
Doctoral Degree 1.8%

Online Critical Care Nursing Programs

In 2019-2020, 40 schools offered a critical care nursing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 7 3
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 23 4
Post-Master’s 25 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 2 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 4 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Critical Care Nursing Worth It?

The median salary for a critical care nursing grad is $75,510 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 89% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $712,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to critical care nursing.

Major Number of Grads
Registered Nursing 259,493
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 16,802
Nursing Administration 8,073
Nursing Practice 7,550
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 5,655
Nursing Science 4,637
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 1,952
Nurse Anesthetist 1,883
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 1,812
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing 1,588
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing 665
School Nursing 524
Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery 509
Clinical Nurse Leader 415
Clinical Nurse Specialist 384
Perioperative/Operating Room and Surgical Nurse/Nursing 304
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing 172
Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing 51
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing 43
Palliative Care Nursing 8
Forensic Nursing 6

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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