Critical Care Nursing
Types of Degrees Critical Care Nursing Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many critical care nursing graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
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:
- 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
critical care nursing majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- 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.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
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:
- 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|
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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Critical Care Nursing
Some careers associated with critical care nursing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for critical care nursing careers below.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
Online Critical Care Nursing Programs
In the 2020-2021 academic year, 44 schools offered some type of critical care nursing program. 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|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||2||2|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||5||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!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Critical Care Nursing
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to critical care nursing.
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Aleksahgabrielle under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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