Everything you Need to Know about PICU Nursing

PICU nursing is a challenging but rewarding field that involves providing critical care to young children who are seriously ill or injured. Learn More.


Roles & Responsibilities

Working in the PICU can be emotionally and physically demanding, as nurses are often dealing with life-threatening conditions and the stress of caring for critically ill children. But for many nurses, the rewards of PICU nursing far outweigh the challenges.

As PICU nurses get to play a crucial role in helping children recover from illness or injury, they often form strong bonds with their patients and their families as well. The average length of stay for a child in the PICU is five days but there are patients that spend longer on the floor and will benefit from a connection with their nursing staff.

PICU nurses also need a high level of specialized knowledge and skills to provide effective care for their patients. This includes a thorough understanding of pediatric anatomy and physiology, as well as knowledge of common pediatric diseases and conditions.

In addition to their clinical skills, PICU nurses also need strong communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with other healthcare professionals and support the emotional needs of their patients and their families. PICU nurses need to be compassionate, empathetic, and patient, and they must be able to provide emotional support and guidance to families who are dealing with a critically ill child.

What Makes PICU Nursing Special?

The patients are the most unique element of PICU Nursing. PICU nurses care for pediatric patients, which can be very different from caring for adult patients. Children’s bodies and minds are still developing, and they may have different medical needs and responses to treatment. PICU nurses must be knowledgeable about the unique needs of pediatric patients and be able to adapt their care accordingly.

The intensity of care is another unique element of PICU Nursing.  PICU nurses work in a high-stress environment where they may be caring for multiple critically ill patients at once. PICU nurses must be able to remain calm and focused under pressure and be able to make quick decisions in the best interests of their patients.

The emotional aspect of care is a strong factor in this specialty. These nurses often develop close relationships with their patients and their families due to the length of each patient’s stay. Oftentimes, the nurses on staff are the primary source of support for families during this difficult time. PICU nurses must be able to provide emotional support to both their patients and their families and must be able to handle the emotional toll that caring for critically ill children can take.

The need for specialized knowledge is a unique piece of PICU nursing. PICU nurses must have a strong foundation in pediatric nursing and be able to apply this knowledge to the critically ill patient population. They must also be familiar with specialized equipment and procedures that are specific to the PICU setting such as mechanical ventilation and hemodynamic monitoring.

Become a PICU Nurse With GIFTED Healthcare

PICU nursing offers RNs the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of their young patients as well as their families. If you are a nurse who is passionate about caring for critically ill children, find a PICU travel nursing contract with GIFTED Healthcare today.