Travel Nurse Crisis Pay: An Overview - Trusted Nurse Staffing

Nursing is a career path that would always be on demand because as long as people are getting hurt, giving birth, and falling ill, then nurses would always have a job that they could go to. Progressive Care Unit (PCU) Travel Nurses are nurses who provide a level of patient care that is insanely critical for those who need close monitoring in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. There are tons of PCU travel nursing jobs that you could take to if you are looking for vast opportunities and adventures in travel nursing. Here are some things to know about PCU Travel Nurse Jobs and salaries that you should know.

What do nurses do in PCU?

Progressive Care Unit (PCU) nurses are involved in caring for patients who need close monitoring and frequent assessment, but these patients are not unstable enough that they would need to stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care. They monitor cardiac and all of the other critical vital signs and are there to detect if there are any changes so that they could jump-in in case of life-threatening and emergencies. 

A lot of the patients that are found in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) usually receive complex medications, which is why as a PCU nurse, you have to be required to be trained because they may require titration based on their vital signs. The PCU is sometimes called the step-down nurse, like cardiac stepdown, medical stepdown, neuro stepdown, surgical stepdown, and ER holding, depending on what the patient needs.

How much do PCU travel nurses make?

A common question that people ask when they are asking about Progressive Care Unit travel nurses is how much they would make. A PCU travel nurse‚Äôs salary would usually be able to make about $2,200 to $2,700 a week, so with 13 assignments, you could make a total of $35,100. 

Though, you have to keep in mind that this would depend on which state you are working in because every state and even every hospital and healthcare facility have different salary rates when it comes to nursing jobs. When you enter the world of PCU travel nursing, your annual compensation could also increase.

Is a PCU nurse a critical care nurse?

Technically speaking, the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) is considered a critical care unit, but it is also a bit of a step-down unit to it, so PCU nurses are considered a critical care unit as well. It is a bit less stressful compared to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which is why the families who have patients in the progressive care unit are less stressed when they find out that their loved one is staying in the PCU instead of the ICU.

How to Become a PCU Travel Nurse

Becoming a travel nurse begins after you graduate from nursing school, pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and once you have obtained your Registered Nurse (RN) License in the appropriate state. From there, you could start gaining some clinical experience as a Progressive Care Unit nurse.

Progressive Care Unit (PCU) Nurse Certifications

Once you are a PCU nurse, you will be required to have Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certifications. The other certificate would then depend on the PCU nurse job description of the job that you are planning on applying for and the patient population of the hospital’s Progressive Care Unit. 

There are also 2 other certificates that you could get from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The PCCN is a certification for nurses who would provide direct care to acutely ill adult patients regardless of their location. Most of the time, nurses who are interested in their certificate may work in areas like immediate care, stepdown, transition care, direct observation, telemetry, or emergency departments. 

The second certificate that you may get is the PCCN-K. It is a specialty certification for nurses who could influence the care that is delivered to acutely ill adult patients who do not give primary or exclusive direct care. Clinical educators, academic faculties, nursing administrators, managers, supervisors, and directors are usually the nurses who are interested in getting this certificate.

If you are a travel nurse and are interested in becoming a progressive care unit (PCU) nurse, you could connect with your recruiter to make your nursing dreams come true.