Progressive Care Unit (PCU) Nursing Jobs
Progressive care units are often used to bridge the gap between intensive care units and medical-surgical units. The “progressive care unit” can also be called step-down unit, intermediate care unit, transitional care unit, or telemetry unit. These patients still need a high level of skilled nursing care and frequent monitoring, but are more stable than patients in the ER or ICU. PCU nurses care for a specific population of patients (eg, cardiac patients, respiratory patients, or stroke patients), or for a wide assortment of patients. The nurse:patient ratio varies from one facility to the next, so be sure to ask when you are interviewing for a position.
It is possible to start as a new graduate nurse in a PCU, but only after a thorough orientation from a knowledgeable preceptor. Most PCU nurses have at least 1 year of acute care experience. Nurses working in the PCU often monitor critical vital signs and detect any changes, thereby enabling intervention of life-threatening or emergency situations.
Salaries for PCU nurses are usually based on experience, location and facility, but the median salary continues to grow yearly. The average salary for progressive care unit nurses is pretty good, and traveling PCU nurses can expect to make at least as much or more per year plus benefits due to the high need for their expertise and skills.
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