Critical Care & Emergency Nurse

Job Description

An Critical Care & Emergency Nurse can also be known as an Intensive Care Specialist Nurse, Acute Care Nurse, Emergency/Trauma Nurse, or High Dependency Nurse depending on the employer and their description of the role and the specific duties of the role which may alter slightly from workplace to workplace.  Responsibilities include evaluating a patient's condition and administering treatment, in accordance with accepted nurse practices and standards, as well providing constant support throughout recovery time.  Ultimately, they will work directly with patients to ensure they receive the attention and medical care needed based on their condition.  A Critical Care & Emergency Nurse has clinical skills that include the ability to evaluate, recognise and manage the disturbances associated with severe medical, surgical, obstetric and paediatric illness and to administer treatment. This usually involves invasive and non-invasive diagnostic techniques, monitoring, and treatment modalities designed to support vital organs.  An Critical Care & Emergency Nurse is responsible for the following:

  • Delivering regular updates to doctors, patients and family
  • Beginning treatment and monitor doses
  • Responding to a medical emergency and alert the appropriate Doctors as needed
  • Caring for patient needs throughout their recovery in the ICU unit
  • Completing all necessary paperwork before transferring a patient
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Creating and implementing effective care plans

To become a Critical Care & Emergency Nurse, you must first have the relevant qualifications as a Registered Nurse (RNs), and have extensive industry experience.  Registered Nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside other skilled professionals including doctors, surgeons, specialists, therapists, specialty nurses, social workers and many others to provide ongoing patient care to people who are sick, disabled, injured or recovering from surgery.  Registered nurses deliver primary health care predominantly in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, aged care facilities, Government or military institutions, community or school settings, in the home or in outpatient facilities.

Read about all other Specialty Nursing Roles here


To become a Registered Nurse in Australia you need to complete a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing, which is available at most Australian universities.   Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, complete a two-year Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) program.  Further study is essential if you are looking to take the next step in your career and advance in specialist nursing roles.  

A Bachelor Degree in Medicine, plus on-the-job training, is needed to work as a Critical Care and Emergency Nurse. Many Intensive Care Specialists complete postgraduate studies.  

Nurses who specialise in a particular area of medicine may need to complete further studies or specialist training and obtain relevant experience.

All Nurses must apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Registration must be renewed annually.


  • Approachable
  • Autonomous
  • Calm
  • Cheerful
  • Communicator
  • Confident
  • Courteous
  • Determined
  • Devoted
  • Diligent
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal
  • Organised
  • Patient
  • Perceptive
  • Positive
  • Procedural
  • Punctual
  • Welcoming

Key Skills

  • AHPRA Registration
  • Nursing Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Critical Care
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Patient Care
  • Developing and implementing care policies

Future Prospects

Registered Nurses can undertake further studies to obtain qualifications and progress their career into more senior positions such as;

Registered Nurses can specialise in other roles, undertaking further studies to obtain qualifications and specialise in a particular area of nursing.  Specialised Nursing Roles include: