A progressive care unit (PCU) nurse assists patients who require intermediate care in getting ready to return home. Telemetry units, intermediate care units, direct observation units, step-down units, and transitional care units are all names for progressive care units. Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and COPD, heart difficulties, and conditions connected with post-operative surgery are all treated by these nurses.
PCU nurse – roles
On a daily basis, a PCU nurse has many distinct responsibilities. The following are some of these responsibilities:
- Assessing and monitoring the patient to see how they are progressing
- Medication administration and medicine dosage calculations for patients
- Assisting the physician with bedside procedures and preparing medical equipment
- Changing dressings, catheter placement, and IV placement
- Assisting the doctor and other healthcare providers in meeting the patient’s needs
Education and Training
- Earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a recognized nursing school (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to finish, while a BSN would take about four years. There is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to acquire a BSN in 12-18 months if you already have an ADN.
- There is also an RN to BSN bridging program, which allows students to finish three semesters of nursing coursework in one year. These applications will help you save time and money. The more education you have, the more likely you are to get your desired job.
- You can apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam when you are six weeks away from graduating. The NCLEX-RN has 75 to 265 questions and a five-hour time limit for completion.
- If you fail the NCLEX-RN on your first try, you must wait 45 days before taking it again.
- The purpose of this level is to obtain practical experience. This will give you significant experience working with patients, making you more appealing to potential employers.
- To earn your PCCN certification, you must complete 1,750 hours of employment as an RN directly caring for critically ill patients. You can start working as a PCU nurse once you have received your certification.
What distinguishes a PCU nurse from a telemetry nurse?
- Before being discharged, patients are usually transferred from the ICU to the PCU. PCUs are not available in every hospital. Only telemetry floors and intensive care units are available at certain smaller hospitals. Telemetry nursing is a prominent and widely practiced profession.
- The nurse may work on a PCU floor depending on the telemetry floor (for example, the patient may be going from an academic medical center telemetry unit to a community hospital PCU).
- Another way to look at it is that on a telemetry floor, the nurse may be responsible for five non-critical patients who only require a heart monitor. The nurse on a PCU floor would only have three patients and would focus on those with higher acuity.