Medical ICU (MICU) travel nurse jobs

MICU travel nurse jobs, also known as medical ICU travel nurse jobs, are one of the most sought-after travel jobs on Nomad Health. The demand for MICU travel nurses has soared due to MICU staff nurse shortages, an aging population, and an increase in chronic illnesses that require intensive medical care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall demand for nurses and travel nurses is expected to grow 7% by 2029, with many facilities specifically looking to hire seasoned MICU travel nurses to help care for critically ill patients.

MICU travel nurse job requirements

To qualify for a MICU travel nurse job, you must meet certain requirements that are specific to the job. It’s important to know that each MICU travel nurse job may have slightly different requirements based on the needs of the facility. However, the following requirements serve as a general checklist for most MICU travel nurse jobs.

Educational requirements

All MICU travel nurse jobs will require a degree in nursing. MICU travel nurses must have either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited program. It should be noted that some facilities may require a BSN.

Licensure requirements

MICU travel nurse jobs require an active registered nurse (RN) license in the state where the job is located. Some MICU travel nurse jobs will recognize compact multistate RN licenses. If you are applying for a MICU travel nurse job in a state you haven’t worked in before, be prepared to obtain a license in that state.

Experience requirements

Most MICU travel nurse jobs require a minimum of 1-2 years of medical intensive care experience. Depending on the facility and job, experience performing specific procedures may also be required.

Certification requirements

MICU travel nurse hiring managers are often looking for candidates who possess specific certifications. If you are offered a MICU travel nurse job, you may be asked to obtain certain certifications before you can begin working. The most common required certifications for MICU travel nurse jobs are:

  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Critical care registered nurse (CCRN)

Competency requirements

MICU travel nurse jobs require nurses to be proficient in using technology and medical equipment found in the MICU. Examples of equipment you may be required to have experience with include:


MICU travel nurses often work with patients who require medical ventilation support. These nurses must have a clear understanding of machine settings and modes, and have the ability to troubleshoot these machines if needed.

Cardiac monitors

MICU travel nurse jobs may require you to manage cardiac monitors for real-time data on a patient's heart rate, rhythm, and other vital signs.

Infusion pumps

Utilizing infusion pumps is often required for MICU travel nurse jobs. Different facilities may use different infusion pump models so it’s important to have a working knowledge of the device you'll be using on assignment. MICU travel nurses should be comfortable administering medications, fluids, and other nutritional support at appropriate rates. Knowledge of how to set up, monitor, and manage pump issues is also necessary.

Point-of-care testing devices

Knowledge of devices like blood gas analyzers and glucometers, and how to operate and interpret their results is a preferred competency of MICU travel nurse jobs.

Soft skill requirements

MICU travel nurse jobs may require nurses to demonstrate specific soft skills, including:

Rapid assessment of patients

MICU travel nurse jobs require nurses to be able to quickly assess patients and determine the next intervention required for the situation.

Patient prioritization

MICU travel nurses are tasked with caring for multiple patients during a shift. The MICU travel nurse must use their prioritization skills and clinical judgment to determine which of their patients need immediate care.


MICU travel nurse jobs require travel nurses to be able to make decisions independently, while acting within the scope of the nurse practice act of that state, especially during emergency scenarios.

Collaboration and communication

While autonomy is important, it’s equally important for those working MICU travel nurse jobs to professionally navigate conflict and collaborate and communicate with other team members like doctors and respiratory therapists. Having excellent communication skills with patient families who may be experiencing difficult emotions is a vital skill as well.


Documentation is an important part of every MICU travel nurse job. Clear and concise documentation helps ensure the continuation of care for patients and provides a record of any medical interventions or observations that other interdisciplinary team members caring for the patient should know about.


MICU travel nurse jobs require strong advocacy skills to make sure patient needs are met. This can involve knowing when to escalate clinical issues and who to contact, in addition to voicing concerns if quality of care is being compromised.

Miscellaneous MICU travel nurse job requirements

Immunization requirements

To secure a MICU travel nurse job, you will need to be up to date on your immunizations. This may include flu shots, TB tests, and any other vaccinations required by the facility.

Background check and drug screen

Pre-employment background checks and drug screenings are an important part of obtaining a MICU travel nurse job. Verifying employment history and reference are also common procedures for each new assignment. Many travel agencies will pay for expenses related to background checks and drug screening.

MICU travel nurse job duties and responsibilities

MICU travel nurses usually perform the same duties and responsibilities as staff MICU nurses, but MICU travel nurses may have to adapt to new workflows, charting systems, and teams as they start their assignments. In general, MICU travel nurse job duties range from advanced life support to medical equipment management. Every MICU travel nurse job comes with its own set of unique duties and responsibilities based on the facility’s needs.

Patient care

The most critical duty for MICU travel nurse jobs is patient care. These nurses work with critically ill patients to address chronic and complex medical conditions. Routine patient care tasks include administering medications, hygiene care, assessment, assisting with procedures, and responding to emergencies.

Assist with medical procedures

One of the most common duties of a MICU travel nurse job is to assist medical teams with procedures for critically ill patients in both direct and support capacities. Some of the most common procedures MICU travel nurse jobs include:

  • Intubation
  • Central venous catheter (CVC) insertion
  • Arterial line placement
  • Pulmonary artery catheter placement
  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Chest tube insertion
  • Temporary pacemaker insertion

Advanced life support

Managing and monitoring patients on advanced life support such as mechanical ventilation is an important part of MICU travel nurse jobs. MICU travel nurses know how to respond quickly to emergency and life-threatening situations. MICU travel nurses should know how to manage ventilator settings and alarms while maintaining respiratory hygiene for patients.

Invasive monitoring

MICU travel nurse jobs require nurses to manage and monitor invasive devices for patients like arterial lines, Swan-Ganz catheters, and central venous catheters. MICU travel nurses may also be tasked with assisting with prepping the insertion site.

Patient and family education

Part of a MICU travel nurse’s job is to educate family members about the patient’s condition, prognosis, and care needs. MICU travel nurses explain and break down complex medical terminology and explain procedures in a way that is easier to understand.

Equipment management

MICU travel nurses may be required to know how to monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain multiple medical devices used in the MICU setting. They are also responsible for ensuring patient safety when medical equipment is being used during procedures.

Emergency preparedness

Because MICU travel nurse jobs are focused on critically ill patients, MICU travel nurses must be prepared for emergencies. Emergency preparedness in the MICU can be broken down into a few core categories:

Anticipation and proactive monitoring of patients

MICU travel nurse jobs require you to recognize when patients are at risk for sudden deterioration. Whether patients deteriorate because of underlying conditions or complications from recent procedures, it’s up to MICU travel nurses to quickly identify which patients are at high risk. They will also regularly assess patients to better anticipate complications.

Supply and equipment readiness

MICU travel nurse jobs require nurses to keep crash carts fully stocked and organized, including checking and replacing outdated or expired items. They should also know where to find emergency equipment such as defibrillators and emergency airway kits. In the event of equipment failure, it's essential to know how to use backup systems.

Code blue and rapid response team protocols

Anyone working a MICU travel nurse job should know how to call for a code blue or rapid response, and how to most efficiently initiate the call.

Specific emergency protocols

MICU travel nurse jobs require nurses to be familiar with different types of emergency protocols, including:

  • Airway emergencies
  • Cardiac emergencies
  • Sepsis and septic shock

Why consider a MICU travel nurse job?

There are a lot of reasons why considering a MICU travel job is a smart move. From financial incentives to personal growth, a travel job might be just what you need to take the next step in your career.

High demand for MICU travel jobs

With an aging population and the prevalence of complex chronic diseases, MICU travel nurse jobs remain high in demand. Because the demand is high, you can sleep easy knowing that your job is secure and less susceptible to economic downturns.

Competitive pay

MICU travel nurse jobs may pay more than staff MICU nurse jobs. Many things can impact travel pay including your experience, education, location, credentials, and facility needs. When you browse MICU travel nurse jobs on Nomad, you’ll see a pay breakdown (including the travel stipend) of every job so you know exactly how you can earn before you apply.


MICU travel nurse jobs provide an opportunity to work with new technologies and expand your experience. Common technology that MICU travel nurses get exposure to include:

  • Cardiac monitors
  • Multiparameter monitors
  • Invasive mechanical ventilators
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP)
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Infusion pumps
  • Insulin pumps
  • PCA pumps
  • Portable x-ray machines
  • Bedside ultrasound machines
  • Intermittent hemodialysis machines
  • Video laryngoscopes
  • Fiberoptic bronchoscopes
  • Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT)
  • Percussive vests
  • Sequential compression devices (SCDs)
  • Therapeutic hypothermia machines

Interdisciplinary collaboration

MICU travel nurse jobs allow you to collaborate cross-functionally with interdisciplinary healthcare staff ranging from physicians to staff nurses and even radiologists. When you work closely with these teams, you’ll get a broader perspective on patient care that you can add to your skill set.

Continuous learning

MICU travel nurse jobs put you on the fast track to learn about the latest education, techniques, treatments, and equipment used in the field. If you’re interested in getting ahead of the learning curve, a MICU travel nurse job might be right for you.

Visit new locations

One of the biggest perks of MICU travel nurse jobs is deciding where you want to work. From the city to the facility, it’s up to you. Accepting MICU travel nurse jobs in new locations also exposes you to new facilities and patient populations you may not experience in a regular staff position.

Tips for finding the best MICU travel nurse jobs

Most nurses say the best MICU travel nurse jobs offer a combination of high compensation and opportunities to expand your clinical experience. However, what makes an ideal MICU travel nurse job usually depends on personal preferences, career goals, and financial goals.

Research MICU travel nurse job agencies

To find the best MICU travel nurse job for you, research is the name of the game. First, you need to determine which travel agencies offer MICU travel nurse jobs. Unfortunately, not all agencies work with MICU travel nurses.

Read reviews

Next, you should consider the reputation of the agency or company you’re considering working with. Use a search engine to read testimonials and reviews about the agency from other MICU travel nurses. These reviews should give you a general idea of whether the agency meets your standards.

Compare benefits

While pay may often be the most important benefit of MICU travel nurse jobs, remember that additional perks such as stipends for scrubs, licenses, and travel, along with health insurance and the option to invest in a 401(k) should be factored into the equation. Unlike Nomad, not all agencies offer these types of benefits, so it's important to compare the additional perks before you accept a MICU travel nurse job.

Top locations for MICU travel RN jobs

The demand for MICU travel nurse jobs varies across different states based on factors such as the overall demand for MICU services, the number of healthcare facilities, and the demographics of the regional population. Additionally, states with larger populations and advanced healthcare infrastructure may need more MICU travel nurses than others.


As one of the biggest states, California has multiple medical facilities in densely populated areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco that often hire for MICU travel nurse jobs.


Like California, certain high-growth metropolitan areas in Texas have MICU travel nurse jobs available including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.


Because Florida has an older-than-average population and an expansive medical system, the demand for MICU nurse travelers is high, especially in cities like Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, and Orlando.

New York

The dense population and high number of healthcare facilities in New York make it a hot spot for MICU travel RN jobs, especially in New York City.


Because Arizona experiences a yearly influx of winter visitors, there is a seasonal strain on healthcare systems there which can affect the demand for MICU nurses.

How to prepare for your first MICU travel nurse job

If it’s your first time accepting a MICU travel nurse job, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind that will help you feel prepared and ready to go on your first day. Every MICU travel nurse job is different, but excelling in one or more of these areas may ensure you are set up for success.

Ask about orientation

One of the most important questions you can ask your hiring manager is about the orientation and onboarding process for your MICU travel job. Knowing how much support you will have at the beginning, and how much you’ll need to learn independently can help set realistic expectations for your first week on the job.

Be adaptable

Being adaptable is the key to starting any MICU travel RN job. You will need to be prepared for differences in workflows, procedures, and performing tasks that you may not have much experience with.

Build relationships

Along the way, remember to network and build relationships with your new colleagues. Connect with other MICU travel nurses and learn about their experiences with the facility and traveling in general.

Pack wisely

Remember to pack all the essentials you will need for the duration of your travel assignment. Depending on where your MICU travel nurse job is, it may be difficult to find a drug store or other convenience stores for items at the last minute, especially if you’re working in a rural area. We recommend packing a few extra pairs of scrubs, toiletries, and other items that help you stay comfortable during your assignment

Frequently asked questions about MICU travel nurse jobs

How long are MICU travel nurse job contracts?

MICU travel RN job contract length varies depending on the needs of the facility. In general, most MICU travel nurse job contracts are 13 weeks long, although it’s not uncommon to find contracts that last eight weeks.

Can I choose the location for my MICU travel nurse job?

Yes, you can choose the location for your MICU travel nurse job. Nomad Health features MICU travel RN jobs across the United States. Some are in desirable locations like Hawaii, California, and Florida.

Do MICU travel nurse jobs provide opportunities for professional growth?

Yes! MICU travel nurse jobs are an excellent way to fast-track professional growth. When you accept a MICU travel nurse job, you can get exposure to new environments, patient populations, and technology that may help level up your skillset and compensation.

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