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National Critical Care Awareness Month: How Can You Show Support?

  • May is National Critical Care Awareness Month!
  • The road to becoming a critical care nurse (CCRN) is a long one and it is evident theses nurses have worked tirelessly for the past two years.
  • Wondering how you can show support? We are here to help!

NCC News & Content Team

April 08, 2022
Simmons University

The Role of a Critical Care Nurse

One might ask, “why is a whole month dedicated to National Critical Care Awareness?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AANC) is the largest specialty in the world, and represents more than 500,000 of the nurses in the U.S.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reminds us that critical care nurses work in intensive-care units (ICUs) in hospitals, and provide care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries that need close monitoring and treatment.

 rn talking to patient

The Struggles and Road to Becoming a CCRN says in addition to basic nursing care, critical care nurses provide ALL of a patient’s care (rather than delegating to an aid or tech), as the patient’s condition could decline quicky.

Critical care nurses must have highly technical skills due to complexities of their patients’ illnesses and injuries. To learn more about these higher-level skills, offers extensive educational resources.

As with most nursing professions, the first prerequisite is to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and pass the NCLEX-RN.

From here, most CCRN positions require an RN to obtain at least two years of clinical experience working with a variety of patient conditions.

The AANC recommends obtaining a CCRN certification not only for one’s own pride and achievement, but because it is linked to a higher level of clinical knowledge, skill, and experience.

Being the sole provider of critically ill patients can be taxing on one’s body and mind, especially with all the uncertainty healthcare faced in the past two years.

A recent study evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICU nurses reports that they faced the following challenges: the organization’s inefficiency in supporting its nurses, physical exhaustion, living with uncertainty, and a psychological burden of the disease.


nurses studying together

What Can You Do to Show Support During National Critical Care Awareness Month?

Past Patients

There are so many things, both big and small that you can do to show your appreciation during National Critical Care Awareness Month. Try sending a gift basket, or a meaningful hand-written note to the nurse who had a positive impact on your hospital stay!

Other examples of how to express your gratitude include homemade goods, goodie bags, or nursing themed gifts!

There’s nothing a nurse loves more than seeing their patients appreciate and acknowledge the impact they had on their lives.


Referencing the study above, many nurses felt that their organizations fell short in supporting them. Appreciation doesn’t have to be in the form of tangible items, but actions as well.

Northeastern State University recommends that leaders promote evidence-based practice, advocacy, and policy changes.

If administrators can advocate for their nurses, collectively, the organization can help deliver more efficient quality care, taking some of the pressure and responsibility of the already hard-working critical care nurses.

Your hard-working nurses should be rewarded for their sacrifice, dedication, and endurance throughout their career, but more importantly, the last two exhausting years!

Loved Ones of CCRNs

For the past couple of years, work in the healthcare industry has not been easy, and work-life balance has been close to nonexistent.

You may see your spouse less than you would like to, or maybe they had missed more of your children’s sporting events than they originally anticipated when they began this job, but it is a sacrifice they must make to save lives.

I know it is hard for you, and it is just as hard for them, too.

National Critical Care Awareness Month should not be the only time you dedicate to showing them that you care and appreciate all the hard work they put into their career.

However, perhaps making them a spa appointment on their day off or tackling all the chores for the week to ensure they don’t have anything to worry about when they get home is a good start.

A reminder that a little can go a long way.

 thank you note

Interested in Becoming a CCRN?

Do you wish to be one of 500,000 nurses recognized in National Critical Care Awareness Month?

Do you think you have what it takes?

Our CCRN test prep program will help you study and take mock practice exams to prepare for the CCRN exam!


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