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Critical Care Nursing: Careers

When you become a Critical Care nurse at St. Joseph Medical Center, you’ll join a team of professionals dedicated to providing patient-centered care for people in their most critical moments of life. St. Joseph offers Critical Care nurses challenging career opportunities at our growing hospital in Tacoma, Washington. Providing compassionate care for seriously ill patients since 1891, we have a staff of 250 serving 66 beds in Critical Care; we are in the process of expanding to 74 beds.

St. Joseph Critical Care nurses staff our Cardiac Surgical Recovery Unit, Neuroscience ICU and Level II Trauma/Medical-Surgical ICU. At St. Joseph, our specialty ICUs feed directly into the Progressive Care Unit, so our Critical Care nurses also provide Progressive Care for these patients.

Our specialty units bring a unique population to the St. Joseph Critical Care Unit. No one plans on having a stroke or a heart attack; trauma has no warning, so our work is centered on providing professional but personal and ‘in the moment’ care. Our skilled nurses become fully invested with the patient and family from the moment they arrive through recovery. Our focus is critical but our care is always compassionate.

St. Joseph Medical Center has earned the highest quality rating for two types of heart surgery.

Who we care for

St. Joseph’s Critical Care nurses provide evidence-based, collaborative care using nurse-driven protocols, leading technologies and an increasing number of minimally invasive procedures to treat patients.

Who we care for

  • Our post-surgical cardiac patients have undergone procedures which include:

    • Coronary artery bypass
    • Valve repair (aortic, pulmonic, tricuspid, mitral)
    • Valve replacement (aortic, mitral, pulmonic)
    • Minimally invasive procedures
  • As a The Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center, St. Joseph Critical Care nurses care for patients who have undergone a wide variety of other neuro treatments, including:

    • Cerebral aneurysms, aneurysm coilings and clot removal
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Seizure disorders
    • Treatment for traumatic brain injury
    • Neurosurgery
    • Treatment for ALS and other neuro-degenerative diseases
  • St. Joseph has one of only four Level II trauma centers in the state of Washington. We care for patients with severe traumatic injuries and medical conditions by providing:

    • 24-hour hospitalists
    • Intensivist program led by Critical Care Pulmonologists
    • Leading-edge ventilation modes
    • Integrated palliative care program
  • Our care for patients starts the minute they enter St. Joseph’s doors and we don’t stop until they leave. Our progressive care staff manages a mix of patients admitted directly to the PCU as well as those transitioning out of the specialty ICU’s. Our PCU nurses work hard to provide a seamless connection with patients and their families.

Certification and career growth

We support the efforts of our hard-working, professional nurses who earn certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Many nurses on our staff have their PCCN (Progressive Care Nursing Certification) and CCRN (Critical Care Nursing Certification). We recognize the assurance these certifications provide to our patients and their families. By helping our Critical Care nurses meet rigorous national requirements, we all work together toward positive outcomes.

St. Joseph also adheres to the AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards, and we strive to continuously improve and provide a supportive work environment, using evidence-based, nurse-driven protocols to provide the highest quality care possible. We are moving to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), and already provide Electronic Team Scheduling. Our Critical Care nurses typically work 12-hour shifts.

We understand how important potential career growth is to experienced Critical Care nurses. We provide advanced leadership opportunities, and offer many benefits to support you at work and at home, including a generous Tuition Reimbursement Program.

We offer a challenging career with many opportunities for training and advancement, along with the chance to be part of a collaborative team with a spiritual, family-centered work culture. If you are motivated by strong leaders and inspired by compassion, join us.

Contact our recruiters

We encourage you to communicate directly with our Nurse Recruiters for much more information regarding Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and the high quality of life in the wonderful Puget Sound region.

Contact us today — we look forward to talking with you about our organization and how you can join our team.

Kathy Temple - King County Region
[email protected]

Jennifer Sutton - Pierce County Region
[email protected]

Mecca Lofton - Pierce County Region
[email protected]

Aulaura Lawrence - Peninsula Region
[email protected]