This position is also called: Lead Nurse, Chief Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Cruise Ship Nurse

In Focus: Medical Care at Sea

Every cruise will always have need of medical staff to attend to possible problems and to ensure the continued health and well-being of passengers and crew. Larger ships will need more nurse staff and will also have a hierarchy, such as a Lead or Chief Nurse, a Nurse Practitioner, and Registered Nurses.

A nurse on a cruise ship needs to be prepared to handle emergencies, and will be required to have some experience in ER and ICU. They assist the doctors as needed and maintain logs about all illnesses and injuries. They are also responsible to set up treatment rooms, ensure that emergency equipment is working, and keeps supplies at the proper level. Nurses often need to work long hours, provide basic medical care, as well as be able to handle emergency situations until a doctor can take over.

Nurses must have a diploma from a qualified medical school. They need to be able to handle Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Two or three year’s background experience is necessary, and must be able to speak excellent English. They also need to learn technical clinic skills and x-ray equipment. Being independent and able to make decisions is also important.

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