What Does a Cruise Ship Nurse Do?

What Does a Cruise Ship Nurse Do?

It might not be the first thing you think about when considering a career in nursing, but cruise ship nursing can be the perfect job for the right person. If you really enjoy travel and don’t mind being away from home for extended periods of time, every cruise ship needs nurses to support the health of both travelers and the staff of that ship.

That means there are thousands of people in need of medical personnel, which can add up to a challenging and rewarding experience.

What It Is Like to Be A Cruise Ship Nurse

All cruise ships have medical facilities to examine and treat whatever medical situations arise while far away from civilization. This includes x-ray equipment and other diagnostic tools.

The infirmary of a ship resembles most emergency rooms.

Cruise ship nurses are required to work a six-month tour of duty followed by two months off. They generally work twelve-hour shifts rotating days off and on-call days. They can leave the ship if their day off falls on a day the ship is in port. They can also enjoy all activities available on the ship while at sea on a day off. Room and board are included as part of the salary for a cruise ship nurse.

Cruise Ship Nursing Jobs

A variety of nursing positions are available on cruise ships. They vary a bit in salary and responsibilities. The average cruise ship nurse salary is about $48,000 a year.

Staff Nurse

These are the first nurses called when a medical emergency occurs. They provide first aid to patients till the doctor can see them. They set up the treatment rooms and make sure the equipment is ready to go. They assist the medical doctor and administer medications and treatments prescribed by the doctor. The average monthly salary is $4,200 to $4,900.

Nurse Practitioner

These nurses can fill in for the doctor and prescribe medications. These nurses keep the injury and illness logs. They also keep the first aid supplies throughout the ship and on the lifeboats supplied. The average monthly salary is $5,200 to $6,100.

Chief Nurse

This nurse is in the lead for the entire nursing staff and answers directly to the ship doctor. At least three years clinical experience is required for this position. The chief nurse is in charge of the daily operation of the infirmary and also handles administrative duties such as maintaining patient records, monitoring inventory, and equipment checks. The average monthly salary is $4,800 to $5,800.

Being a cruise ship nurse is definitely different from any other type of nurse career. But it can be a lot of fun for the right person.

More Nurse Career Articles

If you are still interested in other nursing jobs, here are some informational articles that you will enjoy.


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