Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)


Welcome to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)!

Our patients are typically high acuity or high risk and have conditions that other facilities are unable to treat. We care for patients recovering from ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), heart and lung transplants as well as patients with heart failure. Our nurses have a tremendous impact on how care is delivered in the CVICU. For example, nurses run our ECMO program. That’s a very highly specialized and technical job in the CVICU, and it’s very rare to see a program like this run by nurses. Nurses also lead our lift team, which is responsible for turning patients every two hours. We also participate in several research projects, from early mobility studies to end-of-life care, delirium studies to research in fluid resuscitation. I look for go-getters who are driven and who enjoy learning. There is so much information to take in, we really need nurses who are willing to put in the extra time to study and become more knowledgeable in cardiovascular care. Two out of the last three Rosamond Gabrielson Nurse of the Year recipients were CVICU nurses. Most of our nurses are Nashville transplants, so their coworkers have also become their friends and social outlets. They spend a good deal of time together outside the hospital, for example, playing softball or roller skating, and many life-long friendships are born out of this unit. My goal as manager is to ensure the staff has a voice in the decisions that are made for our unit. Professional development is very important to me, and whether you want to further your career outside the CVICU or expand your education, I will work diligently to help you meet your professional goals. I was honored with a nomination for the VUMC Transformational Leader of the Year in 2016. If you have an interest in cardiovascular care and a willingness to work hard and learn new skills, apply now and join us!

Jimmy Barber, BSN, RN2-CCRN-K
Manager, Cardiovascular ICU


Location Location
Fifth floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
ICU: 1:1 or 1:2
Number of Beds
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult patients with heart failure, cardiac dysrhythmias, structural heart disease,
hypothermia post-cardiac arrest, ECMO, pre/post-op vascular and cardiac
surgery, heart or lung transplant.   
Unit Team Staff Mix
•    Registered Nurses
•    Care Partners
•    Medical Receptionists
•    Nurse Practitioners
•    Physicians
•    Physician Assistants
•    Respiratory Therapists
Certifications Required Certifications
•    RN Licensure
•    BLS
•    ALS Certification preferred
•    CCRN Certification preferred
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    Modified self-scheduling 
awards Awards
•    VUMC Nurse Residency Program Teamwork Award
•    PRC 5-Star Award
Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
CVICU (for internal VUMC staff only; login required) 
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


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“I love that the CVICU is challenging and forces me to use my critical thinking and time-management skills every single day. No two days of work are the same, and each day brings a different adventure. Some days are full of excitement and adrenaline rushes, while others are slower, allowing for quality time to really get to know the patients and form relationships with their families. I am extremely grateful that I am part of an incredibly supportive team. Everyone is very willing to help each other out when the unit gets busy, including the physicians. A great team makes for a wonderful working environment and a much more enjoyable shift!”

Malayna T., BSN, RN, CCRN, ECMO Specialist
Cardiovascular ICU