Neurology/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit

MistyWelcome to the Neurology and Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit!

We are proud to be one of the largest neurology ICUs in the country. Our large referral base ensures we are consistently treating patients with a full range of neurology and neurosurgical conditions. We treat patients with brain tumors and other diseases of the brain and spinal cord. We are also a Comprehensive Stroke Center, which means we’ve been recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association as having the capability to treat the most complex stroke cases. Because of the complexity of our cases, our nurses must have excellent neuro assessment skills, which they develop with time and patience. Our patients can often have subtle changes that can result in a devastating outcome, so our nurses should be proactive and very detail-oriented and able to pick up on those subtle changes. We look for nurses who are compassionate, are willing to work as a team and who have a good sense of humor. Our nurses are very supportive of each other and always willing to jump in and help a coworker. You will often find them planning an impromptu breakfast or dinner after work, and they are constantly planning activities outside of work. They post updates and events on a private Facebook page they created called Brain Waves. Our nurses are also innovators. They created a palliative care protocol, which includes a comfort care kit that is given to the families, and they are currently working on a delirium protocol specific to the neuro patient population. Our nurses are in the beginning stages of developing a mentorship program and a unit specific preceptor workshop. Our nurses are very involved and are always looking for ways to improve patient care. As a manager, I have an open door policy. I am honest, fair and direct with everyone. I encourage all of the staff to come to me with any concern, as well as just to talk. I also frequently ask for feedback from the staff related to my performance and interaction with them and am openly receptive to their suggestions and criticism. If you want to be a part of one of the most innovative units in the adult hospital, apply now and join us!

Misty Ashby, BSN, RN, SCRN
Manager, Neuro ICU


Location Location
Sixth floor of the Critical Care Tower at Vanderbilt University Hospital
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
1:2 or 1:3
Beds Number of Beds
ICU = 23
Stepdown = 12
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult patients with brain tumors, strokes, and any disease of the brain and spinal cord.
Unit Team Staff Mix
•    Registered Nurses
•    Care Partners
•    Nurse Practitioners
•    Physicians
•    Therapists
•    Social Workers
•    Pharmacist

•    Critical Care Anesthesiologists
Certifications Required Certifications
•    RN Licensure
•    BLS Certification
•    ACLS Certification
•    Critical Care Certification encourage
•    Neuro Certification encouraged
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    Modified self-scheduling 
awards Awards
•    AACN Beacon Award: 2014, 2015
•    Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC) Excellence in Healthcare
     award for Overall Quality of Care
Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
www Visit Neuro Intensive Care for more information
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


BackOur Patient Care Areas

To update information on this page, please email

“Working in Vanderbilt's Neuro ICU has been one of the best decisions of my nursing career. When I first started as a new graduate nurse, working with neurology and neurosurgery patients was intimidating. However, I quickly learned that through teamwork, we continually educate one another on current evidence based practices, and we use that knowledge to improve our unit. I am also proud of how involved we are in making decisions and providing interdisciplinary care for our patients. Every day I go to work excited to make a difference because I know I am working alongside a team that truly care for patients, families and our unit.”

Catherine Ann C., BSN, RN, CCRN
Neurology/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit