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Nursing at Harborview

Harborview nurses are as diverse as the patients they care for—they come from many cultural backgrounds and walks of life. And together they form an intensely dedicated team collaborating with physicians, therapists, and other health-care professionals to deliver top-notch patient care. Our nurses' special talents and contributions are readily recognized, as the Harborview team encourages open communication and the sharing of new ideas and innovative solutions.

Special Services

Emergency Services

In the foremost Level 1 trauma center in the Pacific Northwest, nurses provide the most advanced emergency care. More than 80,000 patients are seen annually and the Emergency Department is a referral center for individuals experiencing trauma, burns, sexual assault, complex medical and surgical problems, and a variety of mental illnesses.

Emergency Department East provides the opportunity to work with the less acute patients, including patients needing telemetry services, experiencing medical/surgical conditions, and those on observation or inpatient status.

Psychiatric Emergency Services

Centered in the Emergency Department, this unit provides clinical oversight and is open at all times. The unit contains 10 beds in private rooms and is staffed by RNs, ARNPs, resident psychiatrists, social workers, medical assistants, and attending psychiatrists. Psychiatric evaluations and chemical dependency assessments are performed and patients' disposition linkages are made to inpatient units and multiple community resources to meet the needs of a diverse patient population.

Operating Room

A wide variety of elective and trauma surgeries are performed 24/7 in our operating rooms. The skills of the most highly experienced and educated perioperative nurses are regularly challenged and learning opportunities abound.

Post-Anesthesia Recover

Nurses in this unit provide around-the-clock pre-operative preparation and post-operative monitoring and care to all surgical cases.

Ambulatory Surgery

Nurses in this 13-bed unit work with pre-anesthesia coordinators to prepare patients for day surgery or day-of-surgery admissions.

Community CareLine

Using computerized protocols, telephone triage nurses provide medical advice and direction to consumers and managed care subscribers.

Additional Specialty Areas

Endoscopy, Radiology, and Gamma Knife services.

Critical Care

Trauma Surgery Intensive Care Unit (TSICU)

Nurses care for patients with multi-system, traumatic injuries. Patient management presents challenges in respiratory, thoracic, neurologic, and orthopaedic care. Nurses are involved in a variety of innovative research projects. They provide critical care management to multi-service adult and adolescent patients. The care for patients range in a variety of medical/surgical diagnoses and trauma injuries and are involved in a variety of unit-based and hospital-wide projects including nursing research.

Medical Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (MCICU)

Nurses in this unit care for patients with a variety of medical diagnoses (gastrointestinal bleed, acute respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure, near-drowning, sepsis, and seizures). Working in the home base of Seattle's Medic One for direct-admit patients with ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, CICU nurses also care for patients with medical, trauma, surgical, and neurosurgical disorders.

Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Serving both adult and pediatric victims of severe head and spinal cord injury, this unit has a growing elective neurosurgery patient population. Advanced techniques and neuroradiology and neurosurgery provide unique challenges to critical care nurses practicing advanced skills in neurological assessment.

Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU)/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

As a multi-specialty intensive care unit, the nursing staff has the opportunity to care for adult and pediatric patients with complicated trauma, pulmonary, neurologic orthopedic, and other medical conditions. The BICU/PICU staff participate in a variety of research projects throughout the hospital and are encouraged to develop projects on their own.


ICU-Holding cares for critical care overflow patients. ICU-Holding RNs have the opportunity to experience caring for multi-service critical care patients with a variety of medical/surgical diagnoses and traumatic injuries.

CCFP (Critical Care Float Pool)

The CCFP staff have the opportunity to experience caring for multi-service critical care patients with a variety of medical/surgical diagnoses and traumatic injuries. The CCFP staff are a resource for all the ICUs, PACU, and the ED.

General Medicine and Surgery

Nurses working in these units provide care to more than half of Harborview's patients. Many are admitted directly from ED. Others are transferred from the critical care units. As most have multi-system involvement, all units provide an excellent opportunity to develop advanced medical/surgical skills while focusing on a specific area of nursing practice.


Specializes in providing care to patients experiencing cardiac disease and trauma, infectious disease, and renal disease/dialysis. Patients are experiencing complex multi-system disease/trauma. Patients on telemetry are medicine, orthopedic, surgery, or neurology and are a model for interdisciplinary care.


The Medical Surgical Telemetry unit provides acute care for diverse medical/surgical patients who are acutely ill or injured and in varying stages of recuperation from diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical interventions. Patients with respiratory, medical, or surgical diagnoses who require telemetry monitoring are admitted to this unit.

Medicine and Senior Care

For the elderly recovering from debilitating illness or injury, the senior care service provides specialized intervention and is a model for interdisciplinary geriatric care.

Neurosciences (Neurology and Neurosurgery)

This fast-paced and dynamic unit provides care to adult and adolescent patients with acute and chronic conditions and injuries to the brain and spinal cord. As one of Harborview's centers of emphasis, the neuroscience unit nurses participate in state-of-the-art treatments, nursing practice, and research with this challenging patient population.


Nurses in these units care for individuals undergoing a variety of orthopaedic procedures resulting from traumatic injuries or referral.


Nurses care for adult and pediatric patients with burns, burn reconstruction, plastic surgery, and large wounds.


Internationally recognized for its research in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of adult and pediatric patients having seizure disorders not amenable to conventional medication therapy. Nurses develop skills in assessing the EEG-monitored patient.

Trauma Rehabilitation Medicine Unit

Nurses in this unit are an integral component in this nationally-recognized trauma rehabilitation unit's inter-professional team. A primary nursing model and an emphasis on maximizing the patient's full potential for independent living are key elements in the care delivery model. Common diagnosis include: brain injury, spinal cord injury (including patients on ventilators), stroke, burns, and various musculoskeletal disorders.

Trauma/General Surgery

This unit is designated as the dynamic, optimal setting where adult, geriatric, and adolescent trauma, general surgical, and vascular surgery patients receive the highest possible delivery of nursing care.

Limited Stay Unit

This unit cares for patients who require monitoring for pre- and post-diagnostic procedures, and also provides care and treatment for outpatient chemotherapy/infusion patients. The Limited Stay Unit supports the outpatient clinics, diagnostic radiology/cardiology, and the ED.

ACFP (Acute Care Float Pool)

The ACFP staff have the opportunity to experience caring for patients with a variety of medical/surgical diagnoses and traumatic injuries. The ACFP staff are a resource for all the med/surg units, as well as patients in overflow areas.


Harborview has three inpatient psychiatry units. All use a strong interdisciplinary team model for planning and delivering patient care and each supports the University of Washington in education, research, and community service.

Psychiatric Intensive Evaluation

Nurses on this locked intensive care unit provide short-term interdisciplinary treatment for acutely ill psychiatric patients.

Voluntary Psychiatry

Emphasis is on crisis intervention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness and co-existing chemical dependency, and a myriad of other behavioral problems. The open-door design allows nurses to assist patients having sufficient internal control to benefit from an open therapeutic milieu.

Acute Psychiatry

This locked voluntary and involuntary unit emphasizes diagnostic evaluation, short-term treatment, and discharge planning. Nursing practice includes assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, and behavior management skills.

Ambulatory Care

Harborview offers additional specialized practice opportunities for ambulatory care nursing. International medicine, HIV/AIDS care, and the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress are just three examples of the more than 45 clinics located at Harborview.