Critical care nursing: Reshaping professional talent roadmap over the coming years

critical care nursing

Cecilia Van Cauwenberghe from Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision Group turns the spotlight on to the key issues around critical care nursing, with a focus on reshaping the professional talent roadmap over the coming years plus clinical competence

During the past five years, nursing programmes focussed on critical care began to encourage the admittance of a greater number of students in order to provide a more innovative education system-based on higher care quality and safer clinical practice. In fact, clinical and professional competence in intensive nursing play a significant role as a specific knowledge base, skill base, attitude and value base that build its foundations over the professional experience in intensive and critical care nursing (Ääri et al., 2018). Broadly speaking, the nursing competence involves adherence to clinical guidelines and nursing interventions standards, absolute ethical behaviour, smart decision making, development work, and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Encompassing this vision of critical care nursing, a number of clinical teaching models based on standardised and customised simulation labs were performed to improve intra-professional collaboration among complex clinical centres and healthcare professionals and junior/senior-level nursing students (Boothby et al., 2018).

Future skills and talent nursery roadmap
Leading healthcare companies are presently redesigning its talent attraction policies in order to improve the effectiveness of their graduate and undergraduate programmes (Das, 2015). Therefore, a certain level of diversity around their recruitment process, based on student profiles and universities prestige is crucial to attracting high potential candidates. To achieve this goal, twin track approaches to career development, that is, professional and management approaches, focus on an in-depth understanding of success profiles resulting from competency models that should be in place in the future for both potential career pathways and the development of future managers.

The road ahead in Europe
Regional commitment and collaboration work

These strategies are also stimulated by the European Federation of Critical Care Nursing Associations (EfCCNa), a formal network of nursing associations in Europe focussed on promoting collaboration and equity among the national critical care member associations.
According to EfCCNa, collaboration is crucial to advance critical care practice, education, management and research in Europe. Indeed, the Belfast Declaration, established in recognition of the First Global Critical Care Nursing Organizations Joint Meeting reflect
the commitment of most relevant European nursing associations to promote and support optimal nursing practices worldwide.

Among the most important goals defined by the organisations, the identification of novel opportunities to collaborate in further advancing nursing education, practice, and research, advocating for the highest standards of critical care nursing practice worldwide, are of note. The commitment is extended to the advancement of the state of critical care nursing based on the constitution of multi-professional team-based practices to promote in-depth knowledge, as well as, the engagement of patient and family-centred care to support ongoing care and recovery beyond clinical institutions (Butcher et al., 2018).

Big themes for discussion

Among the most relevant issues to be covered in order to significantly improve critical care nursing, EfCCNa has selected the following items to be discussed by 2019:

• Pain management;
• Family-centred care;
• Critical care education;
• Critical care simulation;
• Rescue therapy;
• Clinical research;
• Patient safety;
• Post-operative care;
• Airway care, ventilation loops and waves;
• Infection control;
• Palliation and end of life;
• Early mobilisation;
• Sleep and comfort management;
• Intensive care unit (ICU) multicultural organisation.
It is important to highlight that according to the latest
Eurostat data, migration has become one of the key
drivers of population change, hence revealing the
importance of cultural diversity as one of the most
important factors in the healthcare area. ICU multicultural
organisation will be essential to address critical
care nursing in Europe by the coming years.


I would like to thank all contributors from industry involved with the development and delivery of this article from the TechVision Group at Frost & Sullivan.


Ääri, R.L., Tarja, S. and Helena, L.K., 2018. Competence in intensive and critical care nursing: a literature review. Intensive and critical care nursing, 24(2), pp.78-89.

Boothby, J., Gropelli, T. and Succheralli, L., 2018. An Innovative Teaching Model Using Intraprofessional Simulations. Nursing education perspectives.

Butcher, H.K., Bulechek, G.M., Dochterman, J.M.M. and Wagner, C., 2018. Nursing Interventions classification (NIC)-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Das, R. 2015. Acuity-Based Staffing as the Key to Hospital Competitiveness – Why the Smartest Hospitals are Tying their Nurse Labor Investment to Patient Care. Frost & Sullivan Research Service. Frost Perspectives. Healthcare.

Cecilia Van Cauwenberghe, PhD, MSc, BA
Associate Fellow and Senior Industry Analyst
TechVision Group, Frost & Sullivan


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