An ICU NP model of care at a metropolitan hospital in Sydney, Australia has been in development since 2015. Care provided can be divided into four core practice areas; complex case management, vascular access, tracheostomy management and intra-hospital transport of critically ill patients. The ICU NPs also provide training and assessment for ICU medical officers in these same core practice areas, and can efficiently meet service gaps in crisis such as the most recent COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICU NP program described is an innovative and successful model of care that has demonstrated consistent, high-quality outcomes that could address future medical and nursing workforce shortages. It also demonstrates benefits to the healthcare system, patients and families. This model of care provides a clear role and structure for the integration of NPs in the adult ICU. With local refinement, all ICUs including metropolitan, regional and rural, could benefit from a similar model.
In 2022/2023 this model will be used to develop a fellowship training program. ICU Registered Nurses undertaking post graduate NP studies will be able to apply. This program aims to not only train candidates in the core areas described, but also provide support for the implementation of the role in their own intensive care unit.
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