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The revised ACCCN Practice Standards for specialist critical care nurses: what has changed?

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-25, 00:11 authored by Melanie GreenwoodMelanie Greenwood, Gill, F, Tina KendrickTina Kendrick

The 2nd edition of the ACCCN Competency Standards was published in 2002. It is almost 20 years since data collection was undertaken for the 1st edition. In 2013-2015 a second revision was undertaken. Nurses from the critical care community were invited to participate in the Standards Revision Project that was conducted in two phases.

For phase one 10 focus groups were held across all States (79 participants). Thematic coding was conducted in two forms: two researchers analysed the transcribed focus group data and two researchers analysed the audio recordings. The main themes were identified and these informed the draft revision standards for Phase Two. In Phase Two, a three round Delphi technique involved the iterative process of a national panel of 64 critical care nurses (working in research, management, practice and education) who responded to three survey rounds. As a result, the 15 standards, with elements and performance criteria were further refined and panel agreement reached.

The revised 2015 ACCCN Standards for Practice build upon and are in addition to the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for Registered Nurses. They reflect consensus statements that capture contemporary critical care practices using an expanded range of technologies to care for a complex range of critical care patients across the lifespan who are cared for in a diversity of settings; from rural critical care to highly specialised tertiary centres. Critical care nurses can continue to confidently use the 3 rd edition of the Practice Standards in the way that they were intended to be used: as the ‘gold standard’ description of specialist critical care nurse practice.



School of Nursing

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Australian College of Critical Care Nurses ICE conference

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Adelaide, Australia

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