ACCCN National Nursing Workforce Survey of Intensive Care Units
Computing, Health and Science
Nursing and Public Health
A descriptive study was designed and implemented by the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN) Workforce Planning Advisory Committee to capture data pertaining to workforce issues of intensive care nurses. All intensive care units (ICUs) within Australia were mailed a self reporting survey. Despite a low response rate (52 per cent) and difficulty reported by respondents in gaining the appropriate data requested, the results revealed an interesting snapshot of the intensive care nursing workforce. Types of services offered by units varied considerably; paid overtime hours were low (worked) and use of both part-time and agency staff was also low (10 per cent of total hours worked). Private hospitals utilised a greater proportion of part-time and agency nursing staff than public hospitals (20:10 per cent). The turnover rate for registered nursing staff was estimated at 18 per cent, with education, skill acquisition and improved communication reported as the major incentives used by managers to attract and retain staff. This study demonstrated that valuable data are currently uncaptured and recommends a more refined process of a national database to record and manage this important information for future workforce planning.