BACKGROUND: Although nurse educators and nurse managers have disagreed about which clinical competencies are necessary for new graduates to begin working in critical care, the competencies are in need of revision and reassessment. OBJECTIVES: To validate a list of beginning-level competencies and to compare baccalaureate nurse educators' and critical care nurse manager's current perceptions of beginning clinical competencies for new baccalaureate graduates in critical care settings. METHODS: An expert panel of nurses from across the United States critiqued a questionnaire about which clinical competencies were considered relevant to critical care nursing practice. The revised questionnaire, containing 105 clinical competencies, was mailed to a randomly selected sample across the United States. Forty-one baccalaureate nurse educators and 41 critical care nurse managers completed the mail survey questionnaire (94% response rate) by rating the necessity ("essential," "desired," or "not required") of the clinical competencies for new baccalaureate nurses. RESULTS: A high degree of agreement was generally seen between nurse educators and nurse managers on the necessity ratings of the 105 competencies. The majority of nurse educators and nurse managers rated 81 of the 105 competencies as either "essential" or "desirable." Only five competencies showed considerable disagreement between nurse educators and nurse managers, and none of these competencies were rated "essential" by more than a few raters in either group. CONCLUSIONS: The agreement between nurse educators and nurse managers supports a competency list for baccalaureate nursing curricula and hospital inservice programs to integrate new graduates into critical care.