The demand for critical care nurses continues to exceed the supply. The reasons for this include (1) an increasing number of critical care beds, (2) critical care beds representing a growing percentage of patients, (3) occupancy rates of critical care units ranging from 80% to 100%, (4) downsizing of healthcare staff, (5) declining enrollments in nursing schools, and (6) inadequate retention of nurses.1 An aging population and technological advances are also contributing factors. These factors are apparent nationwide, and the predictions are that they will continue to worsen.2 

Hospitals are aggressively recruiting new staff and use agency and traveling nurses to fill vacancies. These solutions are temporary and costly. Critical care internship programs seek to attract experienced nurses who want to transfer to a critical care area or new graduate nurses who have an interest in critical...

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