One of the greatest challenges in clinical nursing education is providing an orientation program that meets the needs of critical care nurses with various backgrounds and levels of experience within a relevant and stimulating format. Since the 1990s, a major shift has occurred within the culture of intensive care units (ICUs) to employ, orient, and mentor new graduate nurses. Formerly, after graduation, the standard progression for all critical care nurses was at least 1 year of medical-surgical experience in a general care area. The gradual transition from medical-surgical nursing into the critical care environment that once existed has changed in response to the dwindling supply of nurses in the workforce. Concurrently, the population of patients in ICUs has increased, the severity of illness has increased, and the length of stay has decreased. Critical care educators are challenged to accommodate...

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