As demand for nurse practitioners in all types of intensive care units continues to increase, ensuring successful integration of these nurses into adult and pediatric general and specialty intensive care units poses several challenges. Adding nurse practitioners requires strategic planning to define critical aspects of the care delivery model before the practitioners are hired, develop a comprehensive program for integrating and training these nurses, and create a plan for implementing the program. Key strategies to ensure successful integration include defining and implementing the role of nurse practitioners, providing options for orientation, and supporting and training novice nurse practitioners. Understanding the importance of appropriate role utilization, the depth of knowledge and skill expected of nurse practitioners working in intensive care units, the need for a comprehensive training program, and a commitment to continued professional development beyond orientation are necessary to fully realize the contributions of these nurses in critical care.

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