By July 2020, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization had documented more than 133 000 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) implementations, with more than 61 000 implementations in adult patients. No clear policies regarding the authority and responsibility of nursing staff in the treatment of ECMO-supported patients are currently available.


To formulate evidence-based recommendations for nursing care of ECMO-supported patients.


The National Head Nurse’s office and the Professional Guidelines Department in the Nursing Division of Israel’s Ministry of Health formed the Professional Advisory Committee on Nursing Practice in the Care of ECMO-Supported Patients to address concerns regarding the current state of professional nursing practice in the care of these patients. The Professional Advisory Committee brought together 15 senior Israeli ECMO nursing experts who explored the potential of registered nurses in caring for ECMO-supported patients, considered the competencies of nurses treating ECMO-supported patients, discussed training programs and health care policy, and examined nursing outcomes for quality assurance.


The Professional Advisory Committee formulated recommendations regarding the following priority issues: (1) determining boundaries of professional authority and nurses’ responsibilities, including designated activities for different professional ranks of registered nurses; (2) providing appropriate content for the training programs offered, such as generic/basic, above-basic, and clinical specialization nursing programs; and (3) defining relevant quality measures for nursing treatment of ECMO-supported patients.


Introducing international standards would ensure the safety and effectiveness of nursing care for ECMO-supported patients through quality and risk management and establishment of new evidence-based nursing practices.

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