Critical care nursing in Europe varies from one country to anotherexchangepr. The EfCCNa Exchange Programme enables critical care nurses to spend some time on a ICU in another European country.

Aims and Objectives of the programme

  • to widen the professional horizon of critical care nurses in Europe
  • to promote international collaboration and to share expertise
  • to stimulate the personal professional development of critical care nurses in Europe

Who can participate?

All critical care nurses or nurses working in intensive care who's national professional organisation is member of EfCCNa. 

For more information on the programme see links below


Reports on the exchange programme

Since its implementation more than 40 European nurses have participated in the programme so far.
Here are quotes from our last delegates.


2017 SPelz

A visit at the ICU at Tromsø Norway
After meeting qualified specialists from Norway at the EfCCNa congress in Belfast in February 2017 the possibility occurred to use the exchange program of EfCCNa to think outside the box – how do critical care nurses work in Norway? What are the differences to Germany?
The most important structural differences to Germany are the framework conditions for the Norwegian nurses with regard to the numbers of employees present at one shift. Because the intensive best care practise for the patient is the primary focus in Norway, there is a minimum of a one-to-one-ratio in care done by critical care nurses in every of the three shifts. For every four patients, there is additionally another qualified personnel nurse to support the critical care nurses at the bedside. Apart from that each shift has always one shift supervisor who is responsible for organisational tasks.
As a result the intensive care patient is in every scope of his treatment safeguarded. Best practice, continuity in care, high awareness of hygiene for a sanitary working environment, infection prevention, a faster achievement of the therapy goals especially the weaning
can be designed to be more targeted and focused through intensive care. The critical care nurses use a more efficient, multi-disciplinary way of communication and relatives are also included in certain duties of this patient-centred care approach in Norway every day.
Because of these conditions the individual care for every patient with the current applied nursing and medical standards are ensured. The most important principle is that the patient will be never left alone by a nurse. Are there medical tasks to fulfil like drawing up the syringe in a special pharmaceutical room or the responsible critical care nurse has to take the mandatory break there will always be a critical care nurse present with the patient.
During my work shadowing I have enjoyed to be a part of this top quality and respectful way of working at the intensive care unit in Tromsø. Thank you very much to all of my colleagues at the Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge for the impressive days and the open admission to your team.

Sabrina Pelz, Hamburg Germany 2017


Gemma Via

To sum up, this was a really enriching experience, and that's why I encourage other colleagues to join the programme. It is the way to experience first hand that nursing care is not the only thing that makes a difference; it is also factors such as the organizational structure and inter-professional communication. Each team, in their context, has their strengths, threats, opportunities and weaknesses.

Nowadays, in Spain, we are in a context of economic difficulties that undoubtedly would influence health outcomes, but we have a great innovation, creative potential and motivation to improve the processes of care to our patients. The EfCCNa exchange programme is another opportunity to expand horizons.

Gemma Via
from Spain 2014



The Exchange program was for us a great opportunity to show how there is one of the best
intensive care in Europe.
DSC00002We had the opportunity to gain new experience and comparison of our knowledge and skills to the knowledge and skills of our Swedish colleagues.
The level o
f nursing care in Sweden is high - Swedish nurses have the capacity and conditions to ensure that the patient be able to comprehensively cultivate.
In intensive care it is very important to realize how important the interdisciplinary approach
to the patient with the appropriate amount of staff among others in the prevention of infections, for the safety of patients and their welfare and safety of personnel.

In Sweden, this consciousness exists. In addition, we had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people who served us help and tried to do everything that we benefited as much as possible during our stay in Karolinska Hospital and Danderyd Hospital.

Aurelia Sega, Ilona Nowak, Aleksandra Władymiruk from Poland  2015