BACCN Twitter Chat #baccnnic

11th May 2018

Thank you to all those that took part in this months Twitter Chat with regards to your views and experience of the role of the "nurse in charge" within Intensive Care. Nurses go to work in critical care for various reasons, which can all depend on whether that nurse has experience of critical care or not. A nurse with one year’s ward experience may feel that they are ready to move onto something challenging and or want to take on the care of sicker patients, where as a newly qualified nurse may feel they are prepared and ready to take on any kind of patient because they are now a fully qualified nurse and may choose to work in critical care because of the perceived excitement and or because the low patient-to-nurse ratio that exists within critical care units.  Many newly qualified nurses had rotated through critical care whilst on placements and felt that this is the place that they want to work. @clarkeys_icu moderated a very busy and fast flowing twitter chat  - below please see a brief summary (from the questions asked) alongside some of the buzz words that stood out (attached word cloud):

Supernumerary NiC: 

The general consensus was that the NiC should be and is supernumerary - with the exception of HDU. The role of the NiC was described as complex and multifaceted and the NiC should be effective, supportive and act as a coordinator. The standard should be supernumerary. There are occasions however, due to poor staffing, where the NiC has been pulled in to the numbers. It was felt that the size of the unit could contribute to this decision - more likely on a four bedded unit compared to a 15 bedded unit for example. Our own guidelines (BACCN) suggest supernumerary NiC on units bigger than 6 beds.

A London hospital with a sizeable ICU was referred to during the discussion. Their bare minimal is 2 supernumerary NiC . Another London ICU had 'pod' leaders. There are other variations such as 'bay coordinators'.


Again, general consensus regarding experience - NiC should have their ICU course and a minimum of 2-3 years experience. Shadow shifts for 3-6 month period were also mentioned. Minimum of 2 years experience as a Band 6. Coaching in to the role of NiC was mentioned. Mastery in leadership, communication and management - all required to maintain high standards of patient care and staff support. The feeling regarding this was divided.

Also please find a "wakelet" version of the chat that could be used for revalidation purposes (we had to change to wakelet as the "storify" website had closed down): 

Our next Twitter Chat will take place on the 5th of June between 7-8pm with the broad topic of professional engagement / development  #baccnprof 

Thank you 

 @clarkeys_icu (Regional Advisor - National Board) on behalf of @BACCNUK

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