Building Strength of Health Care Teams

HHR planning is as an essential factor in the delivery of critical care services.

Designed to create accessible critical care nurse training, ensure the development of quality work environments and ensure a sustainable critical care nursing workforce. 

The Ontario Critical Care Workforce Advisory Committee (OCCWAC)

The Ontario Critical Care Workforce Advisory Committee is an advisory body, focused on identifying and addressing system level issues pertaining to critical care health human resources (HHR) within Ontario. This group focuses on HHR priorities relating to recruitment and retention, including, training, wellness, models of care, practice standards and other processes that enable the critical care workforce. Comprised of Hospital CNEs representing the 5 Ontario Regions, with a focus on inter-professional teams and critical care directors ensuring representation from adult, paediatrics, community, and academic centres.

  • Critical Care Nursing Standards:  The Practice Standards for Critical Care Nursing in Ontario identify desirable and achievable critical care nursing knowledge and competencies, in an effort to standardize critical care nursing practice across hospitals.

Critical Care Nurse Training Fund (CCNTF)

The annual Critical Care Nurse Training Fund (CCNTF) is an initiative designed to support hospitals by augmenting the costs of training adult, neonatal and paediatric critical care nurses to the provincially recognized critical care nurse training standards for each fiscal year. Critical care nurses trained to provincially recognized standards have the opportunity to develop the needed competency in managing rapidly changing clinical situations, anticipate patient needs, and have increased confidence at the bedside.

Hospitals can apply for funding each year through the application process managed by Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO). The number of positions funded and per nurse funding amounts are dependent on the number of eligible applications received each year.

Call for Applications is now closed.

For more information, please contact CCSO at [email protected].

Critical Care Nursing Workforce Profile (CCWP)

The 2022 Critical Care Workforce Profile survey collected information from all critical care units (Adult, Paediatric, and Neonatal) to better understand the ongoing challenges in the workforce and Health Human Resource (HHR) planning as the health care system begins the recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the critical care workforce through comprehensive data informs staffing planning activities, informs effective staffing practices, and can enhance retention and recruitment strategies to promote a resilient critical care workforce for the province to meet current and future system needs.

Recruitment & Retention

Critical care nursing recruitment and retention continues to be an area of challenge in the critical care system. Current leading practices that have been successful and sustainable to foster healthy working environments have been explored and reviewed below.

Supports for Burnout in Critical Care Teams

Critical care practitioners are reported to be at a particularly high risk of burnout due to the unique job demands present in intensive care unit environments.  CCSO has continued to survey critical care teams almost annually and has expanded the Burnout Survey to include additional questions relating to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on critical care workers and systems supports needed to alleviate burnout in Ontario’s Critical Care Units. 

CCSO has compiled resources and tools have been identified that may be useful for critical care teams.  The intent is to offer possible resources to assist individuals, unit managers as well as critical care leaders to support teams in understanding and addressing factors that can contribute to burnout in the critical care system.

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