The International Nursing Advanced Competency-based Training for Intensive Care study (INACTIC)

ESICM is pleased to report the successful completion of the Erasmus+ funded project INACTIC (October 2017-January 2020).  We are grateful to all the individuals and partners who were involved and would like to extend our thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.

Objective and Methods

The aim of this two-year project was to develop a set of detailed competencies required of an advanced level intensive care nurse and to map these competencies against country-specific and multi-country policies and evidence for advanced practice nursing.

The project also identified the feasibility and support for the application of these competencies in a number of countries and developed an outline curriculum based on the competencies.

The competencies were then mapped against existing online resources, many of which are already in existence at ESICM, providing the opportunity for individualised educational pathways.
A prototype online educational resource was then designed to support the competencies and curriculum. This curriculum will be the only advanced nursing competency curriculum spanning European countries for critical care.

Results and Conclusions

The project has resulted in competency statements in 9 different languages and a framework of online resources mapped to these competencies.

A review of evidence and policy related to advanced practice competencies across Europe was perfomred.
The increased complexity of critically ill patients in intensive care settings calls for highly specialised and high-quality intensive care nursing education. The level of nursing practice needs to be raised to more advanced intensive care nursing practice roles in order to accommodate these changes.

Not all countries have developed advanced critical care nursing programmes and there is a lack of consistency of content among the existing programs. The INACTIC project surveyed ICUs across 24 European countries and identified considerable variation in eligibility requirements, how students are assessed/examined, programme duration and lack of access to educational resources.

This variation creates role confusion between countries, impedes mobility across Europe and career progression for the intensive care nursing workforce.

Like CoBaTriCE, INACTIC has the potential to be an educational framework for nurses across Europe in advanced practice nursing in ICU. As a partner of INACTIC, ESICM will act as the central platform for the provision of education at this level for nursing.


ERASMUS+ Programme Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices


The project partners involved universities, hospitals and nursing societies from across Europe, and the patient charity, ICUsteps, which provided a unique patient and carer perspective on the competencies.

Full Partners

  • Plymouth University, United Kingdom
  • ESICM, Brussels
  • Gent University, Belgium
  • Region Hovedstaden, Denmark
  • ICUsteps patient charity, United Kingdom

Associate partners:

  • Israeli Society of Critical Care Nurses, Israel
  • Athens Military Hospital, Greece
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