American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Critical Care Nursing Internship Programs, Essentials of Critical Care Orientation, San Diego Consortium



  1. Graham, Patricia MS, RN, CCRN, CS


A continuous cycle of new orientees, cost-containment issues related to orientation, and conflicting job priorities prove to be challenging adversaries for critical care educators. The San Diego Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) has met some of these educational challenges by providing a communitywide, consortium-based Critical Care Nursing Internship Program (CCIP) for novice critical care nurses. Over the last 15 years this CCIP has been instrumental in providing comprehensive education for more than 2200 novice critical care nurses in San Diego County. This article discusses the background, rewards, and current challenges of the program. It also addresses a comparison between consortium-based education and the National AACN Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) Program.