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European Critical Care Nursing Fellowship Programme of the European University Hospital Alliance

The EUHA Nursing Network's December event at Karolinska University Hospital marked the launch of EUCARE, a 3-year fellowship fostering knowledge exchange among critical care nurses. The program, funded by ERASMUS+, focuses on practical training, workshops, and lectures.
The Nursing Network event at Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Fredric Möller Eklund.

The shortage of nurses in Europe is a significant concern, as it threatens the health and well-being of the population. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the vital role of nurses in crisis response and recovery. Unfortunately, it has also exposed the need for more preparedness in many European countries. The shortage of critical care nurses has been identified as a significant weakness in our systems, emphasising the need for innovative solutions such as a Europe-wide network of critical care nurses.

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As a result of the fellowship program, the European University Hospital Allience (EUHA) critical care nurses will have solid professional and operational skills and improved interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and cross-cultural collaboration. The nursing fellowship program would significantly contribute to a specialisation program for critical care nurses across Europe, facilitating better alignment with EU countries' different needs and enhancing critical care nursing's attractiveness with a unique professional development opportunity.

The program will also create a network for nurses participating in the fellowship program to continue professional interaction and be prepared to work across borders. This network can be beneficial during pandemics, disasters or wars. This network could be a valuable resource for critical specialists with cross-cultural expertise in the long run.

The funding obtained from ERASMUS+ will be utilised for the program's development, testing, evaluation, and dissemination. The ultimate goal is to establish the fellowship permanently at the European level. EUCARE's objective is to create a curriculum focusing on acquiring skills supporting critical care delivery during crises. We aim to gain recognition from European accreditation bodies by providing training opportunities in cross-cultural critical care settings.


The plan is to create a network of critical care nurses to work together on developing evidence-based standards of care that focus on crisis care, even after the program ends. The preliminary roadmap for the first year includes context analysis, stakeholder engagement, and curriculum development. The second year will focus on the logistical organisation of the fellowship, while the third year is planned for implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of results.

The European University Hospitals Alliance (EUHA) is a group of ten leading European university hospitals recognised for their healthcare, education, and research excellence. These hospitals work together to improve patient outcomes today and in the future.

Through collaboration at a European level, they aim to make the healthcare profession more attractive, positively impact the health and well-being of European society and be better prepared for potential health emergencies. All ten members of the EUHA support the EUCARE fellowship program. Six members are actively involved in the development and implementation of the program, while the other four support the project and the grant proposal as associate partners.

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