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J Crit Care. 2013 Jun;28(3):315.e13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2012.10.001. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Motivation and job satisfaction of Tele-ICU nurses.

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  • 1Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA.



Although the first tele-ICU has been in existence for more than 12 years, little is known about the work of tele-ICU nurses. This study examines sources of motivation and satisfaction of tele-ICU nurses.


A total of 50 nurses in 5 tele-ICUs were interviewed about reasons for working as a tele-ICU nurse and sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in their job.


Nurses have different motivations to work in the tele-ICU, including the challenges and opportunities for new learning that occur while interacting with clinicians in the tele-ICU and the various ICUs being monitored. Tele-ICU nurses also appreciate the opportunities for teamwork with tele-ICU physicians and nurses. The relationship and interactions with the ICUs is sometimes mentioned as a dissatisfier. Some nurses miss being physically at the bedside, as well as interacting with patients and families.


Most tele-ICU nurses are satisfied with their job. They like the challenge in their work and the opportunity to learn. For some nurses, the transition from a bedside caregiver to an information manager can be difficult. Other nurses have found a balance by working part-time in the tele-ICU and part-time in the ICU.

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