Objective To describe aspects of the qualification and professional performance of neonatal and pediatric nurses intensivists in the southeast of Brazil (Rio de Janeiro).
Methods Cross-sectional survey, accomplished through visit to all units and answers to a semi-structured, volunteer, anonym and individual questionnaire.
Results Of the 100 units, 74 agreed to participate (24% PICUs, 40% NICUs and 36% mixed), 549 nurses were identified and 347 (63%) answered to the questionnaire (30% working in PICUs, 40% in NICUs and 30% in mixed units). Feminine majority (94%), 74% with up to 40 years of age, 69% earning among € 350,00 and 1.000,00, 56% working in just one unit, 39% in duties of 12×60 h. About a third (30%) concluded a Residence program, 67% took specialization courses (39% in general pediatrics, 22% in neonatology and 39% in other specialties, but none in pediatric intensive care) and only 3% have a master’s degree. Most (95%) participated in Congresses in the last 5 years and 64% use the Internet less than 3 h/wk to update, although the majority (65%) do not participate in research activities and 46% do not participate in the multiprofessional discussion at the bedside in the intensive care unit. Most (67%) are not satisfied with professional performance, 79% for work conditions and 41% for low income.
Conclusion The qualification of neonatal and pediatric nurses intensivists in the southeast of Brazil is still very deficient, being more precarious in pediatric intensive care than in neonatology and the level of unsatisfaction with work is elevated.