Objectives: Nutrition is an integral component of care in the intensive care unit. However, no international comparison has been published about the status and practices of nutrition nurses, their legal titles, gained certificates, and routine duties. To describe the working conditions, educational background, nutrition-related practices, challenges, and future development needs of nutrition nurses in Türkiye, the European countries, and the USA.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. A thirty-three-item online cross-sectional survey was sent to nutrition support nurses in collaboration with national nutrition societies. The data were collected between November 2020 and August 2021. One-way ANOVA and chi-squared test were used to compare the three countries.

Results: Eighty-one nurses completed the survey: 44 (54.4%) from Türkiye, 27 (33.3%) from the European countries, and 10 (12.3%) from the USA. All nurses in Türkiye reported having a clinical nutrition support team, while 88.8% in the European countries and 80% of nurses in the USA had this team (p=0.040). Significant differences were found in terms of nurses’ age, length of service, estimated number of ambulant nutritional consultations per week, and time spent on nutritional practices during work (p<0.001). The type of first-line test for nasogastric tube placement was X-ray confirmation (70%) in the US, whereas it is auscultation (77.2%) in Türkiye and pH-testing of gastric aspirate (81.4%) in the European countries (p<0.001). The most frequently reported professional challenge among nurses in Türkiye (66%) and the European countries (22.5%) was having no legal job title.

Conclusion: These findings reflect the broader picture of nutrition nurses’ status and point out the need to develop standardized strategies for education and evidence-based nutrition practices. This study has revealed important differences in the roles and responsibilities of nutrition nurses. The study guides the future development needs of nutrition nurses, highlighting the standardized guidelines and protocols for nutrition practices and calling for comprehensive training programs.

Keywords: Evidence-based practice, knowledge, nursing, nutrition, practices

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How to cite

Gök Metin Z, Pars H, Boeykens K. Nutrition nurses’ status, practices, and routines: an online cross-sectional survey. Clin Sci Nutr. 2024;Early View:1-13. doi:10.62210/ClinSciNutr.2024.82