Background: Nurses working in critical care often undertake specialty education. There are no uniform practice outcomes for critical care programs, and consumer input to practice standards has been lacking. Methods: A structured multiphase project was undertaken to develop practice standards and an assessment tool informed by critical care nursing stakeholders as well as patients and families-the Standards of Practice and Evaluation of Critical-Care-Nursing Tool (SPECT). Results: Testing of the SPECT revealed adequate content validity index (CVI), domain CVI (range, 0.772 to 0.887), and statement CVI (range, 0.66 to 1.00). Reliability was adequate in terms of internal consistency (Cronbach's α > 0.864) and test-retest Spearman rank correlation (range, 0.772 to 0.887); intra-rater kappa agreement was significant for 102 of 104 statements with moderate agreement for 94.2% of statements. Conclusion: The SPECT appears to have clinical feasibility, preliminary validity and reliability, and provides a clear definition for the expected practice level for graduates of a critical care education program.