In the literature, few studies have examined the development of critical care nursing competence. Given that nursing practice is different in these units and that the nursing workforce is less and less experienced, the goal of this study is to describe the factors facilitating and restricting the development of critical care nursing competence. A semi-supervised interview conducted in the spirit of Chinn and Kramer (2008) was used to collect data from 10 nurses, categorized according to Benner's (1995) levels of competency. Results demonstrated that 27 factors grouped on the basis of individual, contextual and organizational perspectives facilitated or restricted the development of competence by nurses working in intensive care. Although some factors had already been documented in the literature, several factors listed in this study were clarified for the first time.