Critical Care Nursing - Intensive Care

Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Intensive Care
Critical Care Nursing requires an advanced knowledge base, skilled assessment, prompt intervention and ongoing evaluation in order to care for the critically ill with complex needs. The critical care nurse maintains the balance between the science of nursing and the art of caring. This course will provide the nurse with an opportunity to develop, enhance and maintain these specialist skills that are required to care for the critically ill.

Who is the programme for?
This programme is aimed at advancing the registered nurse's repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of patients within the critical care environment.

Aims of the programme
•Develop a greater understanding of the holistic principles which underpin the various aspects of critical care nursing particularly in relation to intensive care
•Augment students' knowledge and appreciation of nursing theory and biopsychosocial sciences which underpin critical care nursing practice in intensive care
•Provide students with an opportunity for personal growth and professional development
•Develop skills to enhance their professional practice, including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication skills

How will I Benefit
This Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Intensive Care will enhance your career prospects and give you the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning. It will also provide you with the key knowledge and skills to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care.

Information Technology
It is essential that you have access to a personal computer and an email account as communication with students is primarily undertaken by email. Lecture handouts/announcements are made available to students via Blackboard (a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching) and/or via email. Messages from the university regarding examination policy and procedures are also sent via email.
•Major strengths
•UCD have a long history of producing high quality graduates
•This programme is highly focused on enhancing clinical practice to enable graduates to be even more effective clinicians, change agents and clinical leaders in Critical Care
•Clinical and university-based lecturers with national and international expertise from clinical, research and educational perspectives
•Specialist modules are offered in association with St. Vincent's University Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
•Clinical placements in a variety of intensive care settings which enable students to learn from leading experts in the holistic care of patients following cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac and lung transplantation, liver failure and liver transplantation, multiple trauma and spinal injury. Students will gain expert knowledge and experience in caring for patients with complex needs such as acute respiratory failure, sepsis, multi organ dysfunction and the therapeutic modalities associated with each condition including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), dialysis and advanced haemodynamic monitoring
•The student body is drawn from a number of the organisations, enabling the sharing of learning and experience between students, as well as from the academic and clinical staff
•The programme employs a variety of innovative assessment strategies with a strong clinical focus
•Extensive use of IT in supporting the teaching environment of the programme
•Access to excellent facilities for lectures

Entry requirements

•Applicants must hold a primary degree or equivalent in Nursing or a related discipline
•Applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)
•Applicants must hold a Graduate Diploma in another specialist area of nursing or have obtained 30 ECT (credits) at level 9 (Masters Level in both research and theoretical aspects of nursing)
•Other criteria to be used in the assessment of the application include number of years of experience, and evidence of ongoing professional development
•Must have at least one year's post-registration experience at time of application
•Must be employed in coronary care nursing for the duration of the programme and work a minimum of 75 hours per month
•In addition, each student must provide documented evidence from the Director of Nursing in the clinical practice area, which guarantees a placement for the duration of the programme

Subjects taught

Programme structure
The Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Intensive Care consists of a total of 4 modules of study as follows:
Three specialist modules and one Clinical Practice module

Semester 2 NMHS42770 Complex Critically Ill Patient 10.00

Semester 2 NMHS42780 Chronically Critically Ill 10.00

Year Long Module NMHS42520 Clinical Practicum (ICU) 10.00

Option Modules

A)1 OF: (Choose one of the following:) Students who have completed CPD module select NMHS32440, otherwise select NMHS42630

Semester 1 NMHS32440 Core Concepts of ICU Nursing 10.00

Semester 1 NMHS42630 Core Concepts of ICU Nursing 10.00

The three specialist modules and the one clinical module will guide student learning to focus on the essential aspects of critical care nursing as outlined below:

Altered Respiratory Function
This module covers the assessment and care of critically ill patients undergoing a range of interventions to support respiratory function. The module is designed to facilitate students' understanding in caring for patients with respiratory problems who may require artificial lung ventilation.

Person with Special Needs
This module focuses on patients requiring cardiothoracic surgery and cardiac transplantation, patients who have sustained multiple trauma and patients with liver dysfunction and who require liver surgery/transplantation.

Multi Organ Dysfunction
This module is designed to enhance the student's understanding of renal and metabolic problems including multi organ failure, which occurs in the context of critical illness and the care of the person with altered neurological and spinal function

Clinical Practicum (ICU) Module
This module aims to develop the nurses clinical role by enhancing their ability to assess, diagnose, plan, intervene and evaluate care in specialist environments. This module enables the students to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of specialist theory to patient care, and will require the participants to demonstrate competence within their area of specialist practice.


1 year Part-time

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2018

Post Course Info

Careers / where can I go?
The Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing Intensive Care provides you with the comprehensive knowledge and skills required for caring for the critically ill. The key knowledge and skills gained on this programme will also enable you to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider