Nursing - Critical Care Nursing - Cardiovascular

Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing: Cardiovascular

The programme is designed to expand the knowledge, skills and attitudes of nurses engaged in the care of people within the critical care environment. The associated complications and special needs are explored in detail. Students are encouraged to apply their theoretical knowledge in the clinical setting. Therefore, the role of the nurse as educator, innovator, researcher, advocate and clinician will be enhanced to meet the multiple and complex needs of the person with critical illness and its complications. Critical care nursing requires an advanced knowledge base, skilled assessment, prompt intervention and ongoing evaluation. The critical care nurse maintains the balance between the science of nursing and the art of caring. The Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing: Cardiovascular 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 for nurses who have a primary degree (or equivalent) in nursing or a related discipline with at least one year's post registration experience, and who are engaged in cardiovascular nursing. Candidates who undertake the cardiovascular pathway must be employed in a Coronary Care Unit (CCU)/Catheterisation Laboratory/Cardiac Ward or Combined Unit at the commencement of and for the duration of the programme. Ideally the Critical Care Nursing-Cardiovascular Pathway is for those nurses with cardiology experience.

Programme Aims
• Develop a greater understanding of the principles which underpin the various aspects of critical care nursing particularly in relation to cardiovascular care

• Augment students' knowledge and appreciation of nursing theory and biopsychosocial sciences which underpin critical care nursing practice in a cardiovascular care setting

• 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

How will I benefit?
This Graduate Diploma in Nursing Studies Programme will enhance your career prospects and give you the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning. It will provide you with the key knowledge and skills to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care Cardiovascular Nursing.

Highly focused on enhancing clinical practice
The programme is focused on developing practical, usable cardiovascular critical care nursing skill to enable graduates to be even more effective clinicians, change agents and clinical leaders in the Critical Care Cardiovascular workplace.

Innovative modules
Each of the modules in the programme is designed for experienced nurses and midwives and in combination, provides a comprehensive learning experience and opportunities for acquiring new skills. The emphasis throughout the programme is on the practical application of knowledge and skills in the cardiovascular critical care contexts.

The student body is drawn from a number of the organizations, enabling the sharing of learning and experience between you and your class members, as well as from the academic and clinical staff.

Additional features
The programme partners for this Graduate Diploma, St. Vincent's University Hospital Group and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, are critical care centers of excellence. The Programme employs a variety of innovative assessment strategies with a strong clinical focus.

Subjects taught

Programme Structure
The Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing: Cardiovascular consists of a total of 6 modules of study as follows:

Core modules
NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge: Phil & Prac (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)
NMHS43270 ResMethodsAppliedtoHealthcare (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)

Specialist modules
NMHS42500 Nursing: Cardiovascular Dx (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)
NMHS42760 CardiacRehab&HeartFailureNurs (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)
NMHS42510 Clinical Practcum (CV) (Year Long module, 10 ECTS)
NMHS42750 Nursing: AlteredCardiacFunct (Year Long module, 10 ECTS)

The two core modules are common to all Graduate Diplomas in Nursing Studies. In the three specialist modules and the one clinical Module of the Graduate Diploma in Nursing Studies (Critical Care) Cardiovascular Pathway you will learn the following:

Cardiovascular Disease
The module aims to focus on the role of the critical care nurse in relation to the person with cardiovascular disease and to determine the characteristics and severity of the major symptoms of the acutely ill person with ischaemic heart disease in the coronary care unit.

Altered Cardiac Function
This module aims to expand the student's understanding, knowledge and practice of care for persons during cardiac investigations, rhythm disturbances and treatments including cardiac pacemakers and ICD. It also aims to examine holistic management of persons with altered fluid and electrolyte management. The student will develop competence in cardiovascular and respiratory assessment, haemodynamic monitoring, arrhythmia interpretation of laboratory values and in his/her role as patient educator.

Cardiac Rehabilitation & Heart Failure
This module focuses on Heart Failure and its impact on the person's life. Rehabilitation for persons with cardiovascular disease will also be incorporated within this module. The module aims to create awareness for the student of the importance of cardiac rehabilitation and promoting optimum quality of life for persons with cardiovascular disease, heart failure and their families.

Clinical Practicum (CV) Module
The clinical learning outcomes of this module have been designed to reflect the skills and knowledge necessary for competent cardiovascular nursing practice. Each specialist module has distinct learning outcomes, which will facilitate the student to consolidate the theory of cardiovascular nursing practice.

Entry requirements

• All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)/RPL consideration if no degree.

• All applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)

• All applicants must have at least one year's post-registration experience at time of application

• All applicants 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 coronary care nursing placement for the duration of the programme

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
All applicants must hold an academic qualification at NQAI Level 8 (e.g., Honours Degree or Higher Diploma). Applicants who do not possess an academic award at Level 8 or higher, may apply for entry to the Graduate Diploma in Nursing Programmes on the basis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Students will be asked to furnish a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their ability to undertake the programme.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme
If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme
If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:
You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.

An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).

Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.

If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning

Application dates

Closing Date: 30 July 2022

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and programmes will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

How to apply
Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ?Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2020

Closing Date: 1st August 2020

Post Course Info

Careers / where can I go?
The key knowledge and skills gained on this Programme should enable you to innovate and lead in the area of practice in Critical Care Cardiovascular Nursing.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider