Nursing - Critical Care Nursing - Cardiovascular

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.

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 Cardiovascular Nursing Care settings enable students to learn from leading experts in Cardiovascular Nursing. 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.

Who should apply?
Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This course is aimed at advancing the registered nurses' repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of patients within the critical care environment.

The Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Cardiovascular 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.

Subjects taught

The Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Cardiovascular consists of a total of 4 modules of study as follows:

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

NMHS40290: 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

NMHS40870: Altered Cardiac Function
This module aims to expand the students 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

NMHS40880: 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

NMHS40300: 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.

We use a range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops and seminars. Clinical teaching is undertaken by specialists in the clinical area with particular emphasis on assisting students in applying theory to practice. Clinical Placements provide students with excellent opportunities to learn from experts in other hospitals and/or within their own hospitals; students engage in supervised practice in order to develop and refine specific critical care nursing clinical skills.

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

Applicants must have at least one year’s post-registration experience at time of application

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 placement for the duration of the programme

Documents Required

Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of An Bord Altranais registration
Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body
Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)
Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)
Nurse applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL may be granted in respect of individual modules if applicants can demonstrate that the modules' learning outcomes have been achieved through prior credentialled or experiential learning. In some cases, where an applicant does not meet the prerequisites for entry to a programme, an RPL application may be considered. Further information can be found in respect of this here.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

Grad Cert Critical Care Nursing (Cardiovascular) PT (X782)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Part Time
Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year part-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025September

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Minor Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider