Nursing ICU

Graduate Diploma 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.

Course objectives
• 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 course 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. Following successful completion of the Graduate Diploma Nursing Critical Care - Intensive Care you will be able to complete an MSc Critical Care in one academic year.

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 therapeautic 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

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.

Entry requirements

• All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)/RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) 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 intensive 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.

Assessment Info

Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

Subjects taught

Programme structure
Core Modules:
• NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge Philosophy and Practice (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)
• NMHS43270 Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)

Specialist Modules:
• NMHS42630 Core Concepts of ICU Nursing (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)*
• NMHS42770 Complex Critically Ill Patient (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)
• NMHS42780 Chronically Critically Ill (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)
• NMHS42520 Clinical Practicum (ICU) (Year Long Module, 10 ECTS)

*Pleasen note that students who have completed the CPD module prior to commencing the graduate diploma should select NMHS32440 instead of NMHS42630 in the online registration system.

The two core modules are common to all Graduate Diplomas in Nursing. 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:

Core Theoretical Concepts of Nursing Care for the Critically Ill Patient: This module is designed to provide students with the theoretical foundation for entry into critical care nursing practice.

Advanced Nursing Care of the Complex Critically Ill Patient:This module focuses on the nursing and collaborative care of the acutely ill patient with complex needs following major surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and cardiac transplantation, patients who have sustained multiple trauma including spinal injury, patients with liver dysfunction and who require liver surgery/transplantation and patients who develop MODS and sepsis.

Nursing Care of the Chronically Critically Ill Patient: This module focuses the student to explore the impact of critical illness on both the patient and family. It encourages the student to critically review the environmental, physical and psychological factors that can aid or impact recovery.

Clinical Practicum Intensive Care: 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.




X547: 1 year full-time
X745: 2 years part-time

This is a 60 ECTS programme which can be taken over 1 year full time or 2 years part time. The academic year runs from September to May and is broken down into two trimesters.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2020

Post Course Info

Careers/where can I go?
The Graduate Diploma 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
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  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

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