Nursing - Intensive Care Nursing
The Postgraduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing is an exciting new pathway of the MSc/Diploma in Nursing programme. The course is offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork in response to the ever-changing health care delivery systems.
This programme will inform Intensive Care nurses with the knowledge required to competently address the needs of the patient and the family, improve standards of care, maintain patient safety, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and develop healthy work environments.
The aim of this programme is to challenge you as a nurse to think critically and creatively about intensive care nursing and to enable you to develop knowledge and skills in pace with developments in the critical care environment. It will provide you with a platform from which to further your academic and professional portfolio.
The MSc in Nursing programme, comprising 7 clinical pathways, is structured into two parts and will typically be completed over two years from the date of first registration for the programme (60 credits in Part I and 30 credits in Part II).
All students will be registered for a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing in Year 1 and will be registered for an MSc in Year 2. Students who opt to exit at the end of the first year will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing upon successful completion and passing modules to the value of 60 credits (applicable to all pathways).
Each module is allocated a total of either 5 or 10 credits. Each 10-credit module has an estimated 200 hours student workload, and each 5-credit module has an estimated 100 hours’ student workload. The estimated workload is further broken down into the approximate time required to complete the online learning component (incl. required reading; assignment preparation and submission, and self-directed learning) and to attend scheduled lectures and workshops. The online learning component for 10-credit modules can vary from 152 hours to 184 hours with the remaining hours being allocated to lectures, tutorials and workshops.
The online learning component for 5-credit modules can vary from 76 hours to 90 hours with the remaining hours being allocated to lectures, tutorials and workshops. Each 10-credit model runs for 6 weeks* and each 5-credit module runs for 4 weeks.
The practice modules involve direct clinical placement learning to meet Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland requirements.
* Note: Students who have not completed an accredited National Foundation module in Critical Care Nursing must take NU6171- Principles in Intensive Care Nursing (10 credits) - which runs over Semesters 1 and 2.
Semester 1 - September to December (16 weeks) contains 2 x 10-credit modules and 2 x 5-credit modules, one of which is a clinical practicum which is undertaken in the students' home Intensive Care Unit over the course of the Semester. Each theory module includes a total of 1-3 days of on-campus attendance at lectures/tutorials/workshops. The remainder of the content is delivered online using UCC’s virtual learning platform Canvas. Learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources, and online assessments and activities.
Semester 2 - January to May (16 weeks) contains 2 x 10-credit modules and 2 x 5-credit modules one of which is a clinical practicum which is undertaken in the students' home Intensive Care Unit over the course of the semester. Each theory module includes a total of 1-3 days of on-campus attendance at lectures/tutorials/workshops. The remainder of the content is delivered online using UCC’s virtual learning platform Canvas. Learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources, and online assessments and activities.
Prior to commencing the course each student taking a blended module will be provided with an orientation to Canvas and training on how to use the online technology within the course. IT support is given to students throughout the duration of the course.
There are 7 clinical pathways to the degree of Masters in Nursing, all of which have an exit route available for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing. Intensive Care Nursing is Pathway 2 and comprises theory modules and clinical practice modules as follows:
Intensive Care Nursing (Pathway 2)
Year 1 (60 credits)
Theory modules (blended learning)
NU6005 Evidence-Based Practice for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
NU6031 Intensive Care Nursing (10 credits)
NU6053 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Decision-making in Specialist Practice (5 credits)
NU6070 Clinical Leadership in Practice Enhancement for Nursing and Midwifery (10 credits)
NU6165 Health Assessment of the Critically Ill Patient (5 credits)
NU6171 Principles in Critical Care Nursing (10 credits)
Clinical Practice/Practicum modules
NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)
NU6131 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits)
On successful completion of this programme, Intensive Care Nursing students should be able to:
Enhance intensive care nursing practice through the application of theoretical, practical, and policy knowledge and clinical skills;
Exercise accountability within the clinical, ethical, and professional boundaries of the role of intensive care nursing;
Critically appraise, evaluate and integrate current research evidence and reflection for intensive care nursing and its implications for practice;
Interpret and critically examine assessment results and data using supportive research to determine normal values and underlying pathophysiology for critically ill patients.
Critically appraise the role of the Critical Care Nurse in the delivery of quality healthcare for individuals and families within the context of cardiac intensive care nursing;
Conduct a comprehensive health needs assessment of the critically ill patient
Utilise advanced knowledge and critical thinking skills to, directly and indirectly, provide optimum nursing care in the critical care environment.
See the Academic Calendar (PG Dip/MSc Nursing) for more information on course content.
Additional Teaching Mode Information
This programme will be taught in a blended learning format. All Students will be initially registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing full time. If a student wishes to progress to the Masters, they will be registered for the Year 2 part-time where they will complete 30 credits.
Prior to commencing the course each student taking a blended module will be provided with an orientation to Canvas and training on how to use the online technology within the course. IT support will be given to students throughout the duration of the course.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
There are 7 clinical pathways to the degree of Masters in Nursing, all of which have an exit route available for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing. The pathways to a degree of Masters including the Postgraduate Diploma exit route are all available to view in the College Calendar.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Pathway 2 – Intensive Care Nursing
Applicants for this MSc in Nursing, including the Postgraduate Diploma exit route, should normally:
1. Hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland or be eligible for such registration as required for individual pathways. For the Intensive Care Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses.
2. Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Intensive Care Nursing Pathway, applicants must have a minimum of six months of post-registration experience (excluding courses) and at least six months experience in the speciality pathway applied for.
3. Applicants must be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS).
4. Applicants must provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing/equivalent authorised Nurse Manager stating:
(a) The applicant will be working in the relevant specialist area for the duration of the programme for a minimum of 18.75 hours a week;
(b) They will be released from practice to attend the programme requirements;
(c) A Clinical Preceptor and/or Clinical Facilitator can support learning in the specialist area of practice for the duration of the programme.
Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not fulfill the entry requirements may be recommended for entry to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the programme committee. Such applicants may be invited for an interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.
For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 2 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Deferrals: Deferrals are not permitted on this course.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please add the name and email addresses of two referees.
Please provide evidence of at least 6 months post-registration experience.
Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
Please upload evidence of Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification.
All applicants must also submit a signed Declaration Form, to be completed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Equivalent Authorised Manager. This form is downloadable here: 2023 Declaration Form PGDip Nursing pathways
For students who have exited this programme with the award of Postgraduate Diploma and wish to return to complete the Masters within 5 years, please apply for CKX13, MSc in Nursing Studies Direct Entry Year 2.
A range of continuous assessment strategies are used throughout the programme including written assignments, online activities (e-tivities), seminar presentations. Assessment of clinical competence is continuous and obtained through acquisition of core competencies and reflection on clinical practice experience, all of which is recorded in the student Competency Attainment Booklet during scheduled clinical placements.
2 Years - PG Diploma (Year 1, Full-time); Masters (Year 2, Part-time).
Start Date: 4 September 2023