The BCIT Critical Care Nursing Advanced Specialty has a reputation for delivering educational excellence. Our faculty is known for their commitment to students’ learning progress. We give you individual support and a high quality of learning to help you succeed.
We prepare you to care for patients who are seriously ill or injured and in failing health, and part of this care is supporting patients’ families who are going through a difficult time. It’s a demanding job. Our grads have the passion and commitment to take it on.
This program is for individuals who:
Does this sound like you? See Program Entry to discover more about entry requirements and how to apply.
At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you’ve been working as a critical care nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.
We prepare you to work in intensive care, cardiac care, and cardiac surgical units. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about career opportunities.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
BCIT's Critical Care Nursing Specialty program prepares RNs to practice in intensive care units, cardiac care units and cardiac surgical units. The courses and program have been designed and created through collaboration among practising critical care nurses, nursing unit managers, hospital educators, learners in the program and BCIT critical care nursing faculty; and therefore reflect the perspectives of learners, practitioners and educators.
The Critical Care program can lead to two levels of qualification:
Specific programs of study are in place for nurses who wish to practice in post-anesthetic care units. Nurses interested in both critical care and emergency nursing can focus on the Combined Critical Care/Emergency Nursing Option.
To be successful in the Critical Care Nursing program, you need:
Nurses interested in the Critical Care program should have a minimum of six months (preferably one year) of recent experience on an acute care unit. For interested nurses from international practice, residential or other areas of care, a refresher course in acute care may be required. BCIT recommends the following programs:
Please contact one of the institutions above, as well as the Critical Care program at BCIT, to determine an appropriate preparatory course of study.
For nurses with a shared interest in both Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, BCIT offers combined programs.
Combined Critical Care/Emergency Option - designed for nurses who work in a community hospital and spend the majority of their time is working in the intensive care unit with some responsibilities in the emergency department.
Combined Emergency/Critical Care Option - designed for nurses who work in a community or rural hospital and spend the majority of their time working in the emergency department with some responsibilities in the intensive care unit.
The Critical Care Nursing program is composed of five theory and three clinical courses. The curriculum focuses on pathophysiology and comprehensive assessment of patients' needs through analyzing oxygen supply and demand imbalances. Alongside the complex and technological aspects of physiologic care, nurses are challenged to humanize the critical illness experience for patients and families.
Learning within the program explores various aspects of critical care nursing practice including; understanding and supporting patients and families through their experience, evidence informed practice, ethical challenges and collaborative practice.
Clinical courses are typically offered as instructor led experiences in 3-5 week full time blocks. Applicants for clinical are required to provide proof of current nursing registration in a Canadian Province or Territory and current basic cardiac life support (BCLS) within the previous 2 years. In selected situations precepted clinical experience may be arranged.
Graduates of the program are prepared to begin practice in intensive and cardiac care and may have chosen to complete an introduction to cardiac surgical or post anaesthetic care.
Whether you choose to complete the full advanced certificate or take courses as you and your employer need them, our critical care specialty will equip you to thrive in this important area of patient care.
Registered nurses with the critical care specialty work in hospitals and have salaries starting at approximately $32 per hour. Grads can choose to complete the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certification exam.
See what our grads are saying. View the most recent post-grad survey.
Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Specialty Bachelors of Nursing program.
Join the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses (CACCN). This non-profit organization works to maintain and enhance the quality of care provided to critically ill patients and their families.
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7103
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