Critical Care nurses provide care for patients whose lives are under threat from illness or trauma. Nurses also help families deal with the profound impact that such fragile health has upon everyone close to the ill or recovering person.
Critical Care Nursing is for you if:
- You enjoy working through complex, multi-system patient problems.
- You can bring a human touch to patients' and family members' experiences of illness.
- Your style of practice suits collaborative, interdisciplinary teamwork.
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:
- Experienced Registered Nurses can earn a certificate in Critical Care Nursing after completing 27 credits.
- Diploma RN graduates can earn Bachelor of Science in Specialty Nursing (BSN SN) after completing an additional 33 credits (for a total of 60 credits).
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:
- Excellent critical thinking skills.
- The ability to make sound clinical judgments.
- Excellent organization and communication skills.
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- The ability to work collaboratively with patients, family members and a health-care team.
- Flexibility in managing rapidly changing patient situations.
- Motivation and energy to learn and expand your practice.
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:
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Thompson Rivers University
Please contact one of the institutions above, as well as the Critical Care program
at BCIT, to determine an appropriate preparatory course of study.
Learn more on our Program Details
Ready to enroll? Visit our Program Entry
page for more information.
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.