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Nursing the Complex Critically Ill Patient in Selected Contexts NSCC 7610

Nursing Specialty Critical Care Course

Course details

This final course of the Critical Care Nursing Certificate combines theory and a preceptor led clinical experience, to support the learner in further development of critical care nursing practice and to build new knowledge related to providing care for increasingly complex critically ill patients. Specifically, learners will have opportunities to develop clinical decision making skills while examining the care of complex critically ill individuals and their families. Learners will also have the opportunity to expand knowledge from previous courses related to family centred care, ethics in practice and best practices in specific patient situations and explore new knowledge related to contextual influences in critical care nursing practice. Finally, learners will focus a portion of their study on a patient experiencing ONE of the following critical illnesses; multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, cardiogenic shock, cardiac surgery or surgery and post anaesthetic care. Learners are not limited to these sub-specialty areas and can suggest additional opportunities to further develop critical care nursing practice with the assistance of the faculty and/or tutor. The clinical experience of 50 hours is preceptor led allowing the learner to apply and expand the theoretical knowledge through working in the following specific areas: ICU (multiple organ dysfunction syndrome), cardiogenic shock, cardiac surgery, anaesthesia or an area agreed upon by the learner and faculty. Learners have the option to complete parts of the theory and/or clinical experience through prior learning assessment recognition (PLAR) at the discretion of the Critical Care Nursing Program.


  • Consulation with Critical Care Nursing department





Course offerings

Fall 2023

Below is one offering of NSCC 7610 for the Fall 2023 term.

CRN 36935


Tue Sep 05 - Fri Nov 24 (12 weeks)

  • 12 weeks
  • CRN 36935
  • $371.61
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 05 - Nov 24 N/A N/A Online


Course outline




Important information
  1. Departmental approval needed
  2. Contact Program Assistant at for approval to register.

In Progress

This course offering is in progress. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

As a healthcare practitioner, you are expected to follow professional standards of practice throughout all SN programs and courses. In this course, you will have opportunities to use the processes of critical thinking, systematic inquiry, communication, collaboration, leadership, professionalism, and clinical decision-making. Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Further develop critical care nursing practice by examining family centred care, ethics in practice, and evidence based nursing care in selected contexts.
  • Based on conclusions regarding oxygen supply and demand in increasingly complex patients, select and evaluate therapeutic interventions.
  • Apply foundational knowledge of critical care nursing practice to critically analyze and plan care for patients experiencing critical on chronic illness, septic shock, and one of the following: multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, coronary artery bypass, cardiogenic shock, or anaesthesia and surgery.
  • Develop independent clinical decision-making with patients experiencing common critical illnesses and collaborative clinical decision-making with selected patients in specific critical care contexts.(i.e. multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in ICU, coronary artery bypass in CSICU, cardiogenic shock in CCU, or anaesthesia and surgery in PACU).
  • Explore meso and macro contextual influences on critical care nursing practice.
  • Develop a vision of collaborative practice with patients, family members and members of the health care team.

In the preceptor led clinical experience, learners will have an opportunity to apply theory learned in this course and from previous course work and experience to:

  • Develop assessment frameworks for patients and families.
  • Analyze data obtained from comprehensive assessments including interviewing, communication, physical assessment, laboratory & diagnostic data and use of monitoring devices (i.e. arterial lines, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery catheters, intracranial pressure devices).
  • Independently priorize and select evidence based nursing measures for complex critically ill patients based upon the data collected.
  • Articulate assessment findings and data collected in a comprehensive and systematic manner.
  • Implement safe, ethical and evidence based care for patients and families that reflects consideration of ethics, moral agency, quality of life, and the contextual influences on critical care nursing.
  • Provide safe, ethical, and evidence based care that supports and encourages collaboration and partnerships with patients, families and other members of the health care team.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2023


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