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Combined Emergency/Critical Care Option Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680sascert


Note: The Critical Care Nursing courses are delivered on iPads. Please visit the Costs & Supplies page for details.

Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

The Emergency nursing specialty (emergency/critical care option) is a boutique program specifically designed for registered nurses (RNs). These RNs are working in community and rural hospitals and work primarily in emergency care, with some shifts in the intensive care unit. 

Emergency courses and clinical experiences give you the skills to support the diverse array of illnesses and injuries you could see on a given shift. Our critical care courses educate you in strategies, such as advanced hemodynamic monitoring and mechanical ventilation, to optimize care and comfort for acutely ill patients.

About the program

  • Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of 2.5 years to complete
  • Distance and online learning gives you flexibility to learn at your own pace while working
  • Clinical experiences in emergency and critical care settings

Who it's for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Are RNs or those are completing their specialty BSN in emergency
  • Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program
  • Have six or more months of relevant work experience in an acute care setting
  • Are able to make effective decisions while managing fast changing patient situations
  • Are able to communicate well with their team, patients, and patients' family

Does this sound like you? See Program Entry to discover more about entry requirements and how to apply.

Are you looking for more critical care and intensive care unit (ICU) expertise with a foundation in emergency nursing? See BCIT's Combined Critical Care and Emergency specialty option.

Your work experience matters

At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you've been working as a critical care or emergency nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.

What grads can do

We prepare you to work in intensive care, cardiac care, and cardiac surgical units. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about career opportunities.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

The following are requirements for program entry into Specialty nursing certificate and degree courses. Enforcement or waiving of any or all entry requirements is at the discretion of the Program Head.

If you have any questions about your experience or qualifications, please contact the Program Head to arrange program advising.

English Language Proficiency

Specialty Nursing courses are taught in the English language and require adequate English skills. To review BCIT’s requirements on English Language proficiency, please visit BCIT’s Admission and Registration page on English Requirements.

Work Experience

RNs or undergraduate students currently registered in an accredited RN or BSN program may start their Specialty Nursing Certificate by taking entry level theory courses. Applicants to the more advanced Specialty Nursing Certificate courses may require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting and a resume of work experience may be required to progress in the program. If you have questions about whether your work experience qualifies, please contact the Program Head.

If you are a long term or residential care nurse or an RN lacking current (within the last 2 years) acute care experience, Kwantlen College offers a Competency Assessment and Enhancement for Nurses course that provides a refresher in acute care principles.

This assessment involves an individual self assessment, multiple choice exam and practice simulation. This course may be required for admission in the Specialty Nursing programs. For more information on Kwantlen's offering please visit:

Once you have been assessed, you may be required to complete a tailored curriculum designed to meet BCIT's need for familiarity with acute care principles. This curriculum may include some of the following courses:

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

Note: Clinical applications must be completed and sent to us before the following deadline dates: February 1 for the April term, June 1 for the September term, and November 1 for the January term.

Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification

All students participating in clinical courses must have current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Level C or Level Health Care Provider (HCP). The original certificate must be presented upon application to the clinical courses.

CRNBC Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of CRNBC membership (or Canadian provinvial equivalent) for each clinical course they enroll in. Without proper provincial registration, you will not be permitted to continue in the course.

Face Respirator Fit Testing

A face piece respiratory fit test is required before students are permitted to enter the clinical practicum. Upon successful completion of the fit test, the original certificate must be presented to the program and annual re-fitting is required. Students are expected to carry their certificate with them at all times during their practicum.

Respirator fit testing with a N95 respirator (1860, 1860s or 1870) is required and must be performed in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02. Fit testing must also include inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective equipment. Students will be given specific instructions in preparation for their fit testing by the provider they choose.

International applicants

International students outside of Canada

International students must be currently working in their nursing specialty area and have a practicing registered nurse’s license in their country to be eligible for this program. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students working in Canada

International students who currently hold a work permit and are working in their specialty nursing area with a practicing registered nurse's license are eligible for this program. Students are responsible to maintain a work permit that is valid throughout clinical training. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students are required to have a study permit before they attend any in-class courses/exams as part of the program.

Program declaration

Please contact the program assistant to declare this program.

Scheduled intakes

Ongoing Part-time Studies intakes: January, April and September.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

If you are an experienced emergency nurse with more than three years of full-time nursing experience in the emergency department, then PLAR may be for you. PLAR is a process intended to provide students with an opportunity to receive credit for both credit-based and non-credit-based prior learning that has been acquired in a variety of ways, including work experience.

For additional information on PLAR and to order a PLAR manual ($15), which explains the options in detail and guides you through the process, contact the Program Head at 604.451.7078 or toll free 1.800.663.6542 local 7078.

Costs & Supplies

Face respirator fit testing - approx $25 per year; annual re-fitting required.

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Tuition & Fees page for information on part-time tuition fees.

Tuition is charged on a course-by-course basis. View the courses in the program matrix for individual course fees.

Books and supplies

All listed costs are estimates and subject to change.

Course books:

Core course books for the advanced certificate program: $449

Core course books for the degree program: $735

Please check the BCIT Bookstore for most current prices.


The Critical Care Nursing courses are delivered on iPads and require that students have an iPad capable of downloading iOS 11 or newer.* Students that do not have an iPad can purchase one from the Apple Store or another computer retailer. The cost is approximately $550. You may be able to receive an educational discount by showing your BCIT ID.

Students must be registered in a course to access the course materials on iTunes U. Codes for the e-texts can be purchased from the BCIT Bookstore.

*In special circumstances, an iPad can be borrowed from the BCIT Library.


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (34.0 credits) Credits
  NSCC 7150 Dysrhythmia Interpretation and Management 2.0
  NSER 7110 Emergency Nursing Theory 1 4.0
  NSER 7210 Emergency Nursing Theory 2 4.0
  NSER 7300 Emergency Nursing Clinical 1 5.0
  NSER 7410 Emergency Nursing Theory 3 4.0
  NSER 7500 Emergency Nursing Clinical 2 5.0
  NSCC 7320 Critical Care Nursing Theory 3 5.0
  NSCC 7420 Critical Care Nursing Clinical 1 5.0
Total Credits: 34.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

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.

Program Details

Program length

The length of the program varies, as it is offered in a variety of formats:

  • BCIT offers theory and some clinical courses by part-time, independent study. We deliver theory courses over a 12-week term using guided-learning modules and telephone tutor support. They often include teleconferences, which provide opportunities for students and tutors to discuss issues relevant to the course. If you work full-time, you would generally register for one theory course per term, although this can vary depending on your additional commitments.

  • Through independent study, learn in your own community and structure your learning schedule in a manner that is most convenient for you. Complete full-time clinical courses at clinical sites throughout BC, over 4 to 6 weeks. If you live outside BC, clinical placements may be negotiated.

  • Most Specialty Nursing programs arrange special offerings of courses as "Compressed time frame programs". Offered in full-time study formats, they enable you to take several courses over a specified period of time. If you are interested in this option of study, contact the program assistant for more information and program start dates.

  • Nurses with three or more years of experience can apply for PLAR, Prior Learning Assessment recognition credits towards their Advanced Specialty Certificate.

Program length for either the Advanced Certificate or the Bachelor of Science in Nursing can range from 2 to 7 years depending on your individual pace. Preparedness for employment can take from 10 weeks to 1 year.

Additional program options

Graduating & Jobs

Our grads are ready

At BCIT, we listen to what you need to do your job well. This combined program ensures you can provide the best patient care possible in the emergency department, while also supporting critically ill patients needing intensive care.

Career opportunities

Registered nurses with the combined emergency and critical care specialty work in emergency departments with some shifts in the ICU. Salaries start at approximately $32 per hour. Grads can write the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) emergency nursing certification exam.

Keep learning

Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Specialty Bachelors of Nursing program.

Beginning in 2018, BCIT Specialty Nursing Advanced Certificate Graduates can apply to receive transfer credits towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.

Health Match BC

Health Match BC is a new service that helps recent specialty nursing graduates find work within BC. Funded by the provincial government, Health Match BC prioritizes the hiring of BC nursing graduates. For more information, download the Health Match BC PDF.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit it to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Professional associations

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
Graduates of the BCIT program are eligible to write the Specialty Nursing exam for Emergency Nursing through the CNA Certificate program. CNA views certification as a method of validating nurses' competence in an area of specialization within the field of nursing.

Emergency Nurses Association of BC (ENABC)
ENABC is the professional organization for emergency nursing in BC. ENABC's main goal is to provide standards for emergency nursing care, offer a forum in which emergency nurses can exchange ideas, promote the specialized education of emergency nurses, and support community relations. ENABC has an affiliation with the National Emergency Nurses Association (NENA).

National Emergency Nurses Association (NENA)
NENA represents emergency nurses across Canada. The association works closely with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) to improve quality of care in Canada's emergency settings. If you register with ENGBC you are a member of NENA.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Carrie Meagher
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7045

Maya Heskia
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7094

Contact Us

Maya Heskia
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7094

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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