The BCIT Critical Care Nursing Specialty is an exciting and dynamic program that prepares registered nurses (RNs) with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to work in all levels of intensive care units (from community/rural to tertiary and quaternary), coronary care and cardiac surgery intensive care units, and post anesthetic care units. This program has a reputation for delivering educational excellence that supports effective clinical judgment. The Critical Care nursing faculty is known for their commitment to student learning progress. Our faculty gives you individual support and a high quality of learning to help you succeed.
We prepare you to care for patients who are seriously ill and facing life-threatening problems due to trauma, illness or major surgery. Whether patients are injured or in failing health, part of this care is supporting patients' families who are going through difficult and stressful times. It can be a demanding and challenging career, yet very rewarding. Our graduates have the passion and commitment to provide excellence in critical care nursing practice.
The Critical Care Nursing program is delivered primarily on iPads with on-line support. Full-time students sponsored by a health authority will receive their course materials and iPads at orientation. All students need to be registered in the course to access iTunes U to download the course materials.
Part-time distance students (taking one course at a time) may already have an iPad. If you do not have an iPad you can purchase one from a computer retailer or the Apple Store. Minimum requirements are an iPad mini 16 GB. You may be able to receive an educational discount by showing your BCIT ID. In special circumstances an iPad can be loaned out from the BCIT library. When you receive your iPad, the code for your e-text can be purchased from the BCIT bookstore.
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; all levels of intensive care units, from community/rural to tertiary and quaternary; coronary care and cardiac surgery intensive care units; and post anesthetic care 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 in all levels of intensive care units (from community/rural to tertiary and quaternary), coronary care and cardiac surgery intensive care units, and post anesthetic care 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:
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 four theory, one theory/clinical course and two clinical courses. Application of new knowledge is supported by use of practice-based narrative cases, interactive learning activities, high fidelity simulation and extensive clinical practice experiences. These experiences enable nurses to develop clinical decision-making processes necessary for the provision of effective nursing care for critically ill patients and families. The curriculum focuses on pathophysiology and comprehensive assessment of the patients’ needs through analyzing oxygen supply and demand imbalances.
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, clinical experience with a preceptor can be arranged.
Graduates of the combined Critical Care/Emerg or Emerg/Critical Care programs are prepared to begin practice in a community or rural intensive care unit as well as the emergency department. Additional critical care courses are typically required if students chose to purse employment in tertiary or quaternary intensive care units. intensive and cardiac care and may have chosen to and have completed an introduction to one of the following: multiple organ dysfunction syrdrome, cadiogenic shock, cardiac surgical nursing, surgery and post anaesthetic care, or explore to critical care nursing in rural or community settings (available 2017).
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.
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 six units of block transfer credit (equal to one third of the coursework) towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.
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.
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