Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680xadcert

Overview

Note: The Critical Care Nursing Specialty program is delivered on iPads. Please visit the Costs & Supplies page for details.

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.

About the program

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.

  • Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of 2.5 years to complete
  • Distance and online learning provided on iPads gives you flexibility to learn at your own pace
  • Two, full-time clinical experiences in an ICU/CCU unit

Who it’s for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Are existing registered nurses (RNs) who want critical care nursing certification, or to complete their specialty Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in critical care
  • Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program seeking an elective (typically NSCC 7120 or NSCC 7150) to complete their BSN program
  • Have six months or more (preferably one year) relevant work experience in an acute care setting
  • Are able to make effective decisions while managing rapidly changing patient situations
  • Are able to communicate well with their team, patients, and patients' families

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

Your work experience matters

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.

Interested in enhancing your skills in critical care and emergency nursing? See BCIT's Combined Critical Care and Emergency and Combined Emergency and Critical Care program options.

What grads can do

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.

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.

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.

Program declaration

Please contact the program head to declare this program.

Scheduled intakes

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

Costs & Supplies

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

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Fees page for information on tuition fees and refunds.

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

Books and supplies

iPads:

The Critical Care Nursing Specialty program is delivered on iPads and requires that students have an iPad mini - 16 GB or better.* Students that do not have an iPad can purchase one from the Apple Store or another computer retailer. The cost is approximately $560. You may be able to receive an educational discount by showing your BCIT ID.

Students in the Critical Care Nursing Specialty program will access course materials on their iPad. 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. Sponsored students will recieve their course materials at orientation.

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

Courses

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (27.0 credits) Credits
  NSCC 7120 Critical Care Nursing Theory 1 4.0
  NSCC 7150 Dysrhythmia Interpretation and Management 2.0
  NSCC 7220 Critical Care Nursing Theory 2 3.0
  NSCC 7320 Critical Care Nursing Theory 3 5.0
  NSCC 7420 Critical Care Nursing Clinical 1 5.0
  NSCC 7520 Critical Care Nursing Theory 4 4.0
  NSCC 7620 Critical Care Nursing Clinical 2 4.0
 
Total Credits: 27.0

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

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:

  1. Experienced Registered Nurses can earn a certificate in Critical Care Nursing after completing 27 credits.
  2. 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).

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:

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).

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. These critical care nursing courses are delivered on an iPad. We deliver theory courses over a 12-week term using guided-learning modules and on-line learning with tutor support. 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 3 to 4 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 Head for more information and program start dates.

  • Nurses with relevant experience and/or previous courses can request assessment for appropriate placement within the program. Please contact the program for prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) and transfer credit.

Maximum program length for either the Advanced Certificate or the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is seven years.

Additional program options

Note:
Applicants who already possess High Acuity Specialty Nursing courses (NSHA 7100, NSCC 7150, NSHA 7201 and NSHA 7300) or Emergency Nursing Specialty courses (NSER 7110, NSCC 7150 and NSER 7210) are eligible to complete the Critical Care Nursing Specialty Certificate by completing: NSCC 7320, NSCC 7421, NSCC 7520 and NSCC 7620.

Continue your education

BCIT School of Health Sciences offers two levels of credential in Specialty Nursing:

  1. Advanced Certificate of 27 credits for Critical Care Nursing
  2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing (Critical Care). This is the only degree program in BC that prepares registered nurses for employment in Critical Care units/areas. The degree program is a total of 60 credits comprising:
    • 27 credits granted for the Critical Care Nursing Advanced Certificate
    • 21 specialty and core nursing credits
    • 12 liberal studies credits.

Graduating & Jobs

Our grads are ready

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Keep learning

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.

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.

Professional associations

The Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses (CACCN) is the professional organization for Critical Care nurses in BC. CACCN is a non-profit, specialty organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the quality of care provided to critically ill patients and their families.

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) offers Critical Care Certification.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Lara Parker
Program Head
604-451-7083
lara_parker@bcit.ca

Toll-free: 1-800-663-6542 ext 7083

Jenna Coroliuc
Program Assistant
604-451-7103
jenna_coroliuc@bcit.ca

Toll-free: 1-800-663-6542 ext 7103

Contact Us

Jenna Coroliuc
Program Assistant
Jenna_Coroliuc@bcit.ca
604-451-7103
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7103

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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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