Critical Care Nursing Courses

Find the best Critical Care Nursing Courses

Critical Care Nursing Courses overview

Critical care nursing is designed for patients with life-threatening conditions that require constant attention. It’s a vital profession that hospitals and clinics utilise every day. Postgraduate study equips students with the specialised knowledge required to manage complex clients, including dealing with trauma, shock, multiple organ dysfunction and more.

The field began in the 1950s when the University of Southern California decided it was necessary to have nurses on hand capable of measuring critical conditions on a regular basis. It became increasingly common to see doctors and nurses gradually dedicating themselves to critical care conducted in special care units.

The field has advanced a great deal since its early decades, with sophisticated methods of measurement being plentiful. Contemporary professionals utilise an array of techniques like mechanical ventilation, hemodialysis and defibrillation for the benefit of patients in dire straits worldwide.

Is critical care nursing for me?

Critical care nursing is a high-intensity, high stress field. It’s ideally suited to persistent individuals with a strong will to help those in need. It demands a great deal of people skills, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with patients taking measurements and speaking with them. If you’re this sort of patient person with a high level of interpersonal skill, critical care nursing could be for you.

Study pathway

Postgraduate critical care nursing can be taken up to master level, with graduate certificates and diplomas being available at lower levels.

Graduate certificates are an ideal way to get a time-efficient insight into the field. They take six months of full time study to complete, or a year part time. The University of Sydney and similar institutions offer units in advanced health assessment, management of critical clients, foundational critical nursing practice and more. They assume applicants have prior qualifications in nursing, acting as a capstone to assist specialising in critical care.

Graduate diplomas from the likes of Curtin University and others provide an increased level of knowledge of certificates, taking one year of full time study to complete or two years part time. In addition to many of the units taken in graduate certificates, students can expect to learn about leadership in clinical contexts, evidence-based clinical practice and nursing science. Entry requirements tend to consist of a relevant bachelor degree, with Curtin in particular requiring prior completion of a relevant graduate certificate.

Master degrees allow students to either complete a dissertation or extensive coursework to better understand the field. Griffith University and other institutions offer these courses to students who already hold a bachelor of nursing or higher qualification. This is because they build heavily off prior knowledge, with units in foundational critical care practice, safety in healthcare, managing complex clients and many more dependent upon what stream is taken.

Employment options

Critical care nurses can work in a great variety of contexts, but most notably in Intensive Care Units (ICU). These are hospital departments dedicated to critical care.

The Australian College of Critical Care Nurses is an excellent place to seek mentorship and employment opportunities. It provides additional certification to its members and helps bolster their resumes. Through them, critical care nurses can work at places like Monash Health, Royal Darwin Hospital and Innovative Intensive Home Care nursing services. These professionals are highly employable, as their skills are always in demand.

Critical Care Nursing Courses Videos

Student Stories

La Trobe University
Julie studied a Bachelor of Nursing at University of South Australia and is completing a Master of Nursing Emergency (Post Graduate Certificate) at La Trobe University .


Edith Cowan University (ECU)

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Australian College of Nursing (ACN)

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Edith Cowan University (ECU)

Discover courses, get advice from staff, watch demos and enjoy music, food and games.