Intensive Care Nursing

Intensive Care Nursing

Take your career to the next level: specialise in Intensive Care Nursing at Sydney Nursing School. Our Intensive Care Nursing programs are offered at master’s, graduate diploma and graduate certificate levels. The latter two are embedded within the master’s degree, meaning you can choose to study the program over a duration which suits you best.

These programs offer registered nurses the chance to further develop the skills and attributes needed to provide complex care to critically ill patients and their families. They are designed for nurses who already have some experience of the intensive care environment.

What impact can I have as an intensive care nurse?

Intensive care nurses work in complex environments that often demand rapid, sophisticated judgements to be made in high-pressure situations. Intensive care nurses work closely with patients experiencing single or multiple organ dysfunction. It is the intensive care nurse’s role to help the patient and their family to make sense of their journey, their illness and their treatment.

Why study at Sydney Nursing School?

  • Build the professional practice capabilities needed for leadership in intensive care nursing.
  • Further develop your research skills, enabling you to make evidence-based decisions, giving you the option to choose a research pathway to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.
  • Enhance your specialty knowledge, clinical expertise and therapeutic skills, immediately applying what you learn in class to your professional practice.
  • Join our global community of influential students, staff and alumni, building your professional network as you study alongside academics and peers from the mental health community.
  • Choose how to fit study into your life with full-time and part-time options, as well as self-paced online study for some components of the program.

How will I learn?

  • Graduate certificate: Study over one year part-time
  • Graduate diploma: Study over one year full-time or two years part-time
  • Master’s program: Study over eighteen months full-time, or two and a half years part-time.

These programs are delivered via:

  • Flexible, self-paced online study, allowing you to fit study around other commitments.
  • Face-to-face on-campus study days for each unit of study.

On-Campus Study Days

Compulsory attendance at face-to-face study days is an integral part of the course. These intensive study days offer students real-time support from lecturers and clinical experts and provide opportunities for sharing experiences with peers and growing professional networks.

There are four study days per unit of study, per semester. The part-time study load is two units of study per semester which means there are eight study days per semester to attend. These are generally offered in a block of four days twice a semester, in March/May and August/September. To give you time to plan your study leave, the Postgraduate Study Day Timetable is posted on the Sydney Nursing School website in November of the preceding year.

What will I study?

Graduate certificate
Sydney Nursing School’s intensive care nursing program is intended to support registered nurses working in intensive care areas to become clinical leaders. We do this by providing a rationale for contemporary clinical care and by developing the nurse’s ability to source, critique and apply relevant evidence to the critical care setting. This sets up a framework for lifelong learning and a critical approach to practice. You will become familiar with the specialty content related to intensive care nursing practice, including advanced ventilation techniques, haemodynamic monitoring and management, renal replacement therapy and invasive cardiac monitoring and interventions. You will consider evidence-based interventions to reduce complications in the ICU. Finally, you will explore the patient journey from a systems perspective, taking in the pre-hospital setting, including trauma and disaster systems, through to end-of-life care and organ donation.

Graduate diploma
The Graduate Diploma of Intensive Care Nursing offers the opportunity for you to undertake an in-depth exploration of an advanced nursing practice issue relevant to your own clinical setting. As well as the graduate certificate content, you will explore professional issues such as simulated education techniques, quality and safety frameworks, contemporary leadership, research, and the potential for expanding the scope of your practice as you carry out a clinical project in an area of your choice.

Master’s program
Building on the graduate certificate and diploma content, this program ends in a six month capstone project, offering two options for study: the first option facilitates an examination of the professional and political context of your dream job and the development of your professional portfolio; the second option is to undertake a supervised research project, in the form of an integrative literature review, allowing an in-depth exploration of an area that you feel passionate about. This second option may also provide a pathway to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.

Next steps: Course details and planning your study