Master of Intensive Care Nursing

Intensive Care Nursing

Take your career to the next level: specialise in intensive care nursing at Sydney Nursing School.

This program offers registered nurses the chance to further develop the skills and attributes needed to provide complex care to critically ill patients and their families. It is designed for nurses who already have some experience of the intensive care environment.

You will critically explore models of care, as well as complexities and uncertainties in contemporary practice. You will learn how to use evidence to inform your clinical decisions and will develop an advanced capacity for clinical judgement, helping you to move towards a leadership role in this challenging and rewarding field.

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?

Study over 18 months full time, or two and half years part-time. This program is delivered via

  • Flexible, self-paced online study, allowing you to fit study around other commitments.
  • Face-to-face study days for each unit. These sessions offer students real-time support from lecturers and clinical experts, providing the opportunity to share experiences in a small class of peers.

What will I study?

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.

In your first two semesters, learn about assessment approaches, including the use of validated assessment tools, and consider how these findings contribute to advanced clinical reasoning. You will explore the most common alterations in physiology and how these manifest as clinical presentations.

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.

In semesters three and four, 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.

This program ends in a six month capstone project, offering you the choice to complete either a work-based project examining a current and professionally relevant clinical issue, or undertake a research project, giving you the opportunity to explore in depth an area that you feel passionate about. This may also provide a pathway to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.

Study units include:

  • Assessment and clinical judgment
  • Foundations of clinical practice
  • The complexity of critical illness and injury
  • Intensive care nursing practice
  • Research in nursing and healthcare
  • Expanding practice in the ED and ICU
  • Then choose two of three electives from;
    • Creating a culture of safety and quality
    • Contemporary healthcare leadership
    • Simulation-based learning in health
  • Capstone experience

Pathways to the Master’s

Our Intensive Care Nursing programs are offered at master’s, graduate diploma 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.

Next steps: Course details and planning your study