Course Title: Critical Care Nursing Studies 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Critical Care Nursing Studies 1

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012

Course Coordinator: Ms Sharee Griffiths

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6674

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora Campus, Building 201.7.04

Course Coordinator Availability: Please contact me for an appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Prerequisite capabilities are developed from a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, professional development and experiential learning acquired as a practising Division 1 Registered Nurse. The student must be currently employed in a critical care unit throughout the duration of the course.  It is preferred that students have, at least,  one year of experience in a critical care setting. 

Course Description

The course aims to provide students with the appropriate knowledge base required to function at an introductory level within the critical care environment. This will enable the student to develop assessment and decision making skills required in the planning and delivery of nursing care to patients suffering a wide variety of commonly presenting critical illnesses. The course will deliver foundational theoretical knowledge in the domains of physiology, pathophysiology, health assessment and interventions, pharmacology plus psychosocial and ethico-legal aspects of practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The dimensions of capability developed in the course include:

  • Ability to apply advanced skills in assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation in a variety of clinical care settings and contexts;
  • Analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge and application to practice;
  • Apply an evidence-based approach to advanced practice.

At the completion of the course you should be able to:

  • Acquire and interpret assessment data and diagnostic interventions in terms of underlying pathophysiology and clinical implications;
  • Understand the importance of physical assessment techniques in evaluating and planning care for the critically ill patient;
  • Ability to demonstrate, synthesize and apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology in the context of evidence based care relevant to care of the critically ill patient;
  • Synthesize knowledge on pathophysiology to plan, implement and evaluate relevant evidence based collaborative interventions for the management of patients with a critical care illness;
  • Develop and utilise critical thinking processes and problem solving skills in order to practice as a competent critical care nurse;
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the effects and implications of evidence-based interventions and regimes;
  • Ability to incorporate contemporary research evidence regarding critical care nursing into practice;
  • Ability to evaluate the findings of research pertaining to critical care nursing;
  • Ability to contribute to knowledge relevant to the critical care discipline by consuming, engaging in and disseminating research findings.

The underpinning knowledge and skill developed in the course includes providing students with a range of theoretical and experiential opportunities to acquire the essential knowledge and skills required to provide efficient, effective and safe care of the critically ill patient.

In accordance with The Competency Standards For Specialist Critical Care Nurses (2002) the following content will be included in the program;

  • Anatomy and physiology pertinent to management of the critically ill patient;
  • Pathophysiology, management of illnesses and alterations of vital body functions;
  • Advanced physical assessment;
  • Advanced monitoring and interventional technology relevant to the critical care specialty;
  • Collaborative interventions and plans of care incorporating current research findings.

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures, tutorials
On-line learning content
Class presentations
Face-to face and on-line discussion
Lecture notes
Internet based resources
Relevant scientific peer reviewed literature

Overview of Learning Resources

Lecture notes
Prescribed and recommended texts 
MyRMIT  and on line resources.

Overview of Assessment

Case Study Based Assignment
Theoretical Examination