This course is designed for ENs working in all clinical areas across a variety of health care facilities. It equips ENs with the knowledge underpinning the skills needed in order to render first-line emergency care of acutely ill patients in the clinical setting. This course aims to integrate theory into clinical practice, enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and improve confidence in decision-making when providing care to patients during emergency situations.
January, April, July, October
Why study this course
Are you ready for more knowledge and understanding in the assessment, prioritising and management of patients who are ill and quickly deteriorating? This course is designed for ENs working in all clinical areas across a variety of health care settings. The course aims to provide the knowledge underpinning the skills needed for attending to first-line assessment and management of patients in an emergency / critical situation.
The course is conducted fully online through guided study and online activities. The online learning environment used in ACN is called CNnect. It is recommended that students study for approximately 8–10 hours a week. The amount of time will be determined by an individual’s learning needs. Students are supported by the nurse educator and tutors, and are encouraged to maintain regular contact. Networking between students is also encouraged through the use of online forums and activities.
The themes covered in this course include:
- Theme 1 – Working in a critical care environment
- Theme 2 – Health assessment and first line emergency nursing
- Theme 3 – Practice in respiratory nursing
- Theme 4 – Practice in cardiovascular nursing
- Theme 5 – Neurological implications and pain
Applicants need to hold a current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
Online skill check
To get the most out of your experience on CNnect, you will need to have confidence with working online. If you can do the things in the list below, you should be fine – if not, you may need to seek some support from a friend or colleague.
- I have internet access
- I can send an email
- I can attach a file to an email
- I can open a browser1
- I can navigate to a website using a browser1
- I can download a file to my computer
- I can save a file to my computer
- I can use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Powerpoint
- I can cut/copy and paste from one document to another document
- I can change my screen resolution (make the page appear bigger or smaller on the screen)
1 A browser is a software application used to navigate the Internet. CNnect works best with updated versions of Firefox and Google Chrome.
Students who have successfully completed this course will be awarded with a Statement of Attainment and 150 CPD hours.
*Fees are subject to change without notice.
Frequently asked questions
What is the purpose of this course?
The purpose of this course is to prepare ENs to care for patients requiring emergency intervention. It is designed for nurses working in any clinical setting, including the emergency departments (EDs); the outpatient setting; the smaller regional, rural and remote hospitals where nurses are expected to work in all areas of the hospital. Some of these clinical areas have varied medical support, and the nurses are often required to intervene with limited or no medical support on-site. Medical support may be at the end of a telephone, within driving distance or off-site. Course information and assessment booklet 3 Expedient and accurate assessment and management reduces morbidity and mortality. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses are able to manage patients who have life or limb-threatening conditions, and provide time-critical interventions, especially in relation to pain relief. This course will provide the knowledge underpinning the skills needed for attending to first-line assessment and management of patients requiring emergency care.
How will this course benefit my practice?
Regardless of your work environment, you need to have knowledge and skills to be able to respond in a timely and appropriate manner to a variety of emergency situations. This course will guide you in searching and reading the most current guidelines in the management of many different emergencies. You will be prompted to practice essential skills within your work environment, including critical engagement with policies and protocols. Past students have reported enhanced understanding of patient assessment and management in emergency clinical situations. They also developed improved confidence and competence in providing emergency care that is safe, effective and appropriate to suit individual client needs.
How is this course delivered?
This course is completely online – all information and resources can be accessed via CNnect. This means that you will have the freedom to study and access the course content at a time and location that is convenient to you. You may also choose to print out the online course materials and resources if you prefer to read from a paper-based copy.
Will I have support?
As an enrolled student, you will have access to:
- a tutor who is highly experienced in the field of emergency management of patients; who can answer your questions, help and guide you through the course, mark your assessments and provide you with feedback
- a nurse educator/course coordinator who can provide additional assistance
- IT support when you encounter issues associated with the technical aspects of CNnect.
What is the expected workload for this course?
This course will take you approximately 150 hours to complete. This includes reading, completing online activities and completion of assessments. It is estimated that you will spend approximately 8–10 hours a week on this course. As with any course, and given that no two individuals learn in the same way, you may find that some weeks may demand more hours than others.
How is the course structured and what content do you cover?
Students will be guided by the study and assessment timetable for this 20-week course. Specific themes will be covered as outlined in the study and assessment timetable.
Week 1 is an orientation week whereby students are encouraged to explore in CNnect, and to become familiar with the online learning environment. Below is a typical example of the schedule.
- Week 1: Orientation
- Weeks 1 – 4: Theme 1 – Working in a critical care environment
- Weeks 5 – 8: Theme 2 – Health assessment and first line emergency nursing
- Weeks 9 – 12: Theme 3 – Practice in respiratory nursing
- Weeks 13 – 17: Theme 4 – Practice in cardiovascular nursing
- Weeks 18 – 20: Theme 5 – Neurological implications and pain
What are the learning outcomes of this course?
On successful completion of this course, it is anticipated you will be better able to:
- describe the enrolled nurse’s role and the role of other members within the multidisciplinary team
- demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of assessment methods to plan holistic nursing care for critically ill patients
- use evidence-based information to evaluate the appropriateness of interventions with critically ill patients
- analyse complex nursing interventions for patients with an altered health status
- evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions and the patient’s understanding in relation to their current health status
- communicate effectively with critically ill patients to assess their level of understanding of their condition and treatment.
What are the course assessment items?
- Online discussions
- Short essay
- Case analysis
How do I enrol?
To enrol, you will need to complete and submit the appropriate form in the Enrolment form section above. There are two enrolment forms available:
- Fee-paying students – for all applicants paying their own fees
- Bulk purchases – for local health districts only
Please ensure you complete and submit the appropriate form. Failure to do so will mean your application will not be processed. Please contact Customer Services if you require any assistance.
Can I pay for this course in instalments?
Full payment must be received prior to the commencement of the course.
Am I entitled to a refund?
If the student withdraws after the course commences, or fails to meet the course requirements, the course fees are non-refundable.
Can I claim this course as a tax deductible expense?
It is best to speak to your accountant or contact the Australian Taxation Office.
Meet your Nurse Educator
Kirsten Masters, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, BN, MN (Critical Care), Cert IV TAE
Kirsten has been nursing for 10 years and has experience working in critical care settings, as well as experience as a nurse educator within other educational providers. You can see Kirsten on the TV show Kings Cross ER!
She is passionate about delivering quality education that will empower nurses to provide care that is of the highest standard.
Hear straight from our students about their experiences with ACN’s Principles of Emergency Care for Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing (PEC EN) course.
“This PEC program has given us as EEN more opportunity to learn and enhance our knowledge and skills.”
“Excellent course greatly improved my clinical knowledge and understanding. Would definitely recommend to Enrolled Nurses wanting to expand their knowledge.”
“Fantastic course, great content with appropriate learning.”
“Overall I loved this course. All the information needed was there if you were prepared to take the time to read all the resources provided prior to the start of the course; the course material encouraged lots of research and I found the recommended readings very informative.”
“I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot that I can now benefit from in emergency situations and deteriorating patient’s, in my workplace.”
“I would like the ACN to be aware of what a doctor fed back to my RN about me during an emergency. The doctor told the RN that I managed to confidently treat the patient in a prioritised way and when the doctor was asking me to do different things…
“Patient assessment and in-depth of resuscitation trolley, I think this will help me to pre-empt what the RN or doctor may need in an emergency.”
“I have enjoyed learning to appreciate the communication process better. It has made me more aware of how I am communicating with my patients and staff members.”
“Documentation – I did not realise I was so bad, and now I try and implement what I’ve learnt in my everyday reports. Just a general over all refresher, as it has been a long time since I studied.”
“Once I first submitted my online discussion in regards to our first assignment, I enjoyed being able to discuss issues most of us come across in our workplace. It was like being in a classroom discussion. It was great to hear everyone’s past experiences.”
“Through the course, I have gain in detail a lot about tools that can help me do my job to a high standard and a better understanding of why we do things. I have become more aware of emergency assessments and general assessments of patients on first presentation. I have enjoyed testing…
“The course was fantastic. It should be compulsory for any nurse that undertakes employment within the Emergency Department. I look forward to undertaking other courses offered by the Australian College of Nursing.”
“I am new to computer learning but l enjoy the learning, challenges, researching the internet and books.”
“As this course was delivered entirely online, I was able to study when I had time (whether I was on night shift, day shift etc). It allowed great flexibility.”
“Excellent course. I have learnt so much and feel confident in triage and emergency presentations. I recommend this to anyone who wants to improve their clinical skills. Like anything, you have to be prepared to put the effort in to get the best results for yourself. Thank you ACN.”
“Living remotely has its challenges. With no internet available at home, having to drive 100km to access internet and complete readings and assignments was stressful. But I am proud of what I have achieved in the course.”
“Even though I found everything daunting at first, then sat down and went through everything I found it got easier as I went. It certainly broadened my knowledge because I was made to think. It put me out of my comfort zone, but appreciated that it gave me more confidence…