Principles of Critical Care Nursing
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This unit of study is designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of the nature of critical illness and the role of a nurse in meeting the needs of patient with life threatening conditions. The unit of study allows the students to acquire advanced clinical knowledge that underpins the provision of expert care for patients in the critical care setting. The students will explore major system alternations and multi-organ failure characteristic of critical illness. Problem solving through critical thinking is emphasised in assessment and prioritising patients’ needs. Best practice guidelines are used to inform nursing interventions in order to optimise health outcomes for patients, families and the community.

Principles of Critical Care Nursing
Unit of study code 281
Availability Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing

GC single unit of study

Pre-requisite 277 – Stress Response and Health Breakdown
Credit points 6
Hours of study 150
Fee* Tier 1
Prescribed texts Marieb, EN & Hoehn, K 2013, Human anatomy and physiology, 9th edn, Pearson, Benjamin Cummings, Boston, International edition.
Co-ordinated by Maria Baric MACN
Content Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks
Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Respiratory assessment & management in the critically ill adult a) discuss the nature of critical illness across a range of clinical nursing contexts Assessment 1: Online discussions x2 10% 1, 8
Theme 2: Cardiac assessment, monitoring and management b) recognise the complexity of critical care scenarios and the dynamic nature of management tactics Assessment 2: Quiz (30 questions) 10% 3
Theme 3: Neurological issues in critical care c) assess the physical, mental and emotional status of a critically ill patient and interpret the relevant findings Assessment 3: Essay (1,500 words) 30% 5
Theme 4: Metabolic and gastrointestinal issues in the critically ill d) formulate a multidisciplinary team plan to deliver optimal patient management Assessment 4: Guided case analysis (3,000 words) 50% 10
Theme 5: Immunological aspects of critical illness e) appraise the use of technology and nursing procedures to promote therapeutic interventions in critical care
Theme 6: Introduction to shock pathophysiology and management f) discuss current evidence based practice related to advanced multi systems support needed to manage the critically ill
Theme 7: Pain assessment and management in critical care g) evaluate nursing strategies to prevent  complications and optimise health outcomes for patients, family and the community.

Principles of Critical Care Nursing (281) is a Tier 1 unit.

Tiers2020 Non-member price2020 Member price (10% discount)
Tier 1$2,230.00$2,007.00
Tier 2$2,550.00$2,295.00
Tier 3$2,995.00$2,695.50
Tier 4$3,580.00$3,222.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.