Principles of emergency care for Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing (PEC EN) | Australian College of Nursing

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Principles of emergency care for Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing (PEC EN)

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Principles of emergency care for Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing

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.

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Course overview

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.

Mode of delivery

This course is offered over 20 weeks, and is conducted fully online. It consists of 150 hours of study and assessment. Students receive support from a tutor and a nurse educator.

Course Dates

180 180122 January 201819 February 201810 June 2018$1010.00
180 180416 April 201814 May 20182 September 2018$1010.00
180 18079 July 201825 November 20187 August 2018$1010.00
180 18101 October 201815 October 201810 March 2019$1010.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.

Course code:180
CPD hours:150 hours over 20 weeks
Mode of delivery:Online
Pre-requisites:Basic understanding of anatomy and physiology
Textbooks and resources: There are no prescribed textbooks for this course. Resources are made available online.


Students who have successfully completed this course will be awarded with a Statement of Attainment and 150 CPD hours.


Applicants need to hold a current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

Course structure

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.

Course content

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

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 1browser
  • I can navigate to a website using a 1browser
  • 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.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of this course?

The EN Principles of Emergency Care course is designed for enrolled nurses (EN) and is aimed at enhancing a deeper understanding in the assessment and management of rapidly deteriorating patient(s). It promotes increased confidence for improving your current practice.

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?

Assessment types include the following:

  • Case analysis
  • Discussions
  • Quizzes
  • Reflective essays
  • Short essays

There will be a study and assessment timetable to help you plan and manage the workload in this course.

How do I enrol?

To enrol, you will need to complete and return the Distance Education Enrolment Form, and submit to the Customer Services team via the following ways:

  • Email: ; or
  • Fax: 02 6282 3565 ; Or
  • Post to: Customer Services Australian College of Nursing
    PO Box 650
    Parramatta NSW 2124

You must include a copy of your registration certificate from Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) when you enrol.

Can I claim this course as a tax deductible expense?

It is best to speak to your accountant or contact the Australian Taxation Office.

Can I pay for this course in installments?

Full payment must be received prior to the commencement of the course.

What are the feedbacks from students

  • “Even though I found everything daunting at first, then sat down and went through everything I found it got easieras I went. It certainly broadened my knowledge because I was made to think. It put me out of my comfort zone, butappreciated that it gave me more confidence in myself.”
  • “Living remotely has its challenges. With no internet available at home, having to drive 100 kms to access internet and complete readings and assignments was stressful. But I am proud of what I have achieved in the course.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  •  “I am new to computer learning but l enjoy the learning, challenges, researching the internet and books.”
  • “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.”
  • “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 my knowledge with the topic MCQ.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

Contact information

Customer Services

T: +61 2 9745 7500 or 1800 265 534 (charges may apply)