Registered Nurse - Critical Care Nursing

Ontario College Graduate Certificate | Code: 0479

About the program

Through theory and supervised clinical practice using the nursing process, this program focuses on stabilizing and caring for the critically ill adult client. Because the program has a flexible curriculum design, it will meet the needs of both the experienced critical care nurse and the nurse who wants to move into this specialty area.

Note: All courses require College of Nurses registration. RPN's are eligible to take individual courses but they are not eligible to register or complete the program certificate at this time.

Program information

All courses must be completed within 5 years of acceptance into the program.

Admission requirements

  • Current College of Nurses Certificate of Registration as an RN

Note re: admission requirements

  • Applicants possessing degrees/diplomas from institutions where the language of instruction was not English will be required to provide test scores as evidence of their English language proficiency. Test scores, if required, would be a minimum of TOEFL iBT 88; IELTS 6.5 with no bands less than 6.0; CAEL 70 with no sub-test band scores less than 60; PTE Academic 58; Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 6; or equivalent scores in other recognized standard tests of English.
  • We offer a language program for students whose English language skills are below the standard required for admission but all other admission criteria have been met. An applicant will be eligible for admission to the graduate certificate program after completion of level 4 of the General Arts and Science - English Language Studies (ELS) program with an overall grade average of 80% and no grade less than 75%. Placement in the ELS program is determined by scores on an in-house English language test or TOEFL or IELTS.

Admission procedures

  • Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.
  • Attach proof of Admission Requirements.
  • Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements.

Program requirements

  • Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Clinical placements are only available to students registered in the program and must be arranged by the Placement Office. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following:

    • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October - March).
    • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
    • Standard First Aid and CPR - BLS (Basic Life Support)
    • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.

  • Applicants are advised that a latex-free environment in the College or clinical setting is NOT guaranteed.

  • Travel within the program: Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from assigned learning settings external to the College and for covering any costs incurred. The location of these learning sites could be anywhere within a one hour's drive of the Doon campus.

  • Applicants should display integrity, reliability, maturity, self-direction, self-discipline, determination, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, poise and leadership attributes.

Graduate opportunities

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website:

Program outcomes

  • Assess the functions of body systems.
  • Incorporate knowledge of the inter-relatedness of body systems.
  • Recognize the clinical presentation and related diagnostic findings of various pathological conditions.
  • Provide the essential elements of nursing care that will meet the needs of clients with multiple system problems.
  • Assess for potential complications of clients with multiple system problems.
  • Develop nursing care according to phases of growth and development.
  • Apply appropriate nursing care in accordance with the psychological manifestations of the client.
  • Manage the nursing diagnosis, plan, treatment modalities, and interventions required.
  • Administer and evaluate client's response to nutritional, fluid and electrolyte therapy.
  • Demonstrate, administer and evaluate client response to pharmacological agents.
  • Demonstrate ability to maintain airway patency and circulation integrity.
  • Demonstrates the operation and effectiveness of machines and specialized equipment.
  • Administer appropriate care for clients with continuous ventilatory or circulatory support systems.
  • Applies appropriate nursing care related to the client with invasive monitoring.
  • Demonstrates, reports and records assessment data, changes in client status, and responses to therapy accurately, and in accordance with policies of the employing agency.
  • Applies skills to communicate with clients, families, and members of the health team.
  • Organize the design and implementation of client and family education.
  • Evaluate the impact of the critical care environment on clients, family members, and staff.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with client, family, and other members of the health care team in planning care from admission through to rehabilitation.
  • Manage the responsibility for creating an environment of safe practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to comply with legislation and regulations governing nursing practice.

Program related resources

Program contact

Continuing Education
Upcoming Registrations

Mark your calendars for our upcoming registration dates so you can plan your future.

Fall Registration: July 8, 2019
Winter Registration: November 4, 2019