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Master of Critical Care Nursing Online in Australia

Build intensive care and broader skills in an advanced practice program for registered nurses.

Medical team performing resuscitation in ICU

Course Outline

A Masters in Critical Care Nursing develops your ability to work in emergency departments and intensive care settings while providing a well-rounded nursing education. Along with intensive care nursing techniques, students learn general skills for roles that may extend beyond critical care.

The 12-subject online course will strengthen your understanding of critical care principles, enhance decision-making abilities, and prepare you to support patients and their families during complex health challenges. You can complete the program as a working professional in two years of part-time study.

For nurses seeking advancement, this program offers the necessary tools for clinical leadership roles. It's aimed at those ready to expand their scope of practice and take on greater responsibilities. The degree is a foundation for clinical, consultancy, management, and education careers.

UTS Online - Master of Advanced Nursing (Critical Care)

Strengthen your all-round and specialised nursing skills with the Master of Advanced Nursing (Critical Care) from UTS Online. The innovative, part-time course focuses on advanced clinical decision-making and leadership in intensive care. Specialty subjects like 'Complex Critical Care' and 'Professional Practice in Critical Care' are complemented by core units in evidence-based practice, health improvement, and patient assessment techniques. The program comprises 12 subjects, including two electives, and contains graduate certificate and graduate diploma courses. 24 months of part-time study are required to complete this course.

What Is a Critical Care Nurse?

A Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) is a nurse with experience working in high-acuity settings such as Intensive Care Units (ICUs), emergency departments, and specialised care units. They provide nursing care to critically ill patients as part of a multidisciplinary health team. Key aspects of their job are to evaluate conditions, administer treatments, and monitor responses.

Unlike a regular Registered Nurse (RN), a CCRN, once reaching a specialist level, possesses the expertise to manage complex cases and lead the delivery of intensive care. They have specialised knowledge in areas such as advanced life support, mechanical ventilation, and continuous renal replacement therapy.

Experienced nurses with a Master of Nursing degree or other postgraduate qualifications may perform advanced practice nursing in this field. In practical terms, this involves autonomously managing complex patient cases. Their responsibilities extend beyond typical nurse duties to include leadership, mentoring other nurses, and contributing to research and protocol development.

Related: Advanced Practice Nurse: Meaning and Examples

How to Become a CCRN

Nurses checking patient vitals in intensive care unit

A nurse can start working in critical care in their first year of nursing, as often happens during graduate job rotations. With sufficient experience, at least a year, one may reasonably call themselves a CCRN.

Additional experience and postgraduate qualifications are essential for career progression. A Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing is a common starting point and makes you eligible to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

A relevant Master of Nursing is valuable for demonstrating high-level expertise and to properly qualify you for advanced roles. Postgraduate degrees are highly advantageous, if not expected, for high-paying jobs such as Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinical Nurse Education, and Nurse Unit Manager.

Related: How to Become a Critical Care Registered Nurse

How Hard Is This Degree?

Nurse studying at desk

Graduates of master's programs often report that time management is the key to success. As a practicing nurse, you should be proficient in this area. You may find the coursework itself is actually very manageable, starting with the graduate certification portion of the program.

Because you already have a background in critical care and a strong interest, you should find the course content familiar and relatable. You will be able to extend your knowledge and skills from the solid foundation you've already established. This differs from your bachelor studies, which introduced many new topics and tested your ability to be a nurse.

To make the program even easier, it has been designed with working nurses in mind. The degree is flexible, offered entirely online, and supported by a team of Student Success Advisors. Assessments are not based on exams, instead using a combination of practical and applied methods. FEE-HELP government loans are also available to cover tuition fees.

Related: Is a Masters in Nursing Worth It in Australia?

Learn Nursing Skills Online

Online learner at computer

Online postgraduate courses in nursing are designed to develop nursing practice skills without requiring in-person attendance or clinical placements. To enroll in the course, you need to be working in healthcare. This ensures that you have a real-world setting to apply your learning and bring it to life.

In clinical specialties like Critical Care, online courses can be highly effective. For example, a unit on professional practice might cover situational awareness, clinical leadership, and ethical decision-making. Participants analyse complex care scenarios and apply communication strategies. They learn to follow professional guidelines and develop robust approaches for team-based care.

Other parts of the program may focus on understanding the pathophysiology of critical illnesses and injuries through case studies. You'll learn how to evaluate patient data, make informed clinical decisions, and employ advanced therapeutic interventions. This prepares you for efficient, safe, and effective intensive-care nursing, even as you study online.

Related: Postgraduate Nursing Courses Online