Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

NURSPRAC 702 A&B - Critical Care Specialty Nursing

30 Points

Semester 1 and 2 (must enrol in both semesters)



Draws on evidence from biomedical and social science research to equip nurses for the care and treatment of critical care patients. Students will be expected to integrate evidence from a range of sources and apply this to the practice of critical care nursing.


Restriction: NURSING 730

To complete this course students must enrol in NURSPRAC 702 A and B, or NURSPRAC 702 

Course information

Aims of the course

This paper covers both adult and paediatric critical care nursing. The critical care setting is a highly technical environment with complex patients, which requires nurses with significantly specialized skills and knowledge. The paper is designed to build on the registered nurses’ knowledge and provide greater breadth and depth in understanding critical care nursing.

This course aims to provide further understanding of concepts and processes on physiology and pathophysiology involved with managing patients who are critically ill.

The paper is taught over two semesters and is divided into the following topics:

Semester 1

Semester 2

  1. Respiratory
  2. Cardiovascular
  3. Renal
  4. Paediatric
  1. Neuroscience
  2. Multi-System Dysfunction/Trauma
  3. Endocrine/ Gastrointestinal
  4. Special Considerations

Learning outcomes

Within a defined area of specialty nursing practice, nurses will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of pathophysiological processes of specific disease states to individual clients and client groups
  • Describe the aetiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of commonly found/seen altered health states
  • Demonstrate evidence based diagnostic decision making involving client assessment and the use and interpretation of diagnostic tests
  • Discuss the epidemiology of common conditions related to clinical specialty
  • Demonstrate evidenced based care of clients with complex and specific health care needs
  • Explore the impact of illness and health care experience of the client/family
  • Explore client learning needs and the development of long term client health care plans
  • Discuss competency in specialty based skills or the use of specialty based Technology
  • Explore the ethical and legal parameters of current nursing practice
  • Discuss ethical-legal, social, economic and political factors related to specialty area

Course structure/delivery

  • Semester 1 – 2 study days and 1 verbal presentation day
  • Semester 2 – 2 study days

Assessment points




Topic Multi-choice quiz 


30% (total) 

Topic Short answer quiz 


15% (total) 

Verbal Presentation

25 minutes


Written Assignment

3000 words


Course coordinator

Course Administrator