NUR5924 - Intensive care nursing 2 - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Rose Jaspers


Rose Jaspers

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (Flexible)


Must be enrolled in course code M6031


This unit focuses on the development of advanced practice skills and knowledge necessary to work in an Intensive Care Unit.

Key concepts covered include: pathophysiology and management of sepsis, multi organ dysfunction syndrome, acute lung injury, neurological alterations and management, and support of renal function. There will be investigation of the development of advanced Intensive Care therapies.

The extended skills and expertise of an intensive care nurse covered include: advanced ventilation strategies, advanced haemodynamic monitoring, cardiac pacing, intra-aortic balloon pump therapy, and continuous renal replacement therapies and advanced neurological monitoring.

This unit builds on the skills and knowledge of the Registered Nurse working in Intensive Care and applies this to complex patient presentations. These areas include trauma, emergency, paediatrics, obstetrics, cardiac surgery, post anaesthesia and pain management

The unit also has a focus on the applied psychosocial and ethical elements of intensive care nursing including complex decision making, end of life care and organ donation. The student will develop skills to provide an advanced level of care to Intensive Care patients and their significant others across age, socio-cultural and economic groups.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss pathophysiology, assessment (including advanced haemodynamic monitoring) and treatment of sepsis and multi-organ failure
  2. Adapt the core principles of intensive care nursing to specialist patient populations
  3. Define restrictive and obstructive lung disease, identifying pathogenicity and demonstrate advanced ventilation strategies and rescue therapies
  4. Identify pathophysiological reasons for continuous renal replacement therapy and demonstrate its use and care of the patient
  5. Investigate the continued development of intensive care therapies, analysing contemporary nursing issues, critically evaluate evidence then express ideas for future areas of research and development
  6. Explore ethical and moral issues associated with the provision of intensive care to patients.
  7. Discuss the pathophysiology of neurological presentations of patients to ICU and define monitoring and interventions of this neurosurgical group of ICU patients
  8. Perform and reflect on clinical practice in accordance with the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses' practice standards
  9. Explore different types of emergency presentations to intensive care and critically analyse nursing management strategies


Students must be working as a Registered Nurse in an Intensive Care Unit for a minimum of 3 days/week


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 3 hours and 10 minutes.

  • End of semester written exam (3 hours) (40% )(hurdle)
  • Written assignment (3,000 words) (30%)
  • 4 x online Respondus lock down browser mediated quizzes 30%
  • Clinical Assessment and Performance Appraisals (hurdle)

Workload requirements

56 hours lectures/workshops

144 hours self-directed learning

288 hours clinical practise (i.e. minimum 3 days per week)

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study