A nurse wearing a hijab reviews a chart in a patient room full of various medical equipment.

Advanced Studies in Critical Care Nursing


Starting at 1 year, up to 6 years

Learn how to apply

Program highlights

Work placement opportunity

Begin a new career path — Gain the knowledge, skills and experience to work and thrive in the critical care environment.

Expand your knowledge — Already working in ICU or ER? The ACCN program builds on your existing knowledge and skills to deepen your practice.

Choose from two specialized streams — To meet your career goals, focus your studies by selecting either the Intensive Care Nursing or Emergency Nursing stream

Experiential, student-centred learning — Consolidate theory with practical experience during preceptored placement in an intensive care or emergency setting

The Mount Royal University Advanced Studies in Critical Care Nursing (ACCN) program is the perfect blend of semester-based theoretical coursework and hands-on clinical practicums uniquely offered through online distance learning to adjust to where you live and your busy life. Applicants have up to six years to complete the program allowing you to take the courses at your own pace. Flexibility within the semester is built in to allow adult learners to manage external commitments.

The ACCN program is recognized by ER and ICU departments across Canada giving graduates from our program a competitive edge when applying for positions.

Clinical practicums

Clinical practicums are offered at select locations across Canada (some restrictions apply). International students, please contact us for possible options. A minimum of one year full-time equivalent of medical/surgical experience in acute care is required before entering the clinical practicum.

Nurses currently working in the ER or ICU

You may be eligible to challenge the clinical practicum by showcasing your experience. Please contact the course coordinator to see if your experience can be counted towards the clinical practicum hours.

Allied health personnel or nursing student

You may be eligible to take certain theory courses in the ACCN program. Please contact us if you are an allied health personnel or nursing student before applying to discuss your options.


To meet your career goals, this program offers two distinct streams of study:

Intensive Care Nursing

  • Four three-credit theory courses and a 210-hour clinical practicum
  • Learn to work as an intensive care nurse with critically ill and injured patients requiring close monitoring for complex situations
  • Become an expert at assessing and managing interconnected physiological systems and achieving optimal outcomes for critically ill patients
  • Be prepared to work in a range of ICU units, ranging from general settings to more specific units, including burn and cardiac

Emergency Nursing

  • Four three-credit theory courses and a 210-hour clinical practicum
  • Learn to thrive in a fast-paced and unpredictable environment with a wide variety of clinical presentations, from minor injuries to critical illnesses or major trauma
  • Help achieve optimal outcomes for patients in all age groups using evidence-based nursing practices
  • Be prepared to work in rural, urban and northern settings and/or provide flight nursing care

Admission requirements and costs

Curriculum and courses


Information about the program can be answered by the ACCN team.

Contact us
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Discover everything you need to know about becoming an MRU student.

Study at MRU


MRU alumna Holly Feist poses in nursing scrubs next to a yellow lab therapy dog in the hospital.

Building a foundation for fast-paced nursing

Extension certificate stream concentrates on the emergency room

MRU alumna and registered nurse Kenya Mokoena

Finding your nursing niche in the ICU

ACCN program provides additional training for difficult medical scenarios

MRU alumna and ER nurse Shandell Petker

ACCN certificate comprehensive and flexible

Shandell Petker fulfills career goal of working in emergency

Take the next steps to become a Mount Royal student

Application process Sign up for an info session
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School of Nursing and Midwifery

Mount Royal is pleased to offer the Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Nursing, Bridge to Canadian Nursing program and Advanced Studies in Critical Nursing certificate.

Learn more

Virtual Information Sessions

Select a session that suits you. Choose from general information, specific by program, drop in Q&A, or attend an Indigenous or international student session.