Advanced Studies in Critical Care Nursing

Take your nursing career to the next level

Are you considering advancing your nursing practice into the critical care environment? Or maybe you already work in the ICU or ER and want to deepen your knowledge?

The ACCN program is the perfect blend of semester-based theoretical coursework and hands on clinical practicums uniquely offered through distance learning to adjust to where you live and your busy life. Applicants have 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 are offered at select locations across Canada (some restrictions apply). International students, please contact us for possible options. 

If you already work in the ER or ICU, you may be eligible to challenge the clinical practicum by showcasing your experience.

If you are an 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.

Specialty Streams

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

Critical Care Nursing

Four three-credit theory courses and a 210-hour clinical practicum prepare you to help achieve optimal outcomes for critically ill patients experiencing complex and multiple system challenges. Using evidence-based nursing practices, upon completion of ACCN you will be prepared to work in a range of  ICU units, ranging from general settings to the more specific ones such as burn or cardiac ICU units.

Emergency Nursing

Four three-credit theory courses and a 210-hour clinical practicum prepare you for a range of minor to complex multi-system challenges among ill or injured patients in the emergency department. This certificate program will help you achieve optimal outcomes for patients in all age groups using evidence-based nursing practices.

Experiential, student-centred learning

Clinical practicum offers the opportunity to consolidate theory with real experience. It is a valuable opportunity to have a preceptored placement in a critical care or emergency setting. Based on the program objectives and your individual learning needs and skills, our experienced faculty will personally guide your practicum.

Nurses wanting to advance their knowledge with the theory courses, but who have recent clinical experience in the appropriate setting may have the option to challenge the clinical practicum hours. Please contact the course coordinator to see if your experience can be counted towards the clinical practicum hours.

A minimum of one year full-time equivalent of medical/surgical experience in acute care is required before entering the clinical practicum.

Continuing competency

Certificate courses are an excellent way for you to renew your nursing registration with practice hours. These courses may also count to you continuing your professional competencies.

Transfer credits

ACCN courses may be transferable to other universities.

If you already have your Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certificate in critical care or emergency nursing, Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) or Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certifications, you can apply for credit towards ACCN 5531 (Emergency and Critical Care Assessment).