Learn to provide individualised holistic care for Level 3 patients.

Our Critical Care Nursing course prepares you to meet the National Education requirements for critical care practitioners.

This is a blended learning course for critical care nurses that takes place online and at Foresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen.

In this course, you will:

  • achieve CC3N Step 3 Competencies as a registered nurse in adult critical care
  • develop advanced theoretical knowledge and skills as a critical care practitioner
  • take an evidence-based approach to the holistic care of critically ill patients.

You’ll learn as a team, building on each other’s learning and experience, and you’ll be supported by our experienced critical care faculty.

Who is this Critical Care Nursing course for?

This course is for nurses:

  • currently working in critical care, with core knowledge in critical care practice
  • who have successfully completed the NHS Grampian Critical Care Education Pathway or equivalent from outside NHS Grampian, and
  • who are required to complete the CC3N Step 3 Competencies.
Laura Reid, Practice Educator

Our teaching team leads the way in the delivery of Critical Care education linked to the National CC3N Competencies.

Laura Reid, Practice Educator

What you’ll study

In this blended course, you’ll cover:

  • assessment of the complex patient
  • decision making in critical care nursing through critical analysis and evaluation
  • enhanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology related to conditions commonly seen within critical care.

You’ll learn to critically analyse and improve practice by applying knowledge and understanding to relevant policies, procedures and guidelines.

And you’ll reflect on your own experiences of working in critical care to support your continual professional development.

Step 3 Competencies

You’ll also complete the Step 3 Competencies of the CC3N’s Steps Framework for Adult Critical Care Nurses. Read about the CC3N’s Steps Framework.

You’ll achieve your Step 3 Competencies as part of the portfolio you’ll complete as part of the course, demonstrating your clinical and theoretical knowledge and competence.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Critically analyse, discuss and apply the underpinning theory of evidence-based critical care practice.
  • Demonstrate safe and competent evidence-based practice in caring for the critically ill patient.
  • Demonstrate effective communication strategies with the patient, their families and colleagues in the critical care team.
  • Critically reflect on your experience as a practitioner in critical care to inform and develop your practice.

How you’ll study

Blended learning

Our Critical Care Nursing course is delivered part-time via blended learning. It blends online and on-campus learning with work-based learning.

This course is taught at undergraduate level (SCQF 10). See a guide to SCQF levels.

Online learning

Your online teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos and audio clips
  • video lectures to stream or download
  • online one-to-one tutorials
  • slide shows
  • quizzes
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

In-person learning

Your in-person teaching at our Foresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen will feature lectures and tutorials, seminars, set exercises and simulated clinical scenarios. You’ll enjoy experiential learning in Clinical Practice with experienced practitioners.

Work-based learning

You’ll reflect on your existing experience within critical care. And you’ll learn to apply new and existing knowledge within your own work environment. We’ll use the National CC3N Steps Competency Framework and you’ll complete a portfolio as part of your work-based learning.

Your tutors

You’ll be taught by the NHS Grampian Critical Care Education Team as well as other experienced clinicians from both the University and clinical practice, such as Medics and Specialist Nurses.

Your teaching team

Where this will take you


By completing this Step 3 Competencies course successfully, you’ll have achieved advanced CC3N competencies in your role as a critical care practitioner.

As well as enhancing your knowledge, skills and professional network, this course will:

  • open opportunities for your career development in critical care
  • evidence your expertise and competency within your current role.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you should:

  • be a current registered nurse working within Critical Care Level 2 and/or 3, and
  • have evidence of foundational knowledge in critical care nursing, eg, NHS Grampian Critical Care Education Pathway completion or equivalent.

You also need to:

  • have a nursing degree, or
  • be able to demonstrate evidence of equivalent experience in healthcare practice.

Apply for this course

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