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Critical Care Specialty Course

Are you interested in advancing your nursing career as a critical care or emergency nurse?

If you are an experienced RN with one or more years of recent nursing experience in a hospital setting and are interested in advancing your career as a specialty nurse, this program is for you!  New graduate RNs are also welcome to apply!

The Critical Care Course is offered to nurses (Montana RN-license required) who will be hired into the Critical Care Float Pool, ICU, Cardiac Cath Lab, or ED at St. Vincent's Healthcare.

Following the interview process, all candidates accepted into the program (named Residents after being accepted) will be offered a full-time RN position within the Education Department. All tuition is paid for by St. Vincent's Health and the Resident will receive a full-time salary and benefits while completing the Introduction to Critical Care Course.

After successful completion of the course, the Resident will be moved into a full-time position in the ICU or ED, however, if there is not an RN position available in the ED or ICU, or if a particular skill-mix is needed, the Resident may be placed in the Critical Care Float Pool.  Please note that residents may be moved into RN positions within the individual departments as well (ICU, Cath Lab, PACU, Critical Care Float Pool and ED) based on availability and unit skill-mix need, therefore, completion of the ICU-Track does not guarantee a position in the ICU or completion of the ED-Track does not guarantee a position in the ED.

The Carroll College-SCL Health-Montana Region Collaborative is offering two Critical Care Specialty Courses:

  1. Introduction to Emergency Nursing (10-credits)—Next Course planned is Fall Semester 2019
  2. Introduction to Intensive Care Nursing (10-credits)—Next course planned is Spring Semester 2019

The Critical Care Specialty Courses are full-time programs that require student flexibility to allow for the scheduling of approximately 24 hours/week of clinical time and will require additional estimated 12-15 hours of independent homework per week.

Spring 2019 Course Dates:

ICU-Track Only

  • Orientation Day
    Monday, February 25, 2019 at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana

  • First Intensive Weekend
    Friday-Sunday: March 1st-3rd to be held at Carroll College in Helena, Montana

  • Second Intensive Weekend
    Friday-Sunday: March 22nd-24th to be held at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana

  • Third Intensive Weekend
    Friday-Sunday: May 3rd-5th to be held at Carroll College in Helena, Montana

  • Final Exam/Patient Exemplar Presentations
    TBA: either Friday, May 17th or Saturday, May 18th to be held at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana

Course Components

  • 240 hours of hands-on clinical 1:1 with an RN preceptor in the ICU or ED (depending on if the student is accepted into the ICU or ED track)
    • All clinical hours are completed at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Billings, Montana.
    • Students will be expected to fulfill an average of 24 hours/ week of clinical as scheduled by the course syllabus.
    • Clinical days will vary to match the preceptor’s schedule and will include 12-hour clinical days, including day-shifts, night-shifts, weekend-shifts, and possibly holidays.
  • Approximately 75-80 hours of online education modules focused on either ICU (Essentials of Critical Care Orientation by AACN) or the ED (Emergency Nurses Orientation program by ENA).
    • It is recommended to have access to a personal computer and internet available.
    • Students will receive approximately 75-80 hours of continuing education credit for the completed online modules per AACN or ENA.
    • Access to either the ECCO or ENO program is included in the course tuition.
  • Approximately 80 hours of didactic classroom learning
    • Includes the three intensive weekends of lecture / simulation / case studies / skill acquisition. Two weekends will be held at Carroll College and one weekend will be held at St. Vincent’s in Billings, Montana (see scheduled dates above). Students will need to manage their own travel arrangements.
    • Additional didactic sessions may include, but are not limited to the following: an Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump class, a CRRT class and a Neurological Assessment class.

Student Requirements

The student must be a registered nurse with a current unencumbered Montana RN license and current BLS certification.

For Additional Details and Application