Critical Care Nursing

Advanced Certificate

Program Overview

Are you an RN wishing to expand your current skill set and knowledge base, enabling you to provide care for patients with complex multi-system health issues?  Do you thrive in a high intensity environment, and desire to be a part of a multidisciplinary team that seamlessly blends knowledge and technology, all while delivering holistic, evidence-based patient care? If so, a career in critical care nursing might be the path for you.

Critical care nurses are skilled health-care providers who are able to rapidly integrate knowledge and skill. An essential part of the health-care team, critical care nurses work with a variety of health-care professionals, providing care to patients and families during times of stress and crisis. 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Critical Care Nursing is an advanced certificate program for practicing registered nurses (RNs). It is offered through a blend of distance education and hands-on lab and clinical practicum experiences in Saskatchewan. You can choose to study fast track or regular track, whichever suits your schedule.

The program integrates information through a step-by-step approach, building on a comprehensive knowledge base. Through online classes, skills labs, simulation experience and clinical practicums, you’ll broaden your knowledge and skills in:

  • What it means to work in critical care and concepts such as patient- and family centered care, infection control, and working with a team.
  • Anatomy and physiology with a critical care focus.
  • Assessment and diagnosis in critical care.
  • Disorders and management in critical care.
  • Multisystem dysfunction and management in critical care.
  • Exploring the impact of critical care on you, the long-term outcomes on patients, future concepts in critical care, and the process of change.

Why Saskatchewan Polytechnic?

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is one of the most respected providers of nursing education in Canada. Our Critical Care Nursing program follows standards set by the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nursing. When you graduate, you’ll have the foundation you need to successfully write the national critical care certification exam.

A Stepping Stone

If you’re registered with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) while taking the program, you can apply for practice hours to maintain your registration. On graduation, you qualify for transfer credits towards post-RN degree programs at the Athabasca University of Alberta.

To Apply

Before you apply, please email or contact Heidi Kirk, administrative support, at 306-775-7445 (toll free at 1-866-467-4278), to determine the next available intake based on clinical capacity. Provide your name and phone number, and our program team will respond.

The Critical Care Nursing program is open to registered nurses actively licensed with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA).

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

As a graduate of the Critical Care Nursing program, you’re qualified to be a leader and team player in critical care settings, including intensive care, cardiac care and surgical intensive care units. In Saskatchewan, some health regions sponsor and hire local RNs to take the program and work in critical care areas in regional hospitals and tertiary care centres.

For more information, visit

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s):

Please contact or Heidi Kirk, administrative support, at 306-775-7445 (toll free at 1-866-467-4278), to determine the next available intake based on clinical capacity. Provide your name and phone number and the program team will respond.

Length: 11 weeks (fast track; full-time); 18 weeks (regular track; part-time)


  • Distance Learning options available


Admission Requirements

Before you apply, please contact or call Heidi Kirk, administrative support, at 306-775-7445 (toll free at 1-866-467-4278) to determine the next available intake based on clinical capacity.

  • You must be a registered nurse, actively licensed with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA).
  • English Language Requirement documentation is considered met as evidenced through licensure with the registered nurses’ licensing body in Canada.

The following are not required on admission but are required prior to participating in the clinical component:

  • Current immunization
  • Current CPR Health Care Provider “C” AED or equivalent
  • Transferring, Lifting and Repositioning (TLR) certification
  • Fit Testing Results (including the number associated with the appropriate mask)

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.



The annual cost varies according to the current tuition rate and the credit units for each course that you are taking. Tuition for the entire program is due by the first day of orientation. Please contact or call Heidi Kirk, administrative support, at 306-775-7445 (toll free at 1-866-467-4278) for more information.


PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Related Programs

Application Form

Part-Time Delivery

To graduate and receive a credential for this program, part-time students must apply to the program and be admitted before taking any program courses.

Check courses.

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