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 call 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 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.

View latest program status info


11 weeks - September, January, March (fast track)

18 weeks - August, January (regular track)


  • Online/Distance
  • Prince Albert
  • Regina
  • Saskatoon

  • Some programs offered online or otherwise by distance (i.e., correspondence) include on-site labs, clinicals, practicums or work experiences. They may be offered course-by-course or full-time, or both, and deliveries may change over time.

  • Students apply to this online program through Regina campus, but labs are also available on campus in Prince Albert and Saskatoon. Clinicals take place in Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon.


Admission Requirements

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

  • To enroll in the program, you must be currently licensed with the registered nurses' licensing body in the province where you will be completing your clinical practice education experience.
  • 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
  • Evidence of current N95 respirator mask testing. The cost of N95 respirator mask testing is your responsibility.

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 approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.


2020/21 Academic Year


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 administrative support, at 306-775-7445 (toll free at 1-866-467-4278) for more information.

Get Credit for What You Know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.See links below to more information about PLAR and detailed PLAR candidate guides for the Arts and Sciences courses in this program. To discuss PLAR for other courses in this program, contact us at 1-866-467-4278 and ask for the Program Head of this program.

Transfer Credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

Graduates of the Critical Care Nursing Advanced Certificate may be eligible for credit for NURS 326(3) and NURS 3XX (3) in the Bachelor of Nursing Post RN program.

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. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

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