Critical Care Concepts
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Intensive Care Week is celebrated in Canada in October of each year. This is a special week recognized by the Federal Government to raise awareness of critical care and the work of health professionals who have chosen this path.

The professional voice for critical care nursing in Canada is provided by the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses (CACCN). CACCN has developed Standards for Critical Care Nursing Practice and position statements to guide critical care nursing practice. As a specialty interest group of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), CACCN collaborated with CNA to develop the first critical care nursing certification program in 1995. Certification in critical care nursing is now available for nurses working in either adult or paediatric critical care. Successful completion is recognized by the credentials Certified Nurse in Critical Care Nursing in Canada or CNCC(C) and Certified Nurse in Critical Care Paediatrics in Canada or CNCCP(C) respectively.

To become certified in either adult or paediatric critical care, candidates must have 2 years of critical care nursing experience or 1 year plus completion of a certificate in critical care nursing. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) owns and administers all nursing certification examinations in Canada. Interested candidates must apply to CNA to become certified. Certification in any of CNA's areas of specialty designation (including critical care) are offered in the spring and fall of each year. Interested candidates must apply directly to CNA through their certification portal.

Application deadlines and examination writing dates for 2022 are:

Application Window: January 13th - March 7th 2022
Certification Exam Window: May 1-15

Application Window: June 1 – September 1, 2022
Certification Exam Window: November 1 – 15, 2022

Certification must be renewed every 5 years. The easiest way to accomplish this is via Continuing Learning (CL) Activities. Critical care courses offered through Critical Care Concepts can be used to help prepare for initial certification or to obtain CL Activities to apply toward certification renewal.

Membership in the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses provide a number of opportunities for CL Activities, including online education through the members only section, local and national educational events, and a variety of professional development opportunities and activities. CACCN publishes a quarterly peer reviewed journal, and hosts an outstanding annual convention (both called Dynamics of Critical Care). Members of CACCN also have access to an examination study guide that was written by Brenda Morgan. Membership in CACCN also provides several opportunities for awards and bursaries.

Dynamics (the conference) is held in a different Canadian city each fall (or virtually since the pandemic). In addition to the chance to enjoy the many beautiful cities across this great county, CACCN's annual convention provides excellent educational programming, presentation experiences (oral and poster), a state-of-the-art exhibition hall and professional networking.

The professional voice for critical care physicians is provided through the Canadian Critical Care Society (CCCS). Critical care research is supported through the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) and financial support for critical care research in Canada is provided through the Canadian Intensive Care Foundation. The Critical Care Forum is the annual national convention of the CCCS and CCCTG. The 2013 meeting will be held in Toronto, Ontario from November 9 - 12.

Other important links include the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT), the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Dietitians of Canada Association.

All of these websites contain very valuable information to practitioners in critical care.




Last Update: November 15, 2021

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