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Critical Care Medicine

Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse Orientation

Our mission is to provide safe and supportive interprofessional development.  To be grounded by the principles of family-centered, evidence-based practice in content, method, design and in all learning relationships. To contribute to excellence in patient care and professional development utilizing principles of student focused learning. To contribute to scientific knowledge specifically related to professional staff development, educational strategies and knowledge transference. Paediatric care nursing and interprofessional education is a collaborative program founded on the philosophy of evidence based, interprofessional family-centered care.


  • To provide a practice environment responsive to patient, family, professional team, community and organizational needs
  • To enhance the capacity for continuing education of the interdisciplinary team
  • To facilitate individual learners to achieve excellence in their professional practice and to meet their personal developmental objectives
  • To provide resources and support for the critical care of children outside of the critical care program and hospital
  • To maintain and enhance safe patient care

Our continuing education programing includes preparation to deliver complex technological care, for example continuous renal replacement therapy and advanced expertise in areas of interest (ie trauma care). Leadership development and support in developing research skills are provided to interested staff through many unit-based, hospital and external programs.

Orientation Program

Paediatric intensive care nursing orientations are coordinated so that foundational skills for practice and continued learning in the clinical area are developed in the first phase of learning. Specialty specific knowledge and preparation to care for individual patient populations is addressed within the second phase of orientation. Orientation education reflects the extensive depth and breadth of the different needs and illness experiences of the children and families in our care.

Infrastructure for learning:

Interprofessional Education Specialist

Clinical Orientation Support Nurse:
Direct clinical practice supervision
Consistent support and feedback to learners
Interface with clinical staff regarding learner skills, assignment planning and shift to shift integration of learners

Clinical Support Nurse role:
Dedicated two per shift - clinical expert nurses
Focuses on supporting clinical practice at the bedside

Interprofessional education team members:
Professional service team members, as well as experts from programs, which have their patients cared for in PICU are direct contributors to orientation content
Role transition support is provided throughout orientation by the social worker and leadership team

Preceptors are matched to new staff at the completion of the classroom part of orientation
Preceptorship last for approximately 40 shifts.
They work closely beside the orientees in the same room
They provide clinical guidance and supervision, support competency development, and negotiate supportive learning assignments with the unit leadership team.

Orientation phases:

Paediatric Nursing Orientation
New staff to the hospital attend general paediatric nursing classes
Participate in lectures, workshops, skills training and evaluation
Content includes basic line management, NG placement, pain scales, developmental care, diversity and family centered care

PICU Orientation Framework
12 weeks in length, delivered in hospital
Classroom learning with integrated clinical experiences.
High fidelity simulation and competency-based evaluation
Classroom learning is followed by an additional 8-12 weeks of supervised clinical learning with a preceptor.

Student Program

We provide placement clinical support for undergraduate and graduate level learns from a number of educational institutions across Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Joseph
Interprofessional Education Specialist
The Hopsital for Sick Children (SickKids)
555 University Ave
RM 2849
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-5055
Fax: 416-813-7299
email: sophie.joseph@sickkids.ca