Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Education and training in PICU

  • Nursing Education focus in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

    • Fostering a participative clinical learning environment
    • Fostering the professional development of nursing staff
    • Promotion of focused support for students undertaking the Graduate Certificate of Specialty Practice (Paediatric Intensive Care)
    • Supporting a preceptorship model of learning
    • Providing a unit based education program
    • Promotion of nursing research, clinical inquiry and evidenced based nursing practice 

    Support provided for the intensive care nurses

    • 5 Days paid study leave per annum for full time staff plus conference leave and professional development days
    • Journal Club meetings are conducted in the hospital to promote the use of evidenced based nursing practices and nursing research
    • Annually 15 students have a 12 month clinical placement for the Graduate Certificate in Specialty Nursing (Paediatric Intensive Care) conducted in conjunction with The University of Melbourne School Workshops are run on different topics such as Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy, Cardiac Nursing, Traumatic Brain injuries,TSN, VAD, ECMO, and Transplant
    • Short education sessions and updates are held several times a week
    • Competency packages are used to keep staff current in various aspects of PICU practice
    • The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit has 2 EFT Clinical Nurse Educator and 3 EFT Clinical Support Nurses

    Paediatric intensive care nursing courses in PICU at the RCH

    Graduate Certificate in Specialty Practice (Paediatric Intensive Care)

    12-month course conducted through The University of Melbourne. Students are employed part-time and attend lectures conducted on site at RCH. The possibility of part-time study exists. Students are supported clinically with a strong focus on preceptorship.


    Kim Morris
    Course Coordinator 
    Telephone +61 3 9345 5777 
    School of nursing, The University of Melbourne

    Advancing Competency in Paediatric Intensive Care (ACPIC)

    Next course: TBA

    The ACPIC is provided for nurses with acute care experience (adult or paediatric) who are interested in working in PICU, but have limited intensive care exposure. This 12 week program will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to work as a beginning practitioner in PICU, and includes 10 paid study days and 3 weeks supernumerary time. We ensure structured supervision and assistance is available to you at the bedside with our Preceptors, Clinical Nurse Facilitators and Educators.

    The role of the PICU nurse is challenging and rewarding and we will offer you opportunities to learn and develop in a dynamic, enabling and supportive team environment.


    Justine Brown and Dawn Isaacs 
    Nurse Unit Manager and Deputy Nurse Unit Manager - Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
    Telephone +61 3 9345 5201

    PICU nursing opportunities

    Medical education in PICU at the RCH

    The PICU provides experience and training in paediatric intensive care medicine for trainees from Australia and overseas.

    The unit is accredited for two years core training for Fellowship of the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine  ANZCA. The unit also offers accredited supervision of trainees of the  Royal Australian College of Physicians and  Australasian College of Emergency Medicine.

    Please read - t raining in paediatric intensive care medicine

    For further information on medical training in PICU,  see the section ' PICU medical administration' on our Contact us page.

    Observational/Practice nurse visitor guidelines for the RCH PICU

    1. Requests for all observational nursing visits to the unit will be reviewed by the education team in consultation with the Nurse Unit Manager. Contact PICU Nurse Educators  or +61 9345 5225; or Justine Brown Nurse Unit Manger Paediatric Intensive Care Unit or +61 9345 5201.
    2. Only one observational visitor in the unit at any given time will be accommodated, unless student observational visitors or group observational visitors are from an interstate or an overseas location. In this case 2 observational visitors may be considered.
    3. Request for observational/practice visits must be received 3 months in advance of the proposed visit. Late requests may be considered at the discretion of the Unit Manager and the Educational Team.
    4. All observational/practice visitors must have a  Working with Children Check and a Police Check.
    5. All observational/practice visitors must provide written objectives which will be considered before the request is granted. The objectives must be specific to PICU and be of value to nursing practice.
    6. Visitors are encouraged to organise a practice visit and seek registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. This will need to be organised well in advance as registration is a lengthy process.   Information can be obtained from AHPRA
    7. Practice visits require a contractual agreement between the external agency and the Royal Children's Hospital.
    8. Observational visits will be for one week duration, except in circumstances when 2 weeks maximum may be considered for overseas visitors.
    9. Overseas visitors must have competency in the English language. We will consider individual request, however it is preferable that the standards set by AHPRA; Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia:
    10. Observational visitors will be placed clinically with a Registered Nurse and the in charge PICU Associate Unit Managers will be notified of the arrangements prior to the commencement of the shift. The observational visitor's objectives will be made available to the PICU staff supporting the visit.
    11. Nurses visiting must have completed an undergraduate program
    12. All visitors must sign a confidential agreement as per the RCH policy guidelines
    13. The RCH in unable to provide accommodation and accommodation arrangements must be made independently. Information can be obtained from