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MICES notice

Critical Care Nursing Transition to Practice Program

We, as a group of managers, educators, clinical nurse consultants and senior nurses are excited to be able to support and guide you through your transition to the critical care environment.
Please take every opportunity and push every boundary as you develop into a highly skilled critical care nurse. A development which will benefit not only yourself but your patients and their families and the many colleagues and other professionals that you will work with within Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals.


Our Mission

The MICE Program or Critical Care Transition to Practice Program is a program which was pioneered at Westmead Hospital in 2017. As of May 2018 Blacktown Hospital has come on-board with the MICE program offering the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit as areas of placement in the program. This educational program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of new staff wanting to gain knowledge and experience in the Intensive Care Services and other critical care departments (namely the Emergency Departments) of Westmead Hospital and Blacktown Hospital. The program will provide a richness and diversity of educational and learning opportunities for nursing staff participating in the program through a rotational style employment contract. Successful candidates into the program are allocated a mixture of Intensive Care, Emergency, Medical and Surgical High Dependency and Acute Cardiac based units over a 2 year period (4 x 6month rotations). It is important to note that this program is not a dedicated Intensive Care or Emergency Nursing program, the program requires rotations to achieve the learning objectives of the curriculum.

The Critical Care departments continue to recruit nursing staff off the New Graduate Transitional Support Program (NGTSP) and Nurse Bank. These nurses may or may not have had a rotation through the Critical Care departments whilst on the NGTSP and are clearly in the novice/beginner phase of both their clinical (skill tree) and career pathways.

Nursing staff working in the Critical Care departments are all supported by a detailed career pathway that provides a framework of how a nurse may progress from novice to expert (Benner, 1982). This framework currently, however, does not inter connect across the departments. This program will provide a conduit and pathway for nurses to further develop Critical Care nursing skills which can be utilised across the various Critical Care departments of Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals. As the Intensive Care and High Dependency Units start to come together under the umbrella of the Intensive Care Services and in collaboration with the Emergency Department we hope to use this time to start up an education program that will go on to support new starters to transition into any of the critical care services of Westmead Hospital and the expansion of Blacktown Hospitals Acute Care Service redevelopment.

For the purposes of the MICE program the current critical care departments included in this framework are:

  • Medical High Dependency Unit (Westmead Hospital) B5B
  • Intensive Care Units (Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals) E3A / E3B
  • Cardiothoracic Intensive Care (Westmead) E3C
  • Coronary Care Unit (Westmead) A5B
  • Emergency Departments (Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals)
  • Surgical High Dependency Unit (Westmead Hospital) A3C

Given the high acuity and complexity of the patients typically nursed in these units, the need has been identified to provide a structured educational support program for nursing staff transitioning from the role of New Graduate Nurse to critical care staff nurse or new starters interested in becoming Critical Care nurses.


Aims and Objectives

At the core of the program is the fundamental and essential skill and knowledge of patient assessment, which also reflects and will incorporate the current Ministry of Health initiatives of DETECT and ISBAR as well as a number of local initiatives focusing on patient safety. The importance of the inter relating of co-morbidities and body system pathophysiology’s is also a core focus of this program again linked to and reflective of the high acuity and highly complex patient of today.

To break this down further the general learning and development objectives of the MICE program are listed below and reference is made to how they align with the ACCCN Practice Standards for Specialist Critical Care Nurses:

  • Apply the basic, fundamental and core principles of critical care and high dependency nursing practice into their clinical nursing management of patients (Standard 8 and 13)
  • Work from a professional, legal, and ethic framework to support critical patients and their families (Standard 1, 2, and 4)
  • Apply the principles of patient assessment in the assessment of the complex patient (Standard 9) Gain an understanding of the hospital journey of the patient who is critically ill and their significant others (Standard 1, 2, and 3)
  • Utilise the skills of critical thinking, clinical decision making, reflection and trouble shooting in their clinical practice (Standard 7, 10, and 11)
  • Develop adaptable clinical skills across specialties (Standard 5)
  • Advance their theoretical and clinical specialist skill base (Standard 12 and 14)
  • Link the theory contained within the self-directed learning packages into clinical nursing practice (Standard 6)
  • Be prepared for tertiary education studies (Standard 12 and 14)
  • Understand the importance of reflective clinical supervision in their own self-care (Standard 15)


Program Outline

To successfully complete the MICE Program the MICE participants need to compile and present a professional portfolio as evidence of the completion of all components of the MICE Program. This portfolio needs to be organized with a table of contents and include a level of evidence sufficient to exhibit the development of competence that the participant has undertaken in the MICE Program. To direct this development a number of tasks and assessments are prescribed to contribute as evidence of the participants’ development during the MICE Program. In addition the participant is encouraged to partake in self-directed learning and the design and achievement of individual goals.


For successful completion of the MICE program, participants must achieve the following criteria:
  • Completion of all of the planned clinical rotations (4 x 6 month rotations within a 2 year period) with annual leave allocation in the last 2 weeks of each rotation
  • Attendance at all study days (10 days over the 2 year period)
  • Attendance at monthly MICE in-services (the 3rd Tuesday of the Month 1430-1530) NOTE: some variation in dates due to public holidays and annual leave allocation
  • Attendance at a majority of clinical supervision session provided in a group environment with the other MICE participants
  • Completion of a series of clinical skills assessments as outlined in MICE handbook:
    • 10 mandatory skills assessments, over the 2 year period
    • 2 elective skills assessments for each rotation, making a total of 8 elective skills assessments (worked out through negotiation with the education team for each department)
  • Completion of the NSW Department of Health TTP ICU workbook. It is an expectation to have the ICU TTP workbook completed by the end of your ICU rotation.
  • Completion of at least one clinical reflection during each rotation (making a minimum total of 4) which is to be submitted for review by the NE up to 2 weeks before the end of the rotation period
  • Completion of a case study report on a patient under their care during their time in the 1st year of the MICE program
  • Development of an in-service or learning resource for one of the clinical areas involved in the MICE program. The due date of this is to be negotiated with the NE but will take place during the second year of the MICE Program


Who Can Apply?

  • Registered Nurses currently employed at Westmead and Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospitals
  • Registered Nurses year 2 and above
  • Registered Nurses with an interest in Critical Care Nursing who acknowledge this is a rotational program over 2 years
  • Registered Nurses who are motivated, like a challenge and are dedicated to professional development
  • Registered Nurses who can adapt quickly to new environments and change as part of the program requires rotational placements every 6 months
  • Registered Nurses who are prepared to balance the program requirements with fulltime rotating roster requirements and lifestyle factors
  • Registered Nurses who would like to be permanently placed in a Critical Care setting upon completion of the program


How to Apply?

Recruitment for the MICE program is a yearly occurrence at this stage. Promotion for the program is expected to commence in February/March each year with tentative interview process to begin March/April. This would allow for commencement of the MICE program tentatively for May.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) will be distributed via email to the Nursing Unit Manager and Clinical Nurse Educator groups to be distributed to their staff via staff ward meetings and/or educational opportunity conversations and also through posters around the hospital campus.

The EOI will list selection criteria to be addressed for eligibility to progress further to interview stage.


Interview Process

The interview process is a multimodal process whereby the candidates are scored and ranked. The interview process involves the candidates engaging in three components:
  1. 1. An interview panel
  2. 2. Case Study Presentation (group work)
  3. 3. Simulation Scenario
This process is timetabled to take 3 hours in total.




Email the MICE Program.



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