Emergency Department Education

​Nursing Education

Our education philosophy is to maintain and promote a collegial and collaborative learning and practice environment which supports individual nursing career pathways.  We aim to provide the emergency nurse with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the public receive optimum emergency care utilising evidence based practice and research.

Many of these courses receive funding support through HWNZ (Health Workforce NZ) - previously known as CTA funding.​


Nurses new to the Emergency Department (ED) undertake an orientation programme utilising individualised learning contracts. 

  • We recognise prior learning (RPL) and experience. 

  • Nurses attend Introduction to Emergency Nursing study days and clinical development days as they progress through the department. 

  • Nurses are allocated formal preceptors and are also able to utilise the Clinical Coaches (formally known as Specialty Clinical Nurses) who provide clinical support and mentoring.

Emerg​​ency Department NetP nursing orientation programme​

ED supports the CDHB NetP programme and currently employ 2 NetP nurses per year. These nurses follow a unique orientation programme developed in collaboration with the NetP programme educators and ED Education Team.

The nurses are allocated a NetP Clinical Mentor for the duration of the programme. The nurses attend the relevant study days of the CDHB NetP programme and also commence the Foundation Course in Emergency Nursing.​

Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing

This course is aimed at Growing Emergency Nurses and is applicable for registered nurses wishing to develop clinical skills and knowledge in the assessment, care and management of the acutely ill and injured patient presenting to the ED.

The course is designed for registered nurses new to the emergency care setting. We have 2 courses running over each academic year. There are 4 Modules:

  • GCEN 700-17-T1- Cardio-Respiratory Emergency Nursing 
  • GCEN-700-17-T2- Medical -Surgical Emergency Nursing
  • GCEN-700-17-T3- Paediatric Emergency Nursing and Professional Considerations
  • GCEN-700-17-T4- Trauma Emergency Nursing 

The course involves both academic and clinical assessment. Further information can be obtained from ARA Institute of Canterbury Website: www.ara.ac.nz and the Emergency Department Nurse Educators.​

Nurse Initiated Treatment Education Packages

Nurse initiated treatment (smoking cessation).jpg  

​​These packages are for nursing staff to practice autonomously within standing order policies and initiate and expedite care and treatment for patients. Examples include:

  • pain management and analgesia standing order
  • eye presentations and topical anaesthetic eye drops standing order
  • asthma care, respiratory assessment and ventolin standing order
  • ACS and GTN & aspirin standing order
  • wound care and ADT standing order
  • smoking cessation support and NRT administration

​Nurse initiated treatments are supported by the clinical pathways developed for patient care in ED.

Wound Management

Wound assessment and management is incorporated into both the Foundation Course and Ambulatory study day. The Ambulatory study day is for nurses progressing into the minor injuries area and triage areas of the department. Advanced wound assessment, local anaesthetic administration using standing orders and suturing learning packages can be undertaken once progressing into this area.​

Nurse Initiated X-ray and Orthopaedic Assessment ​

This comprises an on-line radiology safety learning package, orthopaedic assessment and medico-legal issues around nurses ordering x-rays. It involves pre-reading, a workshop which is part of the Ambulatory Area study day, clinical assessment and sign off. It allows nurses to refer patients to the orthopaedic department and order x-rays within their scope of practice. ​

Triage Course

Triage nurse.jpg  

This is for ED nurses who will be progressing into the Triage role. The 2-day National Triage Course is run by the College of Emergency Nurses New Zealand (CENNZ). We host this course twice a year in Christchurch. Following the course nurses are formally preceptored into this role. Further information is available on the CENNZ website​.

Resus Triage

Experienced Triage nurses are formally preceptored into the Resus Area Triage role which involves triage and coordination of the Resuscitation and Monitored Area of the Department. This role extends the skill of triage, involves greater communication and leadership skills as this role requires the co-ordination of patient and multi-disciplinary staff resources in the Resus and Monitored areas. ​

Paediatric Resus and Procedural Sedation Study Day

This covers paediatric airway management, ventilation, fluid resuscitation and procedural sedation. This currently runs 4 times a year.

Mental Health Module

This module was developed in March 2011 in collaboration with the Mental Health Service and runs 3 times a year. It covers the assessment and management of mental health presentations to the ED.

Senior Registered Nurse Day

This day is for the senior ED registered nurses. It covers leadership and management strategies, models of care and updates clinical skills.

TNCC – Trauma Nursing Core Course

We host the TNCC course run by the College of Emergency Nurses every second year (alternating with the ENPC). This is an internationally recognised course and teaches a systematic approach to the trauma patient.

ENPC – Emergency Nursing Paediatric Course

We host the ENPC course run by the College of Emergency Nurses every second year (alternating with the TNCC). This is an internationally recognised course and teaches the assessment and management of the injured and ill child. Further information is available on the ACEN website​.

NZRC (NZ Resuscitation Council) – Level 6

This advanced resuscitation course is offered to 24 ED nursing staff each year. It is organised by the NZRC Co-ordinators at Christchurch Hospital. It is the equivalent to ACLS which is recognised internationally. Further information is available on the NZRC website.

APLS – Advanced Paediatric Life Support

The APLS course is organised by the NZRC Co-ordinators at Christchurch Hospital and held once a year. Further information is available on the NZRC website​.

Graduate and Postgraduate Nursing Studies

Nurses are encouraged to advance their nursing practice through further formal education at all levels. Several nurses have now completed their Masters, and at PhD level one has been awarded and another is in progress.

Papers are offered through:


The CDHB has a dedicated home-site. Policies, templates such as annual performance appraisals and interim year documents can be found on this site​.

There are ED have Resource Staff, as well as those across the organisation, their names can be found on the intranet page under Resource Staff. ​ The ED also has Assessors. 


Medical Education

Emergency Medicine Professorial Chair

Professor Michael Ardagh holds the first Emergency Medicine Professorial Chair in New Zealand and is the Academic Head of Emergency Medical Research. Our department is the first in Australasia to have an established university appointment such as this.

Advanced Training in Emergency Medicine

The department has full 2-year accreditation program for Advanced Training in Emergency Medicine, by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM). The program is very active with most registrars being Emergency Specialist trainees. To support this Emergency Specialist trainees rotate to other areas for specialty runs including to:

  • Intensive care
  • Anaesthetics
  • Orthopaedics

The ACEM primary and fellowship examinations have been successfully attempted by a number of our trainees in the last few years. 

In the department there are 25 Fellows of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (FACEMs). Three of whom co-direct the Department of Emergency Medicine Training (DEMT) with others supporting medical education.

Postgraduate Emergency Medicine Certificate

From 2013 the department can offer ED placements for those undertaking the ACEM Postgraduate Emergency Medicine Certificate.

Weekly teaching

The department has protected weekly teaching on Fridays and provision for reimbursement of travel/examination expenses, and training texts for trainees.

  • General ED sessions - Presentations by Trainees, Emergency Specialists and invited speakers
  • Radiology - Both reviews of the week's interesting images, and theme-based sessions
  • Primary exam preparation sessions
  • Fellowship preparation sessions
  • Resuscitation scenarios

NZRC (NZ Resuscitation Council) – Level 7

This advanced resuscitation course is offered each year. It is organised by the NZRC Co-ordinators at Christchurch Hospital.


Combined Education


​Weekly in-situ simulation sessions are run. These may combine with other services such as paediatrics.

EMST – Early Management of Severe Trauma 

EMST is an intensive course in the management of injury victims in the first one to two hours following injury. The course emphasises life-saving skills and systematic clinical approach to managing severe trauma. This is a two and half day course in which nurses observe and doctors are examined on. Further information is available on the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) web​site​.

EMSB – Emergency Management of Severe Burns


EMSB is an international course run by the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA). It teaches clinicians how to recognise, assess, stabilise and transfer the severely burnt patient and is aimed at all health professionals who may find themselves caring for an acute severe burn. It will supplement existing clinical knowledge in the management of trauma patients with specific aspects and challenges associated with a burn injury. ED nursing and medical staff can undertake this course. It is run over one day, and numbers are limited to 24 participants. Further information is available on the ANZBA website​.​ 

PROMPT – PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training

PROMPT is an evidence based multi-professional training package for obstetric emergencies. It is associated with direct improvements in perinatal outcome and has been proven to improve knowledge, clinical skills and team working. This course is run 4 times a year through the Christchurch Womens' Education Team. ED nursing and medical staff can undertake this course. Further information is available on the PROMPT website​.

Emergency Department
rounded corners top

Related Documents

rounded corners bottom
Page last reviewed: 09 January 2018