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Nurs Crit Care. 2009 Nov-Dec;14(6):297-302. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2009.00358.x.

The immediate life support course: implementation into an undergraduate nursing programme.

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University, Belfast, UK.



The aim of this paper is to outline how the immediate life support (ILS) course was incorporated into an undergraduate nursing curriculum in a university in Northern Ireland. It also reports on how the students perceived the impact of this course on their clinical practice.


The rationale of the course was to develop the student's ability to recognize the acutely ill patient and to determine the relevance of this to clinical practice. Prior to this, the ILS course was only available to qualified nurses, and this paper reports on the first time undergraduate nursing students were provided with an ILS course.


The ILS course was delivered to 89 third-year nursing students from the adult branch pathway of the BSc (Hons) programme in Nursing Sciences. Each course was taught to 10-12 students and was completed over eight 7.5 h sessions within a 2-week period. Recognized advanced life support (ALS) instructors, in keeping with the UK Resuscitation Council guidelines, taught the students.


Student feedback reported that the ILS course helped them understand what constituted the acutely ill patient and the role of the nurse in managing a deteriorating situation. Students also reported that they valued the experience as highlighting gaps in their knowledge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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