Graduate Certificates (RN)

Graduate Certificate Courses (RN)

The Graduate Certificate courses are professional development programs for nurses currently employed in the health care secttor. They are designed to be undertaken part-time. The following information will assist students in the process of deciding which course to undertake and which subjects are required to successfully complete each Graduate Certificate.

We offer Graduate Certificate courses in 12 specialty areas:

Acute Care Nursing

Critical Care Nursing

Aged Care Nursing

Neonatal Nursing

Breast Cancer Nursing

Paediatric Nursing Studies

Cancer Nursing

Perioperative Nursing

Child and Family Health

Stomal Therapy Nursing

Clinical Management


Graduate Certificates are conducted over 2 x 20 week semesters and comprise of 4 subjects.


Students have the option of undertaking a single subject from our Graduate Certificate courses (one of the 80+ distance education subjects available), allowing nurses to develop a more in-depth knowledge in a particular area, or to sample Graduate Certificate course study prior to enrolling in a full Graduate Certificate.

Structure of Courses
In order to graduate, students must successfully complete all the requirements for the course. The courses are usually structured around a number of core (compulsory), specialty and elective subjects. Each Graduate Certificate course contains four subjects, each worth 6 credit points (total of 24 credit points). Students undertake two subjects each semester (unless by special arrangement).

Course Duration
Normal course progression is conducted over two 20 week semesters. A single subject comprises 150 hours over one semester.

It is recommended that students study 12-15 hours per week. The actual amount of time will be determined by individual learning needs and the sequence of assessment items.

Course Sequence
The core, specialty and electives subjects indicated for each course are found in the following pages of the handbook. The courses are considered to be consecutive, where each level of the course is designed to build and further develop the skills and knowledge gained at the previous level. This structure enables students to meet the range of learning needs associated with the nursing health workforce. The mixture of core, specialty and elective subjects ensures the development of fundamental shared skills and knowledge while encouraging students to begin to develop skills and knowledge associated with their chosen area of specialisation/interest. As the student progresses through the course they are encouraged to think more widely and more critically. All students at this level are required to demonstrate an understanding of evidence-based practice and basic research principles.

Course completion
Students must complete the total credit points required for their course and pay any outstanding debts to be eligible to complete their course. Students who have completed prior studies should ensure that subjects for RPL or advanced standing have been credited accordingly, and reflected on their records well before their last semester of studies. Students are advised to contact the Student Services Centre for further advice or assistance with determining and confirming their eligibility for completion.

To access Graduate Certficate Courses click here
   Graduate Certificate Handbook (1 MB)
   Student Information Brochure (296 KB)

Enrolment Information

General Eligibility Criteria

Applicants seeking admission to continuing professional development courses are required to:
1. hold a Bachelor of Nursing or registered nurse equivalent qualification.
2. Be currently registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
3. have a minimum of one year postgraduate experience
4. Be currently employed in an appropriate clinical setting.

How to Apply

1. Download PDF file of enrolment form.
2. Complete the printed form.
3. Return your completed form, with payment or credit card details:

The College of Nursing
Locked Bag 3030, Burwood NSW 1805

(02) 9745 7501

4. Include a copy of your current Authority to Practise as a nurse (RN) with your completed enrolment form.

5. For more information:
Telephone (02) 9745 7500

Send your application with the course fee (or authority to invoice your employer section completed) so that it reaches the College no later than four weeks prior to the course enrolment date. A letter confirming your enrolment will be posted to you on receipt of your application. Course materials will be posted to arrive prior to the course commencement date.

Public Health Sector Applicants
1. Download PDF file of application form.
   Graduate Certficate DOH Enrolment Form (358 KB)
Fee-Paying Applicants
1. View Course Fees then download PDF file of application form.
   Graduate Certficate Fee Paying Enrolment Form (346 KB)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Please note the following points related to the College’s recognition of prior learning policy:

• Credit/advanced standing will only be granted for study completed within the last five years
• Credit/advanced standing will not be granted for more than 50% of a course
• If application is made at the time of enrolment into a College graduate certificate course, students will receive a discount on fee-paying places. Students are encouraged to negotiate with universities, many of whom give credit to students who have undertaken specific programs of study at the College.

Each applicant is expected to seek exemptions individually on the basis of merit; there is no blanket exemption.