This course is only available to Australian citizens or permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens


  • Complete in 2 semesters part-time.
  • Flexible external or on campus study options.
  • Specialise in: acute care nursing; cancer nursing; emergency nursing; intensive care nursing; paediatric, child and youth health nursing.
  • Develop knowledge and skills specific to your chosen area of nursing practice.
  • Receive academic credit towards the Master of Nursing.
QUT course code NS32
Attendance Part-time
Course duration 1 year part-time
Start month 2016 February, July
Delivery On campus
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Online
  • Faculty of Health
Course contact
  • Aged Services Worker
  • Community Education Officer
  • Community Health Officer
  • Director of Health Programs and Services
  • Disability Services Worker
  • Health Educator
  • Health Policy Officer
  • Health Promotion Officer
  • Health Services Manager
  • Nurse
  • Public Health Officer
  • Youth Worker

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QUT's School of Nursing has an established reputation as a provider of postgraduate programs that recognise and respond to priorities in clinical nursing practice and prepare professionals for specialist and leadership positions.

In consultation with industry partners, the school has recently reviewed its postgraduate programs to ensure continued alignment with industry's need for graduates who demonstrate nursing leadership and advanced practice skills. The comprehensive clinical content of the programs also embraces the socio-political aspects of contemporary nursing practice.

Our programs offer students a supportive, flexible learning environment that integrates online technologies and promotes a socially collaborative community.

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing offers a short, focused program of study for professionals looking to upgrade their qualifications. Students can opt to major in one study area, or choose to complete a cross-specialisation by selecting units from a variety of study areas.

Flexible delivery

This course is delivered in part-time mode. Students can choose to complete the course online (external) or on campus. External students are supported with an extensive learning package of electronic resources.

Course articulation

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing fully articulates with the Master of Nursing. The graduate certificate allows students to complete four core units from their selected area of nursing practice.



Download course structures and unit outlines for Graduate Certificate in Nursing

The Graduate Certificate allows students to complete four core units from their selected area of nursing practice. The following study areas are offered:

  • acute care nursing
  • cancer nursing
  • emergency nursing
  • intensive care nursing
  • paediatric, child and youth health nursing

Alternatively, students may undertake a cross-specialisation of studies.

Acute Care Nursing

Students complete studies in advanced health assessment and nursing practice, issues and trends in acute care nursing, and critically analyse the advanced concepts that underpin this specialist area. Students will initiate plans of care to address common needs/problems experienced by clients.

You must be currently working at least 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent) in a setting where acutely ill patients are encountered. Examples include, but are not limited to, acute medical-surgical, rehabilitation, orthopaedic, community and residential, general practice, renal and chronic care settings.

Cancer Nursing

Students develop competency in the practice of cancer nursing, examine major issues and trends in cancer nursing scholarship and practice, plan appropriate strategies/intervention for client care and develop an understanding of research applied to cancer nursing practice.

You must be currently working at least 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent) in a setting where care is delivered to cancer patients. Examples include medical and radiation oncology, haematology, medical-surgical, community and aged care residential settings.

Emergency Nursing

Students explore the key issues, trends, and challenges in emergency nursing scholarship and develop an understanding of research applied to emergency nursing practice. Students develop skills in patient assessment, planning, and implementation of health care in the emergency area.

You must:

  • be currently working at least 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent) in an emergency setting
  • have a minimum of three months FTE (full-time equivalent) experience in an emergency setting.

Intensive Care Nursing

Students explore the theoretical, conceptual and practical knowledge required to provide effective nursing care for diverse and complex critically ill patients in the intensive care unit, an increasingly complex technological environment.

You must:

  • be currently working at least 0.5 FTE in a level II (two) or III (three) intensive care unit, as defined by the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM), Minimum Standards for Intensive Care Units; or as accredited by the CICM for training in intensive care medicine
  • have a minimum of three months FTE (full-time equivalent) experience in an intensive care unit as defined above.

Paediatric, Child and Youth Health Nursing

This program is designed for nurses working in acute or community settings to develop competency in the practice of paediatric nursing or child and youth health nursing. Students will examine major issues and trends in nursing scholarship and practice, and develop an understanding of research in this area.

This study area requires you to undertake clinical practice in a paediatric, child and youth health nursing setting. Examples include acute paediatric or community health settings. If you wish to focus on issues relating to acute child and family health, you must be currently working at least 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent) in an acute paediatric setting.

Cross-specialisation - General

Students complete two core units and choose two additional units from a list of electives covering more than one study area.

This option has no additional professional experience requirements.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirement

Registration as a nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Study area requirements

In some study areas, applicants will need to comply with certain clinical requirements.

You will be asked to confirm that you have specific professional experience prior to enrolling in units that require workplace-based clinical practice. You will also need to maintain access to the relevant practice setting for the duration of the course. If you do not confirm your professional experience or maintain access to a relevant practice setting, you will not be able to complete the clinical assessment components required to complete units in the study area.

Please refer to study area information in the 'Units' tab for specific details.

Limited places

There are limited Commonwealth Supported places in this course. Places are likely to fill early so you are encouraged to apply for this course as soon as possible to secure a place.


Course fees

Your actual fees may vary depending on which units you choose. All fees are based on current fixed fee prices. We review fees annually.

The recent federal budget has proposed a number of changes to the funding of higher education which, if implemented, will impact upon costs to Commonwealth supported students from 1 January 2016. Eligible students will still be able to use HECS-HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) to defer payment. It is important to note that the changes are proposals only, subject to the passage of Commonwealth legislation. QUT will be in a position to consider fees for 2016 and beyond once the legislation has been through the houses of parliament. Proposed changes to tuition fees.

2016: CSP rates will be available from 1 October 2015 (subject to annual review)

2015: CSP $3,800 per Study Period (48 credit points) (subject to annual review)

Student Services and Amenities Fee

You'll need to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) as part of your course costs.

More information on the SSAF

HECS-HELP: loans to help you pay your course fees

You may not have to pay anything upfront if you're eligible for a HECS-HELP loan.

Find out if you're eligible for a HECS-HELP loan

Scholarships and financial support

You can apply for scholarships to help you with study and living costs.

These scholarships are available for this course:

View all scholarships

You may also be eligible for Centrelink payments


How to apply for Graduate Certificate in Nursing

You apply directly to QUT for all our postgraduate courses.

Are you ready to submit your application?

You're ready if you have:

  1. Found all the courses you want to apply for. You can apply for up to 3.
  2. Checked important dates.
  3. Checked you meet the entry requirements.
  4. Checked you meet the workplace-based requirements for your study area.
  5. Checked course costs and if you're eligible for financial support.
  6. Checked if you're eligible for credit for prior learning.
  7. Collected supporting documents (see application form).

All done? Then you're ready to apply.

Application for postgraduate course admission form (PDF file, 238.9 KB)


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