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Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate

A Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing is an investment in your future and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure better outcomes for your patients and progress your career, leading to opportunities in clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles.

Key details

Degree Type
Graduate Certificate
1 year part-time
Course Code
10 001 2043 (January 2020 intake)
Study Mode
Intake Months
Jan, Apr, Jul, Sep
Domestic Fees
$9,240 per year / $9,240 total

About this course

Studying the Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing with ACN will provide you with the principles required to meet the diverse needs of patients in the acute care setting, in order to improve your knowledge and skills for the provision and coordination of evidenced based patient centred care. The aim is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of clinical practice development for the improvement of patient outcomes.

Our course is written by specialist nurses for nurses, and students are supported by a team of clinical experts, working within the speciality. Our unique range of elective units of study allow students to further explore a specific area of interest related to medical, surgical or renal nursing. Responding to the increase in day procedures the graduate certificate in acute care nursing now offers the opportunity to study our new day surgery nursing elective unit of study.

The focus of learning in this medical/surgical (generalist) stream is the nursing management of adults admitted to health care facilities with acute episodic medical-surgical conditions. Students analyse and apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills to clinical case scenarios based on commonly encountered medical-surgical problems. The units of study provide students with an opportunity to extend their ability to undertake increasingly complex nursing activities in a range of medical and surgical care settings.

Entry requirements

Admission to Graduate Certificate courses is based on academic merit and selection. In addition, applicants must satisfy any prerequisites or additional requirements specified for particular courses, including ACN’s general eligibility criteria.

All applicants seeking admission are required to:

  • hold a Bachelor of Nursing or registered nurse* equivalent qualification
  • be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) or the equivalent registering authority in your country of origin
  • have a minimum of one year postgraduate experience
  • be currently employed in an appropriate clinical setting.

*For some Graduate Certificate units of study, consideration may be given for applicants who are not registered nurses on an individual basis.

Level of Study

Course Structure

  • 3
  • 1
  • 4

Study locations


What you will learn

This course is designed to develop specific learning outcomes. Students will:

  • demonstrate provision of competent interpersonal and clinical care to patients through the acquisition, application and communication of specialist knowledge and skills which reflect professional and ethico-legal integrity
  • identify, appraise and apply research evidence to inform nursing practice and develop professional responsibility and accountability commensurate with the specialist role
  • critically evaluate available knowledge in relation to complex situations to guide the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of evidence based nursing care
  • collaborate with the multidisciplinary team in provision of effective therapeutic relationships and continuity of care within the context of acute care nursing practice
  • consider strategies when caring for a culturally and linguistically diverse population and reflect on the health care team’s ability to meet the nursing and communication needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • create an effective clinical learning environment through demonstrating mentorship and the propagation of specialised knowledge and technical skill
  • demonstrate leadership through participation in policy development, service provision and quality improvement within the specialist context.

Course structure




Core subjects:

Elective subjects (choose one elective from the following)

*Medical Imaging Nursing (243) has a pre-requisite: you must be working in a medical imaging department to choose this elective.

Disclaimer: Fees vary dependent on subject electives chosen