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Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate

“The science shows us that biology is not destiny—and that what children experience in the earliest days and years of life shapes and defines their futures.” (UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake 2016)

Key details

Degree Type
Graduate Certificate
1 year part-time
Course Code
10 006 2041 (January 2020 intake)
Study Mode
Intake Months
Jan, Apr, Jul, Sep
Domestic Fees
$10,770 per year / $10,770 total

About this course

The Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing (CFHN) aims to provide nurses with a sound understanding of child and family health nursing within a legal, moral and ethical framework that reflects current models of care and government policy and practice initiatives. The course is designed to engage students in the planning and evaluation of their own clinical and educational needs in an environment conducive to their learning and development to prepare them for work in this specialty nursing field.

Assessing and facilitating child and family health and wellbeing within a culturally diverse Australian society requires an appreciation of the bio-psychosocial, cultural and emotional needs of the family, and the promotion of a nurturing and supportive environment in which children can thrive.

Nurses working, or intending to work, in the specialty of CFHN require a clear understanding of primary health care and health promotion, family dynamics, structure and function, and consideration of the connections between the family, their community and health care providers. Health and developmental surveillance of infants and young children continues to be a major focus of contemporary CFHN services, but the expert model of the past has been replaced by a family partnership model that focuses on the provision of psychosocial support and for new parents as well as continuing to be a central point of access for families into community health services.

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.

Clinical placements

Anyone applying for an ACN course that includes a clinical placement must provide evidence of compliance documents at the time of application.

Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by Customer Services.

Each Australian state and territory has its own clinical placement documentation requirements. Further details are available on our Clinical Placement Information page, click on the tab for your particular state or territory for information on specific requirements.

Individual placement providers may need additional documentation. If you are required to provide this then you will be contacted by the Clinical Placement Officer following enrolment.

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. ACN will make every effort to secure clinical placements within the timeframe indicated in the course outline, however applicants are advised that provision and location of clinical placements is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility.

As placements are difficult to secure, once confirmed these cannot be negotiated unless there is unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility under any circumstances. ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements if necessary. 

Study locations


What you will learn

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

  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to practice in the specialty of child and family health nursing that is benchmarked against professional child and family health nursing practice standards
  • develop an understanding of best practice models, policies and standards to provide contemporary, evidence based practice within child and family health nursing service delivery
  • analyse and apply the principles of primary health care, health promotion and relationship-based nursing practice to facilitate optimal health and development of infants, young children and families
  • identify the key elements required to foster effective therapeutic relationships with infants, young children, families and communities within the professional boundaries of ethical nursing practice and health care responsibilities
  • discuss the importance of the role of the child and family health nurse, working in a strengths-based partnership model, in the promotion of healthy family functioning and child-parent attachment
  • demonstrate an awareness of, and sensitivity towards social, cultural, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, environmental and political factors that influence the practice of child and family health nursing
  • critically examine and apply current research to develop reflective, problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the context of contemporary child and family health nursing practice.

Course structure

Core subjects:

*Units Family and Child Health (040) and Child Development in the Family Context (018) require 40 hours clinical placement each.

Disclaimer: Fees vary dependent on subject electives chosen