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Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate

Key details

Degree Type
Graduate Certificate
1 year part-time
Study Mode
Intake Months
Jan, Jul

About this course

The aim of this course is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of evidence based clinical practice development in drug and alcohol nursing. It will provide students with an understanding of substance use issues from both an individual and public health perspective. The course covers assessment, treatment and nursing care of clients experiencing drug and alcohol dependence.
The course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve patient outcomes through the coordination and provision of patient centred care in this growing speciality.
Students complete 4 core units of study.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing must have at least one years' work experience in drug and alcohol nursing or a related field.

In addition, applicants must satisfy any pre-requisites 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 GC units of study, consideration may be given for applicants who are not registered nurses on an individual basis.

Study locations


What you will learn

At successful completion of the course students should be able to:

  • apply critical thinking/clinical reasoning skills to the assessment of the drug and alcohol patient, linking specialist theory to holistic clinical practice
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the use of pharmacotherapies and psychosocial interventions for the treatment of clients in the context of drug and alcohol nursing practice
  • critically examine to apply current evidence-based research, including government policy and strategy, to enhance clinical decision-making skills and care planning in the context of drug and alcohol nursing practice
  • develop advanced communication skills in order to establish therapeutic relationships with patients, families and the multidisciplinary team to promote a holistic approach to drug and alcohol nursing care
  • develop leadership, mentoring and educational skills to contribute to high standard drug and alcohol nursing practice, and facilitate quality improvement in this area
  • critically reflect on the role of personal values and ethics as central to the development of culturally safe practice in drug and alcohol nursing practice.

Course structure

Unit typeUnit name & pricing

Course codes 10 015 2011 (January 2020 intake)10 015 2012 (July 2020 intake)

Term 1 - CoreFoundational Concepts in Drug and Alcohol Nursing (324), Tier 1 Term 2 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2 Term 3 - CoreClinical Approaches in Drug and Alcohol Nursing (326)*, Tier 1 Term 4 - CorePublic and Primary Health Care: Drug and Alcohol (287), Tier 1 *324 is a pre-requisite and must be completed first.

ACN offers two intakes per year in January and July. Important dates including start and census dates can be found here.

Flexible intakes in April and October may be available, please contact our Customer Services team for further details.