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Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing will provide students with an understanding of substance use issues from both an individual and public health perspective.

Key details

Degree Type
Graduate Certificate
1 year part-time
Course Code
10 015 2011 (January 2020 intake)
Study Mode
Intake Months
Jan, Apr, Jul, Sep
Domestic Fees
$8,920 per year / $8,920 total

About this course

This course will provide students with an understanding of substance use issues from both an individual and public health perspective. Students will explore a range of opinions around the policy of harm minimisation and the socio-political aspects of substance use. Biological and psychological models of both causes and treatments are reviewed. Assessment and nursing care of intoxication, overdose and withdrawal are examined. Specialised skills in motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, pharmacotherapy services, case management, co-morbidities and complex care will be studied. The importance of primary health care interventions is emphasised.

Students complete 4 core units of study.

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.

Course Structure

  • 4
  • 4

Study locations


What you will learn

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

  • examine the causes, incidence and prevalence of substance use and critically analyse government policy and strategy
  • discuss the importance of the health professional’s attitude and cultural sensitivity in working with clients, families and significant others in the drug and alcohol context
  • perform a holistic drug and alcohol assessment and determine an appropriate therapeutic response rationalising the use of pharmacotherapies and psychosocial interventions
  • evaluate evidence based, best practice nursing care of people with substance intoxication, overdose and withdrawal
  • discuss case management care with the multidisciplinary team
  • analyse and appraise public health approaches and primary health care models in the drug and alcohol context.

Course structure

Core subjects:

*259 is a pre-requisite and must be completed first.
**259 and 276 are both pre-requisites and must be completed first.

Disclaimer: Fees vary dependent on subject electives chosen