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Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing Studies is designed to meet the educational needs of nurses working within the diverse contexts of contemporary paediatric health care.

Key details

Degree Type
Graduate Certificate
1 year part-time
Course Code
10 012 2031 (January 2020 intake)
Study Mode
Intake Months
Jan, Apr, Jul, Sep
Domestic Fees
$9,240 per year / $9,240 total

About this course

The Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing Studies is designed to meet the educational needs of nurses working within the diverse contexts of contemporary paediatric health care.

The course aims to cultivate excellence in the provision of nursing care to sick infants, children and young adults, within a family-focussed framework. Through the exploration and integration of theoretical knowledge and clinical nursing, graduates are prepared for practice as specialist paediatric nurses within multidisciplinary health care teams.

The course is designed to foster a purposeful and child-centred approach that makes a real difference to children’s services and student career satisfaction. This course is aimed at those with an interest in pursuing paediatric studies from a variety of perspectives.

There are three specialist streams to meet the individual needs of students, allowing nurses within these areas to share a common body of knowledge, while also advancing their specialty knowledge and expertise. These streams are: General Paediatrics, Paediatric Emergency and Paediatric Intensive Care.

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.

Course Structure

  • 2
  • 2
  • 4

Study locations


What you will learn

Completion of this course will enable the student to:

  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of the paediatric nurse within their specialty context, and benchmark against appropriate professional standards
  • analyse complex clinical problems using critical thinking/clinical reasoning skills, multiple modes of inquiry and a collaborative approach
  • critically evaluate nursing practice against research and current literature, to identify potential areas of practice development, and support the provision of contemporary evidence based paediatric nursing care
  • develop and utilise a variety of communication skills in order to establish effective interpersonal relationships with children, their families and the interdisciplinary health care team
  • model the skills and abilities that provide a foundation for future leadership roles, including reflective practice, knowledge sharing and a commitment to lifelong learning
  • identify and discuss the legal, ethical and cultural issues affecting paediatric patients and their families, thereby providing safe, holistic and family centred health care.

Course structure

The Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.

Students will need to choose 1 stream – General Paediatrics, Paediatric Emergency or Paediatric Intensive Care. Students will need to complete 4 units, either 2 core and 2 electives (General stream) or 2 core, 1 specialty and 1 elective units (Emergency and Intensive Care streams). One unit is studied per term.

Approximate hours of study are 12 – 15 hours per week.

General Paediatrics

The aim of the general paediatric stream is to challenge and extend the knowledge base, skills and attitudes of those working as generalist paediatric nurses in a variety of contexts. The focus of this stream is the holistic and family focused assessment of infants, children and adolescents using growth and development and normal anatomy and physiology as a foundation for learning. Nursing interventions that are linked with positive evidence- based clinical outcomes will be explored. The units of study in this stream offer flexibility to meet the needs of paediatric nurses working in several contexts. Students select the two core units of study and two elective units of study.

Core subjects:

Elective subjects (choose one elective from the following):

Elective subjects (choose one elective from the following):

*Family and Child Health (040) requires 40 hours clinical placement.

Paediatric Emergency

The paediatric emergency stream is designed to develop the specialist knowledge and skills required by nurses caring for infants, children and adolescents presenting to the emergency department. The units of study In this stream provide the student with a broad understanding of the science and practice of paediatric emergency and trauma care. Students select the two core units of study, one specialty unit of study and one elective unit of study.

Core subjects:

Specialty Elective subjects 

Elective subjects (choose one elective from the following):​

Paediatric Intensive Care

The paediatric intensive care stream provides the advances knowledge and skills required by nurses providing care to critically ill infants, children and adolescents. The stream aims to develop the students’ ability to assess and manage the complex conditions admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit and to confidently manage the multiple technologies used to support these patients. Students select the two core units of study, one specialty unit of study and one elective unit of study.

Core subjects:

Specialty Elective subjects: 

Elective subjects (choose one elective from the following):​

Disclaimer: Fees vary dependent on subject electives chosen