Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing

Available to:
Domestic and Overseas applicants.
  • Online

1 year part-time.

Domestic students


The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing is designed to expand students' knowledge and skills in clinical nursing whilst ensuring relevance to clinical practice. Students may choose one clinical specialisation in which they will develop their skills in providing holistic care, including person and family-centred health promotion, in specialty practice (please see the ‘More Course Information’ section below for details). Specific knowledge in the areas of bioscience, pharmacology and lifespan development, relevant to the chosen specialty will also be explored in the context of application to clinical nursing practice.

Course duration

1 year part-time.

Campus availability and study mode

Campus availability

  • Online

Study mode definitions

Attendance: Face-to-face and/or via video conference, at an ACU campus or another location.

Multi-mode: A combination of Online and Attendance (including examinations, practicums, residentials, etc.).

Online: Fully online (including assessments).

*Two specialty practice units are undertaken in the health care workplace (see More Course Information below).

Deferment, credit points & course units


Deferment is available for one year. Students must meet employment and registration criteria at the point of commencing studies. Find out more about deferment.

Credit Points


Course Units (Subjects)

Schedule of Unit Offerings

Start dates

  • Semester 1 - Applications closed
  • Semester 2 - July

Course costs

  • Average first year fee: $9744 Fee-Paying (indicative only)

Important Note on Fees

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

A 10% rebate on fees will be offered to domestic ACU graduates (from any faculty) enrolling in full fee-paying postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences to commence studying in 2015 and until further notice. Conditions apply.

Essential requirements for admission

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing, an applicant must have:

  1. have completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree or equivalent;
  2. hold current registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); and
  3. be employed in a substantive position in their chosen specialisation unless approved otherwise by the Course Coordinator.

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

*Disclaimer: The Course entry requirements above are for 2020 Admission.

Inherent Requirements

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit. Learn more about inherent requirements and how they affect you, and explore the requirements for your course.

Applying for admission

Direct Applications

Applicants of Clinical Nursing are required to complete and upload the Statement of Employment form with their application.


Career paths

Graduates may seek employment in clinical nursing in government and private health care facilities.

Other prerequisites to undertaking this course

Students must be a Registered Nurse and be employed in a substantive position in their chosen specialisation for the duration of the Graduate Certificate, unless approved otherwise by the Course Coordinator.

English language requirements

Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy (Schedule 3).

Pathways to further study

Graduates can progress to a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nursing, a Master of Clinical Nursing or a range of other postgraduate courses offered by the Faculty, for example a Master of Leadership and Management in Health Care.

More course information

In order to complement their studies, students must have access to a specialty setting in their chosen specialty for the entire duration of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing. Students might be able to complete two units of study (specialty practice units) at their employing health facility.

International students must be employed in their chosen area of specialty with one of ACU’s partner health facilities and sponsored by that institution. Such applicants must apply via the International Office and are liable for the same fees as domestic online students.

Areas of specialisation available:

  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiac Care
  • Cardiothoracics
  • Cardiothoracics and Heart/Lung Transplant Nursing
  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Emergency
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Intensive Care
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Medical
  • Neonatal Care
  • Neuroscience
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Palliative Care
  • Perioperative
  • Plastics/Orthopaedics
  • Plastics Reconstruction
  • Renal
  • Spinal Care
  • Surgical

The following specialties are also available fully online to students not employed in one of ACU’s partner health facilities. Students must be working in their chosen specialty or able to negotiate supernumerary clinical practice in their chosen specialty:

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Palliative Care
  • Perioperative
  • Cardiac Care
  • Oncology
  • Renal
  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Emergency

Contacts for future students


Have a question?


We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat
Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs