Prior to 31 December 2015

The Graduate Diploma in Nursing is a 36-unit course offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The course articulates with the Graduate Certificate in Health (nursing streams) and the Master of Nursing, and the sequentially developed topics allow progression through the three awards.

Students who have completed a graduate certificate are normally awarded up to 18 units of credit towards the graduate diploma.

The Critical Care Nursing stream will be identified on the student''s transcript of academic record and on the parchment presented to the student on completion of the course.


Admission requirements

Applicants must hold an undergraduate or postgraduate nursing degree or equivalent qualification and be registered general nurses and holding a current practising certificate.

However, the Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Applicants for the Critical Care Nursing stream must have a minimum of one year post-registration experience (6 months of which should be in relevant clinical area) and must provide a supporting statement from their employer stating their willingness to facilitate the extended clinical practice components of the course within their workplace and/or providence evidence that an affiliated health agency will facilitate the clinical practice in a supernumerary capacity. 

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in one of a selected range of practice-based streams and to extend their general theoretical preparation in nursing knowledge and research . 

Learning outcomes

Graduates of this course are expected to be able to:

  • meet the standards of specialist practice, at a beginner-level, of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses
  • utilise their critical care knowledge, skills, competencies and problem solving skills to analyse and critique delivery of specialist nursing care in the current health care context
  • utilise evidence-based nursing research skills to plan, implement and evaluate care provision in critical care environments.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Critical Care Nursing), a student must complete 36 units with a grade of Pass or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

A student who fails the clinical component of any topic will receive a Fail grade for the entire topic.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion or in 9 units or more, or failure to complete the course within three consecutive years may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purpose of the University''s Policy on Student Progress.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board:

  • no topic may be attempted more than twice;
  • a student may not include a topic which repeats work previously undertaken;
  • the program must be completed full-time in two consecutive semesters or part-time in six consecutive semesters.

Core topics

18 units comprising

 NURS9120  Evidence-based Clinical Practice  (4.5 units)
 NURS9125  Population Health  (4.5 units)
 NURS9126  Leadership in Health Studies  (4.5 units)
 NURS9621  Epidemiology for Nurses and Midwives  (4.5 units)

Critical Care Nursing topics

18 units comprising:

 NURS8620  Critical Care 1  (9 units)

 plus one of

 NURS8612  Clinical Specialty: Negotiated Study  (9 units) 
 NURS8621  Critical Care 2  (9 units)