1 Year Part-time
January & July
It is known that the last decade has seen a change in the environment in which care of the acutely unwell patient is delivered (Dutton & Finch, 2018). Nurses working in acute care areas are increasingly exposed to patients who require more detailed assessment and monitoring. Nurses need to be competent in the skills required to care effectively for critically ill patients (Dutton & Finch, 2018). As health care needs become more complex the role of the acute care nurse has become more diverse thus the need for more specialised post graduate education.
Studying the Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing with ACN will provide you with the principles required to meet the diverse needs of individuals admitted to the acute care setting, in order to improve your knowledge and skills for the provision and coordination of evidenced based person-centred care. The aim is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of clinical practice development to maintain quality and provide safe healthcare.
The subjects in this course were written by specialist acute care nurses and a team of clinical experts, working within the specialty, provide student support. Our unique range of elective units of study allow students to further explore their area of interest related to medical and surgical nursing.
Understanding the nursing management of adults admitted to acute care settings with acute medical or surgical conditions is the focus of this course. Students analyse and apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills to clinical case scenarios based on commonly encountered acute care presentations. The units of study provide students with an opportunity to extend their ability to undertake increasingly complex nursing activities in a range of acute medical and surgical care settings.
A Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing is an investment in your future and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to provide safe and quality care and progress your career, leading to opportunities in clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles.
At successful completion of the course students should be able to:
- demonstrate provision of competent interpersonal and clinical care to individuals through the acquisition, application and communication of specialist knowledge and skills which reflect professional and ethico-legal integrity
- identify, appraise and apply research evidence to inform nursing practice and develop professional responsibility and accountability commensurate with the specialist role
- critically evaluate available knowledge in relation to complex situations to guide the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of evidence based nursing care
- collaborate with the interdisciplinary team in provision of effective therapeutic relationships and continuity of care within the context of acute care nursing practice
- consider strategies when caring for a culturally and linguistically diverse population and reflect on the health care team’s ability to meet the nursing and communication needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- create an effective clinical learning environment through demonstrating mentorship and the propagation of specialised knowledge and technical skill
- demonstrate leadership through participation in policy development, service provision and quality improvement within the specialist context.
The Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.
Students will need to complete 4 units – 3 core and 1 elective. One unit is studied per term.
Approximate hours of study are 12 – 15 hours per week.
Units of study
Course structure for student intake/s from July 2023 onwards
|Unit type||Unit name & pricing||
|Term 1 - Core||Advancing Professional Practice (340), Tier 1|
|Term 2 - Core||Advanced Applied Pathophysiology (in Clinical Practice) (344), Tier 1|
|Term 3 - Core||Acute Care Nursing (343), Tier 1|
|Term 4 - Elective||Choose one elective from the following:
Course structure for student intake/s before June 2023
|Unit type||Unit name & pricing|
|Term 1 - Core||Leadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2|
|Term 2 - Core||Advanced Applied Pathophysiology (in Clinical Practice) (344), Tier 1|
|Term 3 - Elective||Choose one elective from the following:
|Term 4 - Core||Acute Care Nursing (343), Tier 1|
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.
|Tiers||2023 Member price (10% discount)||2023 Non-member price||2024 Member price (10% discount)||2024 Non-member price|
Fees are subject to change without notice.
ACN offers a flexible payment option allowing students to pay their fees on a term-by-term basis. Each term’s fees are due upfront, prior to term commencement.
FEE-HELP is also available for eligible students. Further information can be found here.
Want to save on course fees?
Being a part of the ACN community allows nurses to be the best they can be and strengthen the voice of nursing through a range of invaluable benefits, including 10% off graduate certificates and other education offerings, exclusive networking events, access to support and advice on ACN’s online engagement platform neo, free online CPD courses and opportunities to be involved in shaping health care policy. Find out more and join our tribe today!
Admission to a graduate certificate course 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
- hold current registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); or the equivalent registering authority in your country of origin
- meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia English language skills registration standard (nursing and midwifery) – please refer to the AHPRA website to download the standard
- have a minimum of one year of postgraduate experience; and
- be currently employed in the clinical area of specialisation*
*Considerations may be given to nurses working in hospital in the home (HITH) setting on an individual basis.
Ashley Page MACN, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, MHLM, Grad Cert Educ (Leadership), DipProfPract, CertIVTAE
Ashley coordinates and tutors for our Graduate Certificates in Acute Care and Leadership and Management. Ashley’s nursing experience includes roles in emergency nursing (15+ years) and management. Working as a Nurse Educator since 2012, Ashley is passionate about her role, which allows her to interact with nurses at different stages of their careers. Delivering quality education is a priority for Ashley, and her teaching focuses on helping students to apply theory into practice.
Please ensure you read all course information and make sure you meet entry requirements prior to commencing the application form.
Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by Customer Services.
We strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care professionals to study this course. If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person we encourage you to let us know in your application. If you require assistance with completing your application or support during the course, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
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“Great unit! very applicable to clinical practice. I gained much needed insight and will be able to implement what I have learnt in my workplace.”
“Thank you very much for this unit. I gained more knowledge about pain. Thanks to unit coordinator -Ms Sinu Thomas. She is very supportive and can be contacted easily. Thank you.”
“This type of learning is very ideal and suitable for people like me, who has a full-time job and who would want to pursue a higher degree of knowledge in line with my field of work.”
“The unit helped analyse my nursing practice and think about the interventions that I do and the reasoning behind them. I think it was well thought out and delivered.”
“The Principles of acute care unit helped analyse my nursing practice and think about the interventions that I do and the reasoning behind them. I think it was well thought out and delivered.”
“The Principles of Acute Care was a well-run subject. A little more space between the larger assessments would have been nice. I love that you can save the themes to read offline. Especially helpful for those of us that are in regional areas with not so fantastic internet at times.”