Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing
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1 Year Part-time

Study mode



January & July



Over the coming decade, health and aged care policy in Australia will undergo major reform, planned and unplanned, as governments reposition services and resources to respond to existing and emerging demands. The role of nursing in this reform cannot be underestimated, nurses voices must be heard and influence the reform agenda. Nurses must be represented when decisions are being made about policy and reform. Nurses bring a unique perspective and understanding of the strategic and operational health system, and have an established track record of person centred care. Nurse led innovation and new models of care have enabled greater access and delivery of services, while maintaining high levels of quality and safety. Nurses must be supported to ensure they are able to contribute to their full potential, be that at the bedside or the boardroom (Australian College of Nursing, 2016).

Course overview

Studying aged care nursing with ACN will provide you with the principles of aged care nursing practice to improve your knowledge and skills to offer and coordinate evidence-based person-centred nursing care for the older person. The aim is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of clinical practice development to improve health outcomes, as highlighted in our white paper. Specialist nurses write our course for nurses. Our students are supported by a team of clinical experts working within the speciality. Our unique blend of electives allows students to explore further a specific area of interest, such as Dementia care and the Principles of Infection Control.

The Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing studies the complex needs of the older person being cared for within diverse aged care environments. This course aims to strengthen and develop nurses’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes about caring for older person. The course provides an advanced grounding in research methods, in addition to developing the theoretical and practical aspects of management, clinical practice and education. In this course, the single units of study draw upon the student’s nursing experience and combine this experience with theory, current research, and best practice guidelines to enhance the student’s specialist knowledge and skills, critical thinking and analysis abilities, and clinical decision‐making.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing is an investment in your future. It will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure better outcomes for the older person and progress your career, leading to opportunities in clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles. It is designed to empower nurses to become clinical and professional leaders required for the predicted reforms within all aged care environments.

This course is designed to develop specific learning outcomes. Students will:

  • integrate specialist knowledge, assessment skills and information to support an improved standard of care for the older person
  • develop enhanced clinical decision-making skills using multiple modes of enquiry and collaborative approaches
  • establish and maintain effective therapeutic relationships with older people, their support network, professional colleagues, and other stakeholders
  • critically analyse literature and develop evidence-based nursing practice within diverse aged care environments
  • demonstrate professional and educational leadership skills to provide support and contribute to multidisciplinary aged care team
  • advocate for older people within all aged care environments.

The Graduate Certificate in Aged 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

Unit typeUnit name & pricing

Course codes
10 003 2362 (January 2023 intake)
10 003 2363 (July 2023 intake)

Term 1 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2
Term 2 - CoreAssessment of the Older Person (054), Tier 2
Term 3 - ElectiveChoose one elective from the following:
Term 4 - CoreClinical Issues in the Care of the Older Person (055)*, Tier 2
*054 is a pre-requisite for unit 055 and must be completed first.
**Students who wish to undertake the elective 'Clinical Leadership in Aged Care (332)' as a single unit will only require six months of experience.

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.


Tiers2023 Member price (10% discount)2023 Non-member price2024 Member price (10% discount)2024 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,196.00$2,440.00$2,310.00$2,565.00
Tier 2$2,506.50$2,785.00$2,630.00$2,925.00
Tier 3$2,947.50$3,275.00$3,095.00$3,440.00
Tier 4$3,523.50$3,915.00$3,700.00$4,110.00

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 GC 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
  • 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*

*For some GC units of study, consideration may be given for applicants who are not registered nurses on an individual basis.

*The below courses contain a compulsory clinical placement component and do not require applicants to be employed in the clinical area of specialisation:

  • Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Stomal Therapy Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Dermatology Nursing

Please note: Offshore students will be approved on a case by case basis

Diva Madan

Diva Madan, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, MN clinical education, BN, BSc, DN, Cert IV TAE

Diva coordinates Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing and Nurse Graduate Program (NGP) for Opal aged care homes. Diva also coordinates the Aged Care Transition to Practice (ACTTP) Program. Diva supports new graduates by improving their knowledge, skills, abilities, and competence to become the clinical and professional leaders required for the aged care industry. Diva possesses over 15 years of experience in geriatric health, aged care, infection prevention and control and public health, with extensive expertise in mentoring new nurse graduates. Diva truly enjoys going beyond the essential elements of the curriculum, preparing nurses to be creative, curious and critical thinkers.

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.

Course codes: 10 003 2362 (January 2023 intake)
10 003 2363 (July 2023 intake)

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Contact us

For general course information:
Customer Services
t: 02 9745 7500