1 Year Part-time
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).
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 and Palliative Care Nursing.
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.
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 type||Unit name & pricing||
|Term 1 - Core||Advancing Professional Practice (340), Tier 1|
|Term 2 - Core||Assessment of the Older Person (054), Tier 2|
|Term 3 - Elective||Choose one elective from the following:
|Term 4 - Core||Clinical 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.
Aged Care Transition to Practice: Students who complete ACN’s Aged Care Transition to Practice may be eligible for one unit (6 credit points) of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) into the Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing. See entry requirements for course eligibility criteria.
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 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, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, MN clinical education, BN, BSc, DN, Cert IV TAE and ANI
Diva coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing and Aged Care Transition to Practice Program. Diva has also coordinated the Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer and Cancer Nursing. Diva has over 16 years of experience in geriatric health, infection prevention and control and palliative care. Diva is passionate about improving nursing care in Aged Care Homes. Diva has an extensive background in mentoring Aged Care Nurses. Diva enjoys going beyond the essential elements of the curriculum, preparing nurses to be creative, curious, critical thinkers and leaders essential for providing evidence-based holistic care to older people across all settings.
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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“I am an allied health practitioner working in rural NSW in a position that provides care coordination for people with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. There is no allied health post graduate education or specific guidelines for how to achieve expert knowledge in Parkinson’s in order to provide best practice care for this clinical population. I first approached the Australian College of Nursing about their Parkinson’s Care course in 2022 as I hoped that completion of the course would be a foundation of knowledge to build on and to ensure best practice care for people with Parkinson’s.
The assessments encourage research and exploration into Parkinson’s and content of the course was easily adaptable to the skills and experience of an allied health clinician. It covered the pathophysiology of the disease, assessment of Parkinson’s symptoms, best practice treatment and care involving the multidisciplinary team and the unique challenges of the person entering the palliative stages of the disease.
I have noted that I have been able to incorporate what I have learned from the course into my work, and my confidence has grown. The course would be very suitable for any allied health clinician who is interested in having a deeper understanding of Parkinson’s care.”
“Unit 055 has been extremely relevant to my clinical practice. I have been able to apply theory to practice, maintaining evidence best practice. I hope to use what I have learnt from this course to progress further in my studies and help improve health outcomes for older adults. The tutor was supportive and provided useful feedback to help improve my academic writing.”
“Thank you Diva and team for an informative and valuable learning experience.”
“I have enjoyed this unit (055) and Diva is a great tutor/facilitator.”
“The ‘Clinical issues in care of older person’ unit was well designed, it is relevant to current aged care practise. In depth information about care needs and how the care needs can be met. Very informative, the assessment made me think and reflect about my current practise.”
“Thanks very much Diva and David. You are both very helpful and supportive tutors! Tutors from other institutions I have studied with are not as supportive and prompt with replies and feedback. Very much appreciated, thank you.”
“I just wanted to extend my thanks to Diva for her recent post in the announcements forum regarding a leave of absence. I was unaware of this option but I have looked into it and have now deferred my enrolment for Term 4 to next year to give myself some time to breathe. The last few months have been extremely challenging with ongoing lockdowns, home schooling, starting a new position at work and studying as well.”
“I do not know how I could thank Diva enough for guiding and directing us through the previous term. If she weren’t there supporting me it would have been extremely difficult.
You are the best tutor I ever had!”
“Diva Madan was the facilitator in 3 of 4 subjects and was very supportive and approachable throughout the whole Graduate Certificate course.”
“Tutor (Diva Madan) very supportive, very clear and informative if any doubt, always responded and cleared the doubts, excellent. I would recommend my friend for a postgrad to join ACN.”
“The tutor (Diva Madan) was prompt in replies and helped me in understand the learning topic, engagement from other students made the journey and topic of studies very interesting.”
“Diva Madan is a fantastic teacher, so supportive and her guidance invaluable.”