1 Year Part-time
January & July
“In 2022, it is predicted that 20,428 women and 212 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This means that approximately 20,640 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year – on average, 57 people every day.”
Reference: Breast Cancer Network Australia 2022 np.
Studying breast cancer nursing with ACN will provide you with the principles of breast cancer nursing in order to improve your knowledge and skills for the provision and coordination of evidenced based breast cancer care. The aim is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of clinical practice development for the improvement of patient outcomes. Our course is written by specialist nurses for nurses, and students are supported by a team of clinical experts, working within the speciality. Our electives allow students to further explore a specific area of interest related to breast cancer nursing.
The course aligns with the Specialist Breast Nurse Competency Standards and associated educational requirements (NBCC, 2005) and the National Educational Framework for Cancer Nurses (EdCaN, 2009). It responds to industry requirements by preparing graduates for specialist breast cancer nursing roles within the wide scope of breast cancer care.
Through critical analysis and reflection students are given the opportunity to evaluate their clinical and educational requirements to promote professional development for Specialist Breast Cancer Nursing care and lifelong learning. The course also supports development in clinical leadership roles such as clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse consultants or breast cancer nurse coordinators. The course focus includes the continuum of breast cancer care, evidence based practice, future trends and the impact of breast cancer on individuals, their families and communities.
ACN has proudly been providing education to McGrath Foundation nurses since 2013.
A Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing is an investment in your future and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure better outcomes for your patients and progress your career, leading to opportunities in clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles.
“The ACN has been providing education to McGrath Breast Care Nurses since 2013.
The Graduate Certificate in Breast Care Nursing that we encourage our nurses to complete provides specialist knowledge that has a strong clinical foundation that builds on and leverages existing knowledge and skills and ultimately contributes to evidence based best-practice.
The course is also aligned with breast care nursing competency frameworks and nationally recognised educational frameworks, which is very reassuring. Course content spans the breadth of the breast cancer experience with a focus on multidisciplinary well-coordinated care. The embedding of leadership capabilities throughout each module allows our nurses to expand their skill base and develop competencies in for example, communication and team work-vital aspects of their roles. Feedback from our nurses has always been extremely positive in relation to course content, materials and support.”
– Jane Mahony, Mission Programmes Director, McGrath Foundation
This course is designed to develop an understanding of breast cancer nursing with a strong clinical focus. It enables students to:
- apply specialist knowledge of breast cancer that informs evidence-based nursing practice for the provision and coordination of holistic care
- critically evaluate nursing practice against research and current literature to support the provision of contemporary evidence-based care across the survivorship trajectory
- develop advanced communication skills to establish therapeutic relationships with people diagnosed with breast cancer, their families and other members of the multidisciplinary team
- demonstrate leadership, mentoring and educational skills that contribute to a high standard of nursing care and practice development in the health care setting
- critically reflect on the cultural, social and ethical issues to provide safe, holistic and person-driven care.
The Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer 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||Principles of Breast Cancer Nursing (327), Tier 2|
|Term 3 - Elective||Choose one elective from the following:|
|Term 4 - Core||Care Continuum and Survivorship in Breast Cancer Nursing (328), Tier 2|
ACN offers two intakes per year in January and July. Important dates including start and census dates can be found here.
Flexible intakes in 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
Kirsten Masters, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, BN, MN (Critical Care), Cert IV TAE
Kirsten has been nursing for 10 years and has experience working in critical care settings, as well as experience as a nurse educator within other educational providers. You can see Kirsten on the TV show Kings Cross ER!
She is passionate about delivering quality education that will empower nurses to provide care that is of the highest standard.
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.
Application form will open in a new window. Your privacy is very important to us. To better serve you, the form information you enter is recorded in real time.
McGrath Foundation nurses
Breast Cancer Nurse Practicum
The Westmead Breast Cancer Institute in collaboration with ACN developed this program to support rural and remote nurses to gain a better understanding of the clinical diagnosis and management of patients with breast cancer, within a multidisciplinary setting. This program offers students the opportunity to access blended learning through a 5 day face to face program in a speciality unit, with learning supported by access to online resources.
For general course information:
t: 02 9745 7500
“I found this particular subject the most informative subject of all four subjects in the course. It was very breast specific and went into pathology, survivorship and metastatic breast cancer. I found the videos from Kirsten very valuable and found they helped me understand the assessment a lot better than just reading the content. It helped put me on the right track and answered all the questions I had. Kirsten’s email response time was extremely efficient and allowed me to keep on track with my assignments not having to wait a long period for an email response. I also, thought the balance of assessment was perfect.”
Unit 328 – Care Continuum and Survivorship in Breast Cancer Nursing
“Coordinators, especially Kirsten, had been incredibly helpful all throughout the course which had made the assessments less daunting. I highly praise Kirsten for her virtual conferences with students wherein she explains very well the component of each assessment.”
“I found this subject very interesting and relevant to my practice. The assessments neatly linked the theory to practice. Very quick and helpful responses from Kirsten when I wanted further information.”
Unit 327 – Principles of Breast Cancer Nursing
“The variety of assessments were very engaging and the different approaches facilitated leaning.”
Unit 327 – Principles of Breast Cancer Nursing
“Kirsten was excellent. Approachable, helpful and very encouraging.”
“The course was excellently presented, and the assessments whilst extremely challenging, they were thought provoking and cemented knowledge around those associated themes.”
“Loved the unit and the support received from Kirsten was very helpful.”
Unit 327 – Principles of Breast Cancer Nursing