Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing
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1 Year Part-time

Study mode



January & July



Between 2008 and 2011 the amount of nurses working in primary health roles doubled to in excess of 29 000 (AIHW, 2015). These numbers which will only increase due to the ageing population, emerging infectious diseases and the increasing burden of chronic and complex disease. (ACN, Position statement 2015)

Community and primary health nursing is one of the most multifaceted area of specialty practice in the 21st century. During Community and Primary Health week in 2016, ACN produced an e-book profiling nurses working in specialties ranging from aged care dementia, primary health care for the homeless, palliative care in rural Australia, chronic disease, child and family health to refugee health.

The many advantages of community and primary health care as a career choice is that the opportunities are endless, you can work with a greater level of autonomy in complex areas and it also offers you the chance to change your career pathway if you would like to work more family friendly hours. The Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing has been developed to offer you the opportunity to study a wide range of electives from continence management to drug and alcohol nursing to cater for this most diverse specialty. More subjects are being developed to meet the needs of the nurses in community and primary health.

Our course is written by specialist nurses, for nurses and students are supported by a team of clinical experts, working within the specialty. Our unique blend of electives allow students to further explore many different areas of community and primary health nursing.

Course overview

The Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing is designed for nurses working in a variety of community, primary health and general practice settings. The course will enhance the nurse’s knowledge and skills in prevention, early intervention and management of a range of often complex illnesses. Continuity of care and the facilitation of self-management is emphasized across the transition from acute to sub-acute and community care. The structure of the course recognises the evolving specialist primary health nursing role in practice nursing, community nursing and chronic disease management.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care 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 education, management, rural and remote nursing as well as specialist nursing roles.

At successful completion of the course students should be able to:

  • critically examine the relationship between social determinants of health, health outcomes and the context of specialist nursing practice
  • examine the economic and political factors influencing determinants of health and health outcomes
  • evaluate evidence based research to enhance clinical decision making skills and client intervention
  • rationalise their professional, ethical and social responsibilities commensurate to the context of nursing practice
  • analyse contemporary models of care that meet the specialised needs of the individual to optimise health outcomes
  • promote an effective learning environment through the development, dissemination and fostering of specialist knowledge and skills
  • evaluate available services and resources that support the management of a client with diverse health care needs.

The Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.

Students will need to complete 4 units – 1 core, 1 specialty and 2 electives. 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
10 016 2217 (January 2022 intake)
10 016 2218 (July 2022 intake)

Term 1 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2
Term 2 - Specialty electiveChoose one specialty elective from the following:
Term 3 - ElectiveChoose one elective from the following:
Term 4 - ElectiveChoose one elective from the following:
*These units have mandatory requirements, such as pre-requisites and/or clinical placements. Please refer to the individual unit page for further details.

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.


Tiers2022 Member price (10% discount)2022 Non-member price2023 Member price (10% discount)2023 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,133.00$2,370.00$2,196.00$2,440.00
Tier 2$2,434.50$2,705.00$2,506.50$2,785.00
Tier 3$2,862.00$3,180.00$2,947.50$3,275.00
Tier 4$3,420.00$3,800.00$3,523.50$3,915.00

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
  • be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) or the equivalent registering authority in your country of origin
  • have a minimum of one year postgraduate experience
  • be currently employed in an appropriate clinical setting
  • Unique Student Identifier

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

Clinical placements

Anyone applying for an ACN course that includes a clinical placement must provide evidence of compliance documents at the time of application.

Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by Customer Services.

Each Australian state and territory has its own clinical placement documentation requirements. Further details are available on our Clinical Placement Information page, click on the tab for your particular state or territory for information on specific requirements.

Individual placement providers may need additional documentation. If you are required to provide this then you will be contacted by the Clinical Placement Officer following enrolment.

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. ACN will make every effort to secure clinical placements within the timeframe indicated in the course outline, however applicants are advised that provision and location of clinical placements is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility.

As placements are difficult to secure, once confirmed these cannot be negotiated unless there is unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility under any circumstances. ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements if necessary.

Kataryna Terry

Kataryna Terry, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, BN/BA Int Studies, Grad Cert (Periop)

Kataryna is the course coordinator for the Community and Primary Health Nursing Graduate Certificate, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Nursing Graduate Certificate and coordinates Palliative Care – Transition to specialty practice.

Kataryna’s nursing career has been primarily in the areas of perioperative care, perioperative oncology and clinical teaching.

Kataryna is a lifelong learner and advocate with a passion for educating colleagues and peers through mentoring, formal and informal education, and the development of learning resources. Focusing on adult learning through leading and training other educators and emerging leaders in the nursing profession.

It is Kataryna’s goal to be involved in making a tangible difference in the lives of all those engaging with the healthcare environment, through collaboration, respect and empowerment.

Please ensure you read all course information, make sure you meet entry requirements and have all clinical placement documentation ready 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: 10 016 2217 (January 2022 intake)
10 016 2218 (July 2022 intake)

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Contact us

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