Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing
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1 Year Part-time

Study mode



January & July



According to Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA), “the specialist drug and alcohol nurse is required to provide specialised leadership, expert knowledge and nursing skills to assess, identify and respond to complex problems of individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol related health conditions, including dependence and mental and/or physical health comorbidities.”

Studying the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing with ACN provides the knowledge and skills for the provision and coordination of person- centred care in this growing specialty. The aim is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of clinical practice development for the improvement of outcomes for people experiencing alcohol and other drug issues. Our course is written by specialist nurses, for nurses and students are supported by a team of clinical experts, working within the speciality.

Course overview

The aim of this course is to encourage professional and ethical understanding of evidence based clinical practice development in alcohol and other drugs nursing. It will provide students with an understanding of substance use issues from both an individual and public health perspective. The course covers assessment, treatment and nursing care of persons experiencing alcohol and other drug dependence.

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve outcomes through the coordination and provision of person-centred care in this growing speciality.

Students complete 4 core units of study.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol 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.

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

  • apply critical thinking/clinical reasoning skills to the assessment of the person living with alcohol and other drug issues, linking specialist theory to holistic clinical practice
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the use of pharmacotherapies and psychosocial interventions for the treatment of persons in the context of alcohol and other drugs nursing practice
  • apply current evidence-based research, including government policy and strategy, to enhance clinical decision-making skills and care planning in the context of alcohol and other drugs nursing practice
  • develop advanced communication skills in order to establish therapeutic relationships with persons, their support network, and the interdisciplinary team to promote a holistic approach to alcohol and other drugs nursing care
  • develop leadership, mentoring and educational skills to contribute to high standard alcohol and other drugs nursing practice, and facilitate quality improvement in this area
  • critically reflect on the role of personal values and ethics as central to the development of culturally safe practice in alcohol and other drugs nursing practice.

The Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.

Students will need to complete 4 core units. 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
10 015 2317 (January 2023 intake)
10 015 2318 (July 2023 intake)

Term 1 - CoreFoundational Concepts in Drug and Alcohol Nursing (324), Tier 1
Term 2 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2
Term 3 - CoreClinical Approaches in Drug and Alcohol Nursing (326)*, Tier 1
Term 4 - CoreHealth Promotion and Harm Reduction in Alcohol and Other Drugs Nursing (338), Tier 1
*324 is a pre-requisite and must be completed first.

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!

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing must have at least one years’ work experience in drug and alcohol nursing or a related field.

In addition, applicants must satisfy any pre-requisites 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

Mevin Paulose, Nurse Educator – Higher Education
RN, BScN with Honours, MN (Clin Teach), Cert in Teaching Fundamentals, Cert IV TAE

Mevin coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing at ACN.

Mevin has primarily worked in maternal-infant health and education, where her passion lies. She also has experience in public health nursing.

Mevin is passionate about education and believes that it enables nurses to use reflective and evidence-based practice to provide holistic, culturally safe, and positive outcomes for persons in the healthcare setting.

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: 10 015 2317 (January 2023 intake)
10 015 2318 (July 2023 intake)

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Contact us

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