Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care
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Applications for Graduate Certificates in January 2022 close 15 December 2021.
Applications after 15 December 2021 will be considered for the April 2022 intake.


1 Year Part-time

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The latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW 2017) stated that, in 2015: 8.7% of babies were born pre-term and of these, 81% were born between 32 and 36 completed weeks.

Neonatal care is not only required by babies born prematurely, but also by those born at term who are: high risk, have congenital anomalies and/or require surgery.

Neonatal nurses and midwives require advanced skills and knowledge to be able to provide evidence based care to these vulnerable newborns and their families.

Reference: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017, Australia’s mothers and babies 2015—in brief. Perinatal statistics series no. 33. Cat no. PER 91, AIHW: Canberra.

Studying neonatal care with ACN will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills for the provision and coordination of evidenced based care for the neonate and their family. 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 midwives. Our 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 such as neonatal intensive care or neonatal special care.

Course overview

The aim of this course is to improve neonatal clinical practice by enhancing the professional and ethical understanding, knowledge and skill of neonatal nurses and midwives, so that they are better able to provide evidence-based care, and optimise the health, growth and developmental outcomes of neonates and their families. The course is founded on the principles of cultural safety, and developmentally supportive, family centred care. The course responds to industry requirements for highly skilled neonatal clinicians capable of providing best practice in collaboration with other members of interprofessional teams and incorporates the Australian Standards for Neonatal Nurses, 4th Ed. (ACNN, 2019). Graduates may use their advanced knowledge in advanced practice roles or to pursue further tertiary education.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care 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, remote nursing and midwifery as well as specialist nursing or midwifery roles.

On the completion of the Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care, students will be better able to:

  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide family-centred, developmentally supportive care in the neonatal specialty context and benchmark against appropriate professional standards
  • discuss the legal, ethical, social and cultural issues affecting neonates and their families
  • evaluate neonatal practice against research and current literature, to identify potential areas of practice development, and support the provision of contemporary evidence based neonatal care
  • develop clinical decision making and leadership skills through research, inquiry and interprofessional collaboration to enhance practice
  • reflect on the advanced knowledge and skills required to maintain therapeutic relationships with neonates and their families.

The Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.

Students will need to choose 1 stream – Neonatal Intensive Care or Neonatal Special Care. Students will need to complete 4 units, either 3 core and 1 specialty elective (Intensive Care stream) or 4 core units (Special Care stream). One unit is studied per term.

Approximate hours of study are 12 – 15 hours per week.

Units of study

Intensive care stream

Units of study in this stream focus on the wide range of conditions that present in the perinatal environment.

Unit typeUnit name & pricing

Course codes
10 010 2230 (July 2022 intake)

Term 1 - CoreApplied Neonatal Physiology (071), Tier 1
Term 2 - CoreAssessment of Growth and Development (255)*, Tier 1
Term 3 - Specialty electiveNeonatal Intensive Care (335), Tier 1
Term 4 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2
*071 is a prerequisite to this unit and must be completed first.

Special care stream

Neonatal Special Care (207) aims to develop the student’s ability to evaluate and manage the wide array of conditions presenting in the special care environment.

Unit typeUnit name & pricing

Course codes
10 010 2230 (July 2022 intake)

Term 1 - CoreApplied Neonatal Physiology (071), Tier 1
Term 2 - CoreAssessment of Growth and Development (255)*, Tier 1
Term 3 - CoreNeonatal Special Care (207), Tier 1
Term 4 - CoreLeadership and Professional Practice (925), Tier 2
*071 is a prerequisite to this unit and must be completed first.

ACN offers one intake per year in July. Important dates including start and census dates can be found here.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

ACN offers RPL for the core unit of study, Assessment of Growth and Development (255), to enrolling students who have successfully completed the 12-month Queensland Health Neonatal Transition Program for Registered Nurses and Midwives. Consideration of RPL for similar programs will be undertaken on a case by case basis. Please contact the course coordinator Trish Lowe MACN for more detail.


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.

Trish Lowe MACN, Nurse Educator – Higher Education

RN, RM, BNurs, Grad Dip Mid, MMid, GC Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, GC Child and Family Health, CertIVTAE, Immunisation for RNs


Trish is responsible for the coordination of our Graduate Certificates in Cancer Nursing, Child and Family Health, and Neonatal Care. Trish is committed to advancing nurse leadership and advocating for the nursing and midwifery profession, by equipping nurses and midwives with the knowledge they require, to meet their mandatory registration requirements, especially pertaining to recency of practice and continuing professional development.

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: 10 010 2230 (July 2022 intake)

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Contact us

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