Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing
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1 Year Part-time

Study mode



January & July



Studying with ACN will help you build your career as a perioperative nurse by providing you the background skills and knowledge to provide holistic, patient-centred care during anaesthesia, surgery and recovery. It promotes an in depth understanding of complex perioperative issues as they relate to patient outcomes.

Please note that this course is only available to registered nurses who are currently employed within a perioperative setting.

Course overview

The course content is designed to meet the educational needs of clinicians working in the diverse perioperative environments. The core unit of study highlights the practice and philosophy of perioperative nursing. Pre-, intra- and postoperative nursing assessment and care are explored in depth, as well as the broader aspects of legal and ethical issues associated with perioperative nursing roles.

The unique structure of our Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing allows you to tailor a qualification to your needs or interests. The course is made up of one core subject, one specialty elective and two electives. With specialty electives in anaesthetic nursing, instrument/circulating nursing and post anaesthetic recovery unit care, you can choose one or all three, allowing you to specialise in one area or giving you a broader experience.

Our team is here to support you along the way and you can always talk to one of our staff to choose your pathway.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Perioperative 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.

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  • reflect upon and benchmark against professional competency standards and practice guidelines developed by ACORN
  • apply knowledge and understanding of legislation, professional and ethical standards and health care policies within the contemporary perioperative environment
  • formulate an advanced knowledge base to promote the safe and comprehensive provision and coordination of evidence based care within the contemporary perioperative environment
  • critically analyse the theoretical constructs underpinning the care of the patient undergoing procedures in the perioperative environment
  • utilise leadership and management skills to create an effective clinical learning environment to enable the dissemination of knowledge and skills
  • demonstrate continuity of care and maintain effective therapeutic relationships by contributing to multidisciplinary collaboration and quality improvement in the perioperative environment.

The Graduate Certificate in Perioperative 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
10 011 2120 (January 2021 intake)
10 011 2121 (July 2021 intake)

CorePractice and Philosophy of Perioperative Nursing (219), Tier 1
Specialty elective*Choose one specialty elective from the following:
ElectiveChoose two electives from the following:
*Specialty elective units can also be chosen as electives.
**Medical Imaging Nursing (243) has a pre-requisite: you must be working in a medical imaging department to choose this elective.

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.


Tiers2021 Member price (10% discount)2021 Non-member price2022 Member price (10% discount)2022 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,070.00$2,300.00$2,133.00$2,370.00
Tier 2$2,362.50$2,625.00$2,434.50$2,705.00
Tier 3$2,776.50$3,085.00$2,862.00$3,180.00
Tier 4$3,321.00$3,690.00$3,420.00$3,800.00

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 within a perioperative setting.

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

Sharron Smyth-Demmon MACN

Sharron Smyth-Demmon, Nurse Educator – Higher Education



Sharron coordinates our Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing. She began her nursing career in the United Kingdom where she worked in primarily in the field of women’s health, both in an acute gynaecological setting and in primary health as a qualified family planning nurse. Sharron has several years of experience within the perioperative setting, mainly in anaesthetics and recovery. She also has extensive experience in the day surgery environment. Sharron has 30 years of nursing experience and sees nursing as not only a science but also an art, with compassion, humanity and empathy at its core.

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: 10 011 2120 (January 2021 intake)
10 011 2121 (July 2021 intake)

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Contact us

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