Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing
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1 Year Part-time

Study mode



January & July



Approximately 2.6 million of Australian hospital admissions each year result in surgical interventions (AIHW, 2020). As integral members of the healthcare team, perioperative nurses work in a variety of roles within the perioperative environment and promote safe, evidence-based nursing care.

A Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing provides perioperative nurses with the knowledge and skills required to ensure better outcomes for the people in their care. It will also lead to career progression opportunities in areas such as clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles.

Reference: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2020). Australia’s hospitals at a glance 2018-2019. Cat. No. HSE 247. AIHW.

Course overview

The course is designed to meet the educational needs of clinicians working in the diverse perioperative environment. Speciality elective units of study are aligned with the main perioperative clinical roles; instrument/circulating, anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care unit nursing. The core unit of study explores issues relating to professional practice, legal and ethical elements of care and maintaining a safe perioperative environment. Participants can choose from a range of elective units to investigate topics including pain across the lifespan, infection prevention and control and applied clinical physiology.

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

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:

  • formulate an advanced knowledge base to promote the safe provision and coordination of evidence-based care within the perioperative environment
  • apply critical thinking to the assessment process, linking specialist theory to holistic nursing practice
  • critically analyse current literature and nursing practice to provide evidence based contemporary care for persons in the perioperative environment
  • model the skills and abilities that provide a foundation for future leadership roles, including reflective practice, knowledge sharing and a commitment to life-long learning
  • develop advanced communication skills to establish and maintain therapeutic relationships with people receiving care, their significant others and members of the multidisciplinary team
  • critically reflect on the role of personal values and ethics as central to the development of culturally safe practice in perioperative nursing

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 2324 (January 2023 intake)
10 011 2325 (July 2023 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.

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.


Tiers2023 Member price (10% discount)2023 Non-member price2024 Member price (10% discount)2024 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,196.00$2,440.00$2,310.00$2,565.00
Tier 2$2,506.50$2,785.00$2,630.00$2,925.00
Tier 3$2,947.50$3,275.00$3,095.00$3,440.00
Tier 4$3,523.50$3,915.00$3,700.00$4,110.00

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.

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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
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.

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.

Course codes: 10 011 2324 (January 2023 intake)
10 011 2325 (July 2023 intake)

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Contact us

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