Immunisation for registered nurses and midwives | Australian College of Nursing

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Immunisation for registered nurses and midwives

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This course is designed for registered nurses working in health areas where administration of immunisation is part of their role and registered nurses who wish to enhance their career opportunities. Successful completion of this course is one of the requirements necessary for RNs to administer vaccinations without the direction of a medical officer within New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), Tasmania (TAS) and South Australia (SA) and Northern Territory (NT). The roles and responsibilities of an authorised nurse immuniser is guided by their respective state/territory’s jurisdiction. 

This course has been approved by New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian and South Australian Health Departments for eligibility as an authorised Nurse Immuniser within these states. In Northern Territory, this course is accepted as recognised prior learning by the Health Department. In NSW only, this course is also approved for direct entry registered midwives.

While this course is recognised by ACT Health, ACT legislation does not cover an authority to immunise without the direction of a medical officer. Visit the ACT Legislation Register to read about immunisation regulations specific to the ACT.

Registered Nurses in states and territories other than NSW, VIC, TAS, SA and NT are encouraged to contact their Health Department to enquire regarding the current legislation for training of authorised nurse immunisers. 

The Immunisation for Registered Nurses course is based on the ‘National Guidelines for Immunisation Education for Registered Nurses & Midwives’ (2000). These guidelines are currently under review to comply with the new guidelines when the latter is released. The course is offered part-time over 12 weeks. It is conducted fully online, consisting of 100 hours of study and assessment. You will receive support from a tutor and nurse educator. The online learning environment used at ACN is called CNnect. Refer to the ACN Orientation Module to learn more about CNnect and how to study online.


Using the current best practice standards and recommendations in the current version of The Australian Immunisation Handbook, it is anticipated the participant, on successful completion of this course, will be able to:

  • demonstrate an ability to safely practice immunisation within professional, legal, and ethical parameters
  • practice as a safe competent provider of an immunisation service in a variety of settings under the authority to immunise, relevant to the state or territory in which they practice
  • identify the aims of an immunisation program as a public health strategy
  • demonstrate an understanding of the correct age appropriate administration of vaccines Immunisation for RNs
  • apply problem solving strategies to effectively prevent, manage, and follow up adverse events following immunisation
  • identify the direct needs of the client, including concerns such as health, age, lifestyle, occupation, (HALO) medical history, and social, cultural and ethnic status
  • develop the confidence and skills to interpret current immunisation recommendations and be able to effectively communicate all aspects of the immunisation process
  • demonstrate the commitment to continuous self-education to ensure professional competency as an immunisation provider.

Course Dates

Course code:046
CPD hours:100 hours over 12 weeks
Mode of delivery:Online
Course dates


06/11/2017 – 09/02/2018 (applications close on 9/10/2017)

04/12/2017 – 09/03/2018 (applications close on 6/11/2017)


5/02/2018 – 29/04/2018 (applications close on 10/01/2018)

5/03/2018 – 27/05/2018 (applications close on 5/02/2018)

2/04/2018 – 24/06/2018 (applications close on 5/03/2018)

07/05/2018 - 29/07/2018 (applications close on 9/04/2018)

04/06/2018 - 26/08/2018 (applications close on 7/05/2018)

Pre-requisites:RN in Australia or RM in NSW with current NMBA registration, and a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS) certificate with practical component.


Non-Members:  $885.00

ACN Members:  $796.50


Non-Members:  $915.00

ACN Members:  $823.50

^ Enrolment is subject to availability after the closing date.
* Fees are subject to change without notice.

Vacancies available from November 2017 onwards

Enrolment form


Students who have successfully completed this course will be awarded a certificate of completion and 100 CPD hours.


All applicants are required to:

  1. Hold a Bachelor of Nursing or registered nurse equivalent qualification (Australia wide); or Bachelor of Midwifery (NSW only).
  2. Be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
  3. Hold a current CPR or BLS certificate with practical component.

For other health practitioners interested in this course, please complete the ‘register your interest’ form below. You will be contacted when an immunisation course for health practitioners (other than registered nurses) is available.

Register your interest

The following are some of the resources used and you can access it online prior to course commencement.

  1. Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 2013.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 10th edn. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.


Note: Use only the online copy, as it contains up-to-date information. The pdf copy is not up to date.

  1. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care 2013. 

Myths and realities. Responding to arguments against immunisation - A guide for providers. 5th edn. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.


  1. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing 2013. National vaccine storage guidelines: Strive for 5. 2nd edn. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra. 


  1. Australian Academy of Science 2012. The science of immunisation. Questions and answers. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra. 

Available URL: 

You can download, print the texts, or order copies via the links.

If you choose to print off course resources and materials, this will incur additional costs not covered within the course fees.

It is a requirement that you have internet access and all costs in relation to this are also additional and not part of the course fees.

How will this course benefit my practice?

Immunisation remains a simple, safe and effective means of protecting one from illness, disability and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases (WHO, 2016). The ‘No jab, no pay’ immunisation requirements introduced in 2016 by the Australian government means that there are greater career opportunities for authorised nurse immunisers to be involved in leading and delivering immunisation services Australia-wide.

The Immunisation for Registered Nurses course will benefit your practice by helping you to develop a better understanding of the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to competently deliver a professional immunisation service to the communities in Australia.

What are the prospects of completing the Immunisation course?

Completing this course will help to enhance your employability and widen your career options. If you are thinking of seeking new career opportunities, be it working in a different clinical setting, with a different cultural group, or in search of opportunities to work and travel to the beautiful exotic locations that Australia has to offer, being equipped with the knowledge and skills on immunisation may just help you land on your next ideal job.

Will I have support?

As a student, you will have access to:

  • A tutor who is highly experienced in the field of immunisation; who can answer your questions, help and guide you through the course, mark your assessments and provide you with feedback.
  • A nurse educator/course coordinator with immunisation experience who can provide additional assistance. IT support when you encounter issues associated with the technical aspects of CNnect.

How is the course structured and what content do you cover?

Students will be guided by the study and assessment timetable for this 12-week course.

Specific topics will be covered each week. Topics include:

  • Immunisation: An overview
  • Immune system physiology
  • Epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Immunisation: Myths and Realities
  • Managing, handling, storing and transporting vaccines
  • Legal aspects of immunisation including pre-vaccination screening
  • Vaccines covered by the Authority including the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • Administration of vaccines and the immunisation environment
  • Recognising and managing adverse events following immunisation (AEFI)
  • Health promotion and resources for immunisation  

What are the course assessment items?

Assessment types include the following:

  • Discussions
  • Reflective blogs
  • Short essays
  • Online discussion
  • Catch-up tables

There will be a study and assessment timetable to help you plan and manage the workload in this course.

Is there recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?

If you have previously completed a course that meets the National Guidelines for Immunisation Education for Registered Nurses in another state/territory of Australia, you may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is assessed on a case by case basis. Applications should be in writing to the Course Coordinator – Immunisation.

Can enrolled nurses study this course?

This course is not currently available for enrolled nurses. If you would like to register your interest in Immunisation education for enrolled nurses, please email Customer Services at

How do I enrol?

To enrol, you will need to complete the Immunisation Enrolment Form, and submit online.

You must include a copy of your registration certificate from Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) when you enrol.

Can I claim this course as a tax deductible expense?

It is best to speak to your accountant or contact the Australian Taxation Office (

Can I pay for this course in instalments?

Full payment must be received prior to the commencement of the course.

What are the feedback from students?

“I have learnt so much from this course, and will highly recommend this course to my friends and colleagues. It is a heavy 12 weeks course, but I truly enjoyed it, especially learning all vaccines and catch up schedule. The website is easy to use, the course schedule and assessment is very easy to read and clear. Tutor or course coordinator of this course are contactable and approachable. Communication via messaging or phone call is easy. Thank you so much for the learning opportunity.”

“I thought this course was very well designed and structured, I was actually really impressed with the content. Very interesting and relevant.”

“I went from feeling very over whelmed at the start to actually really enjoying the course.” 

“Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the course despite the heavy workload - an assignment per week is a tall order when already working. Logical order, well written information and I enjoyed each assignment and found them a great way to consolidate the information.” 

“This course has been highly relevant to my practice and well worthwhile completing.”

“Regardless of your location the course was delivered to suit the needs of each state listed, it has been challenging however very rewarding. The forum provides a great platform to discuss the course content with fellow students and tutor”

“I found the course to be very thorough, with excellent support and resource material available.”

“Having not attended any online study before I did find the course challenging, but interesting. To complete each of the assessments I had to be very organized time wise to complete the tasks as required.”

“I have really enjoyed this course. I have found the content very interesting and look forward to putting it in to practice and continuing to learn out in the community. I would highly recommend this course. “

“I loved the course, the information and resources (articles, web sites etc) were invaluable.”

“Many thanks for all I have learnt in this course. I have found it so beneficial for my work, very relevant, completely up to date and very professionally delivered. The weekly learning and assessment tasks were very well structured, carefully building the knowledge base. I did find the final assessment task extremely challenging, but very rewarding and extremely practical and relevant. Again a very big thank you to all involved in putting the Immunisation for registered nurses course together. I most definitely will recommend this course to others.”


Customer Services

T: +61 2 9745 7500 or 1800 265 534 (charges may apply)