Graduate Certificate, Clinical Nursing Specialty

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Post Graduate Certificate Emergency, Critical Care, Paediatric, Cancer and Palliative Care, Cardiac Nursing, Peri-operative/Perianaesthetic, Plastics, Neonatal Nursing   



The primary aim of the course is to prepare the Division 1 Registered Nurse (RN) to function as a competent nurse in the specialty areas of Nursing.

The course aims to:

  • Analyse and refine a theory base, which will enable participants to practice at beginning level in their selected nursing specialty.
  • Develop specific skills in assessment relevant to their selected nursing specialty.
  • Utilise the major principles underpinning their nursing specialty to plan, implement and evaluate nursing practice.
  • Enhance awareness of societal, professional, legal and ethical frameworks for specialty practice.

Date of commencement: Early 2018
Length of course Academic:  2 trimesters/semesters
Clinical: 52 weeks (or as otherwise negotiated) employed in the relevant specialty department
Study days are conducted throughout the year
Students are employed on a year contract generally at 0.8 EFT per fortnight at their substantive grade.


Graduate Certificate in Specialisation of choice


Academic component:
The theoretical component of the course will utilise nursing, medical and allied health staff who are both clinical and educational experts within the relevant specialties with affiliated universities

Clinical component:
The Critical Care Department, Emergency Department, Cardiology Unit, Cardiac Cath Lab, Childrens Unit or Operating Suite of Northern Health, predominantly based at The Northern Hospital, Epping.

Clinical Rotations (depending upon specialty)

  • Intensive Care
  • High Dependency
  • Coronary Care
  • Emergency Department
  • Anaesthetic Department
  • Operating Suites
  • Cardiac Interventional Laboratory
  • Children's  Unit

Formal Assessment (depending upon specialty) in clinical area

  • Basic and Advanced Life Support skills
  • Mechanical and Non-invasive Ventilation Skills
  • Patient assessment skills (paediatric and adult)
  • ABG sampling skills
  • Clinical presentations
  • Performance appraisals
  • Triage assessment skills
  • Anaesthetics
  • Scrub / scout
  • Recovery Room
  • Haemodynamic monitoring
  • Renal replacement therapy
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump

Admission criteria

The applicant:

  • Must have a current Practicing certificate that states that they are entered on the Australian Health. Practitioner Regulation Agency as a Division 1 Registered Nurse
  • Must have had a minimum of 12 months acute medical / surgical experience upon application (optional).
  • Will preferably have had recent clinical experience relevant to the specialty applied for.
  • Must provide documented evidence of continuing education relevant to the acute care area.

Enquiries to:

Enquiries to:

Emergency Clinical Nurse Educators

 Elizabeth.Ward2 | at |

ICU Clinical Nurse Educator

rebecca.bolzon | at |

Paediatric Clinical Nurse Educator

pam.perera | at |

Cardiology Clinical Nurse Educator

maria.jolic | at |                                                                                                                                     

Peri-operative Clinical Nurse Educator

nicole.emery | at |

Oncology Clinical Nurse educator

mariana.grgat | at |  

Admission process

An application must be made to Northern Health via e-recruit, on the Northern Health website.

Acceptance for employment at Northern Health is dependant on acceptance to the relevant university. Contact the course coordinator for the specialty of your choice.

To apply to the relevant university and Northern Health you are required to:

  • Fulfil interview criteria for course commencement, obtainable from University.
  • Complete University application form.
  • Type written letter of application.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Certified copy of Academic Transcript and/or Hospital examination results.
  • Certified copy of Current Practicing certificate (as per AHPRA).
  • Record of continuing education in-service attendance.
  • Names, addresses and business telephone numbers of three (3) professional referees.

Support model

All students employed at The Northern Hospital in specialty departments are supported by a team of relevant clinical nurse educators and unit staff.

Annual leave

Annual leave is accrued at six weeks per annum for full time staff and five weeks per annum for part time staff. Students are allocated up to four (4) weeks leave in two (2) week blocks during the course – negotiated with the Nurse Unit Manager. The remaining leave is paid out or transferred upon completion of the course.

Night duty

Night duty requirements differ depending upon the specialty department; four(4) to eight (8) weeks may be allocated at the end of each semester or upon completion of semester 2. No night duty in theatre.


As set by the University.

Study leave

All students are eligible to apply for postgraduate study leave at Northern Health. Students must provide confirmation of enrolment at the relevant university. A portion of the study component is in the student’s own time.

Government postgraduate scholarships may be available external to the Network. The award of these scholarships is determined on individual merit by an independent body. Students are also encouraged to apply for other relevant scholarships for example RCNA, go to:

General information 

Established in July 2000, Northern Health provides quality health care services to the expanding communities in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. In one of Melbourne’s busiest growth corridors, Northern Health offers the community health care services where they are needed – close to where people live.

Northern Health is made up of five campuses: Broadmeadows Health Service, Bundoora Extended Care Centre, Craigieburn Health Service, Panch Health Service and The Northern Hospital. Our campuses work together to provide a unique mix of services including medical, surgical, emergency, intensive and coronary care, paediatrics, women’s and maternal health, mental health, aged care, palliative care, oncology, renal and rehabilitation program.

Northern Health’s programs and services are split into two different streams – acute and continuing care. This structure is designed to assist services to be integrated across our campuses and ensure that patients have access to the best healthcare within the most efficient time frame.