Health Sciences

New Graduate Certificate specialty in Cardiothoracics and Heart/Lung Transplant Nursing launched in 2017

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing is designed to expand students' knowledge and skills in clinical nursing whilst ensuring relevance to clinical practice.

Launched in 2017, ACU now offers, in collaboration with one of its key industry partners, the St Vincent’s Health Network (SVHN), a new speciality in Cardiothoracics and Heart/Lung Transplant Nursing. This specialty is specifically targeted to SVHN’s unique requirements as a transplant facility. This specialisation appeals specifically to nurses intending to work in the area of transplant surgery in the St Vincent’s Health Network or similar facilities. The introduction of this new specialisation is closely linked to recently identified industry demands.

Students choose one clinical specialisation in which they will develop their skills in providing holistic care, including person and family-centred health promotion. Specific knowledge in the areas of bioscience, pharmacology and lifespan development, relevant to the chosen specialty will also be explored. In order to complement their studies, students must have access to a specialty setting in their chosen specialty for the entire duration of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing. Students will complete two units of study (specialty practice units) at their employing health facility.

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing offers 10 specialties delivered entirely online to students not employed in one of ACU's partner health facilities:

  • Aged care
  • Cardiac Care
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Emergency
  • Medical
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Perioperative
  • Renal
  • Surgical

To undertake any of the above specialties students must be employed in their chosen area of specialty or be able to negotiate supernumerary clinical practice in their chosen specialty. In order to complete their fully online specialty unit, students must be employed in their chosen area of specialty 0.5 EFT for a minimum of 5 days per fortnight. Students will also be required to have some clinical competencies signed off by a Senior Manager/Educator in the specialty practice unit for this course.

The following areas of specialisation are also available if applicants are employed with one of ACU’s partner health facilities across Australia:

  • Acute stroke care
  • Aged care
  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiac care
  • Cardiothoracics
  • Cardiothoracics and heart/lung transplant nursing
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Emergency
  • Intensive care
  • Interventional cardiology
  • Medical
  • Neonatal care
  • Neuroscience
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Palliative care
  • Perioperative
  • Plastics orthopaedics
  • Plastics reconstruction
  • Renal
  • Surgical

Two units will be undertaken online, and two units undertaken at the health facility.

International students

Foreign applicants employed in their chosen area of specialty and/or who are sponsored by an institution may also apply for this course. Such applicants must apply via the International Office and are liable for the same fees as domestic online students.

More information

Meet our students

Robert Clayton

Robert Clayton, Masters in Clinical Practice (Cardiac Nursing)

I have just completed my Masters in Clinical Practice (Cardiac Nursing) at ACU. I did most of the course online with some face-to-face subjects through my hospital. This combination worked for me and provided the flexibility I needed to fit my study in around shift work.The lecturers and tutors are passionate about what they teach, and always made themselves available for advice and support. Apart from the modules, I also learned a lot from the online discussion forums where you share your ideas and experiences with nurses from different backgrounds.

I’ve gained the specialised knowledge and skills needed to take on a more senior role at work. Its also given me the opportunity to think critically about some of the broader issues in nursing and healthcare, but always with a focus on bringing it back to my own practice.

Natalie Gray

Natalie Gray, Graduate Certificate and Masters in Clinical Nursing, specialising in Child and Adolescent Health

"Studying the Graduate Certificate and Masters in Clinical Nursing, specialising in Child and Adolescent Health, has been a challenging and very rewarding experience.

Each individual module has contained extensive information to help me build upon my knowledge. This has increased my confidence and scope of practice within the clinical setting.

The lecturers in charge of each module were on hand to offer support throughout the course. The flexibility of studying online has enabled me to continue working and caring for my young family".

I have enjoyed many discussions with fellow students and I have learnt a great deal through their experiences.

Sharmalie Wijesinghe

Sharmalie Wijesinghe, Palliative care nurse, commencing Palliative Care postgraduate study in 2014.

"I am a Palliative care nurse, working in Melbourne after graduating from Australian Catholic University. Since I would like to progress in my career, I enrolled to do Postgraduate Clinical Nursing, specialising in Palliative care starting in 2014.

As an undergraduate nursing student at ACU, I learnt the key and core values of Nursing. ACU helped me to become competent in my field, ethical in my behaviour and to show respect for each individual.

The positive experience I had as an undergraduate student presented an avenue where I could further assist the community ethically, spiritually and emotionally by respecting the dignity of each individual during their end stage of life.

Not only the patient but also the patient’s family need to be cared for. This pathway will help me to carry out the Mission of ACU by educating students and nurses who will be practising in the Palliative Care Settings.

I love my job as a palliative care nurse and take this opportunity to thank all the staff at ACU for giving me such a wonderful foundation in order to help those who are in need".