Postgraduate programs for nurses and other health professionals

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine spans six campuses – Ballarat, Blacktown, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and North Sydney. We have developed thousands of compassionate caregivers who are helping to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities with their expertise and passion.

Along with researchers, lecturers, and clinical supervisors, the school has four joint research appointments with public and private health services.

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Postgraduate programs for nurses and health professionals

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Postgraduate mental health and mental health nursing

Thursday 3rd November 10-11am AEDT/9-10am AEST
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Introduction to postgraduate programs in Health at ACU

Research

Research in the school focuses on five major national health priority areas:

  • acute care
  • chronic and palliative care
  • innovative health care delivery systems
  • implementation research translating evidence into practice
  • vulnerable communities. 

Our institutes, centres and faculties boast internationally renowned scholars and produce world-leading research.
In the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, ACU ranked first or equal first for ten fields of research in Australia including in:

  • cardiorespiratory medicine and haematology
  • clinical sciences
  • cognitive sciences
  • human movement and sports science
  • nursing
  • nutrition and dietetics
  • psychology
  • public health and health services

Coursework programs

We are recognised globally as a leader in a range of subject specialisations including nursing for which we are ranked 18th in the world and seventh in Australia (Shanghai Ranking, Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021).

Aged Care Management

With intakes in January, April, July, October and offered via ACU Online, the Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Management has been designed to meet the growing demand for specialised aged care nurses. With units covering Organisational Culture and Management, Ageing and the Ethics of Elder Care, and Quality and Safety in Health Care, the course focuses on providing healthcare for older people and supports the development of evidence-based expert knowledge of management concepts, and specialised skills relevant to the aged care sector. Students of this course are eligible for Commonwealth support places, $3322 in 2022.

This new offering complements the existing but updated Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Nursing which is offered via ACU Online, with intakes in January, April, July and October. The course provides a clinically focused approach to care for the older person and is designed to provide theoretical support needed for specialist clinical care in the gerontological setting. You will learn how to undertake risk assessment, clinical decision-making and to implement risk mitigation strategies to ensure the delivery of quality and safe person-centred care to older persons.

Clinical Nursing

We offer 20 specialisations:

In the anaesthetics specialisation you will explore the anaesthetic environment through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus. Modules cover integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models. Scientific concepts that are covered include the physiology of pain, concepts of human development, the cellular environment, and systems relationships to the surgical patient.
Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the cardiac specialisation. Modules explore acute coronary syndromes, heart failure and cardiogenic shock. Rhythm interpretation and common dysrhythmias through normal 12 lead ECG and interpretation of abnormal findings are also embedded within the specialty modules. Other topics such as Cardiomyopathy & cardiac valves, Implantable devices, Cardiothoracic surgery, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Palliative care in Cardiac Nursing Care are embedded in this specialty module.
Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the Cardiothoracics specialisation. Modules explore acute coronary syndromes, heart failure and cardiogenic shock. Rhythm interpretation and common dysrhythmias through normal 12 lead ECG and interpretation of abnormal findings as well as Respiratory physiology and pathophysiology are also embedded within the specialty modules. Other topics such as Cardiomyopathy & cardiac valves, Implantable devices, Cardiothoracic surgery, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Palliative care in Cardiac Nursing Care are embedded in this specialty module.
The cardiothoracic heart lung specialisation is offered through our affiliate model where you will undertake two of the four course units with St Vincent's Hospital Sydney employed in the Cardiothoracic Heart Lung specialty ward. The other two units you will undertake online with ACU. The ACU units explore integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in patients with a critical condition.

ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Child and adolescent specialty involves the completion of four units. The child and adolescent specialty course explores common medical, surgical and developmental issues in children whose ages range from birth to 18 years. Students undertaking this specialty will explore integral developmental anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, within the context of child and adolescent care. The child and adolescent specialty modules will cover topics such as common respiratory conditions including asthma, croup, and bronchiolitis and cystic fibrosis; and respiratory and cardiac care requirements of the child and adolescent. Furthermore, the child and adolescent specialty modules cover a broad range of common paediatric health implications such as nutrition, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, renal health, failure to thrive; disability and neurology and neuromuscular assessment; brain and head injury; infections of the brain and nervous system and public health interventions such as developmental assessments and Australia’s childhood vaccination program. Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will also explore the family and self-implications around living with a medical illness, as well as withdrawal of treatment and palliative care

ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Correctional health specialty involves the completion of four units. It is now offered on an exciting new platform call ACU Online which is hosted by CANVAS.

In the correction health specialisation, the mental health of prisoners is comprehensively and extensively covered. Modules include the importance of physical health, healthcare management, and consequences of accelerated ageing of the prison population. Furthermore, you will be educated in identifying and caring for vulnerable prisoner groups and their health needs as well as caring for prisoners with chronic health conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Communicable diseases, harm minimisation and palliation and pain management will also be addressed.

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Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the emergency specialisation. This specialisation is offered fully online and explores cardiovascular presentations and care in the Emergency department as well as Respiratory, Neurological and Endocrine Emergency presentations and care. Students in this stream will look at trauma, gastrointestinal, renal, and genitourinary emergency presentations. Module content also includes resuscitation concepts, triage, major incident management, mental health emergencies, toxicological emergencies and presentations associated with violence or abuse.

ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Gerontological nursing specialty involves the completion of four units. It is now offered on an exciting new platform call ACU Online which is hosted by CANVAS.

Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will explore acute and chronic medical conditions across multiple biological systems. Older persons require a multi-faceted approach to care and the gerontological specialisation will support you to undertake risk assessment, clinical decision-making and to implement risk mitigation strategies to ensure the delivery of quality and safe person-centred care to older persons. Key concepts of health and wellness, aged related health conditions, pain, pharmacotherapy and comprehensive risk assessment, as well as concepts of patient’s rights, governance frameworks, continuous improvement systems, loss and grief, elder abuse and behaviours and perceptions of older persons will be explored to enable you to practice inclusive, respectful, person-centred care in the gerontological setting.

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Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the intensive care specialisation. This specialisation is offered through our affiliate model where you will undertake two of the four course units with an ACU affiliate facility where you will be employed in the intensive care setting. The other two units you will undertake online with ACU. The ACU units explore integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in patients with a critical condition.

ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Medical specialty involves the completion of four units. This specialty explores acute and chronic medical conditions across multiple biological systems. The medical specialty modules cover integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in our ageing population. There is a focus on common respiratory conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis; as well as the significance of infection control and the implications of hospital acquired infections. Furthermore, the medical specialty modules cover neurological conditions including stroke, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia with discussions centred around common clinical risks such as falls and pressure injury assessment and management. Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will also explore the family and self-implications around living with a medical illness, as well as withdrawal of treatment and palliative care. ACU is proud to partner with Northern Health, St Vincent’s Melbourne (Public) and the Prince Charles Hospital for the delivery of this speciality.

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Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the neuroscience specialisation. This specialisation is offered through our affiliate model where you will undertake two of the four course units with an ACU affiliate facility where you will be employed in the intensive care setting. The other two units you will undertake online with ACU. The ACU units explore integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in patients with a critical condition.
Through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus you will explore critical care concepts within the neuroscience specialisation. This specialisation is offered through our affiliate model where you will undertake two of the four course units with an ACU affiliate facility where you will be employed in the intensive care setting. The other two units you will undertake online with ACU. The ACU units explore integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in patients with a critical condition.
Through the lens of a person and family centred focus in the oncology specialisation you will explore specialised oncology content including cancer treatment options, treatment side effects, bone marrow transplants and their complications, Oncological emergencies, end of life care and bereavement. The different types of cancers explored include Leukaemia, Haematological tumours, Brain and CNS cancer, Head and neck cancer, Breast cancer, Prostate cancer, Emergency events in persons receiving oncological and palliative care and Advanced disease and palliative approaches. Embedded in this specialty course are oncology concepts across multiple biological systems. Further, the modules included in this specialisation include integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in those receiving cancer treatment.
In the orthopaedic specialisation you will explore the orthopaedic environment through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus. Modules cover integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models. Scientific concepts that are covered include the physiology of pain, concepts of human development, the cellular environment, and systems relationships to the surgical patient.
In the Palliative Care specialisation and through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will explore core content that forms the foundation of specialty nursing practice including undertaking risk assessment, clinical decision-making and how to implement risk mitigation strategies to ensure the delivery of quality and safe person-centred care to patients receiving palliative care. The module content in this specialty course includes core nursing content such as pain, pharmacotherapy, and comprehensive risk assessment, as well as concepts of patient’s rights, governance frameworks, continuous improvement systems, loss and grief . The modules undertaken across the 4 clinical nursing units for palliative care include issues in non-malignant disease, common palliative care emergencies, the Impact of diagnosis on the patient and family, nursing in the palliative care settings, adverse symptom management, clinical risk management, preparing for end of life, and bereavement at the end of life. A wholistic care approach will be explored to enable you to practice inclusive, respectful, person-centred care in the palliative care setting.
In the peri-operative specialisation you will explore the operating theatre environment through the lens of a person- and family-centred focus. Modules cover integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models
Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will explore, in the plastics/orthopaedic specialisation, modules on two of ACU’s clinical nursing units that include integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models. Scientific concepts that are covered include the physiology of pain, concepts of human development, the cellular environment, and systems relationships to the surgical patient. The remaining two units will be undertaken by your employer through our affiliate model as this specialty is not offered fully online. Please contact us if you would like further information.
In the plastics/reconstruction specialisation, through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will explore plastics/reconstruction modules that include integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models. Scientific concepts that are covered include the physiology of pain, concepts of human development, the cellular environment, and systems relationships to the surgical patient. The remaining two units will be undertaken by your employer through our affiliate model as this specialty is not offered fully online. Please contact us if you would like further information.

ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Renal, involves the completion of four units. The renal specialty explores acute renal conditions as well as living with renal disease and the role of the nurse in primary health care for people suffering chronic renal disease. During your studies you will cover topics such as: renal pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics; GIT complications including constipation; the effects of renal insufficiency on oral health; and renal pathology. Furthermore, students enrolled in this specialty will engage in module content that discusses the role of vascular access devices in the care of the person with Renal disease and infection control considerations, haemo and peritoneal dialysis. Students will have opportunity to consider diabetic nephropathy with a specific focus on Indigenous Australians diagnosed with the condition. Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will also explore the family and self-implications around living with a chronic illness, end-stage renal disease, organ transplantation as well as withdrawal of treatment and palliative care.

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ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing – Surgical specialty involves the completion of four units. The surgical specialty modules cover integral anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the significance of polypharmacy in the context of pain assessment, and management and surgical risk models. Pre-operative and post-operative implications to surgical outcomes will be explored along with detection and management of post-operative deterioration, surgical co-morbidities, and rehabilitation.  Surgical specialities explored include orthopaedics; neurosurgical; cardiothoracic and vascular; breast and reconstructive surgery; head, neck and ophthalmic surgery; gynaecological and urology; gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary; trauma; and finally, aesthetics surgery for cancer of the face, neck and breast. Through the lens of a person and family centred focus you will also explore the family and self-implications around living with a medical illness, as well as withdrawal of treatment and palliative care.

ACU is proud to partner with Austin Health, Northern Health and the Prince Charles Hospital for the delivery of this speciality.

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