Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Course Information

View entry requirements, career options and what’s available to you, through our extensive student support network below.

Entry requirements

To apply for the online Graduate Certificate of Nursing, you are required to have:

  • Completed an AQF Level 7 Bachelor of Nursing, or equivalent qualification; AND
  • Current Registration as a Registered Nurse (Division 1) with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); OR

  • Applicants without an AQF 7 Bachelor Degree of Nursing or equivalent qualification but hold a current Registration as a Registered Nurse (Division 1) with the Australian Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) will be considered for the Graduate Certificate in Nursing.

Career options

Prepare for the healthcare challenges of the 21st century.

Australia requires registered nurses with advanced knowledge, skills and competencies to help drive the transformation of the Australian healthcare system.

Move up to the next level of your nursing career. You may be the next Nurse Unit Manager.

On completion of this course, Australian Registered Nurses (RNs) will be eligible for the postgraduate qualification allowance.

Student support

VU Online provides you with the support you need, when you need it, during your course. Our support network has a single focus on ensuring you are entirely supported to succeed in your studies.

Our highly experienced academics are responsive and accessible and understand how to deliver a quality online learning experience. You will also be introduced to your very own Student Success Advisor, who provides motivation and one-on-one personalised assistance with non-academic matters throughout your course.

You’ll experience the support of your community through chat, virtual seminars and discussion board activity. Remember, your support network is only a phone call and email away.

 

Fees and FEE-Help

A Graduate Certificate in Nursing from VU Online costs $2,825 per unit*, taking the total for 4 units to $11,300*.

This depends on the number of units you study and whether you are eligible for Advanced Standing, which is assessed after you submit your application.

Note that you may be eligible for the Australian Government’s loan scheme, FEE-HELP. The loans are available to assist eligible full-fee paying students with the cost of a university program. It can be used for all or part of the tuition. To determine your eligibility, visit the FEE-HELP website.

*2023 student fees are shown and are subject to change.

Commonwealth Supported Places

A Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) is a place where the government pays for part of your unit fees. This is a subsidy, not a loan, so you do not need to pay it back. Your remaining fees may also be eligible for FEE-HELP.

This subsidy is available to eligible students completing the Graduate Certificate in Nursing. It is only applicable to new students commencing their Graduate Certificate in 2023. To find out if you’re eligible for this subsidy, visit the government’s Study Assist.

For more information on fees and student support, download a brochure.

How online study works

Studying with VU Online means that you can undertake postgraduate study without having to attend on-campus classes. This makes it easy to fit study around existing commitments including work and family. You will be able to access your coursework, resources, assignment details and individual feedback from facilitators, all from your online learning environment, VU Collaborate.

Chat with fellow students, compare research notes and collaborate on group tasks – it’s all possible with our seamless, community-focused platform.

With VU Online, you will study just one unit at a time under the award-winning VU Block Model®. Learn about our postgraduate online Block Model with this YouTube video.

With VU Online, you will receive support from our responsive academics and facilitators, as well as your dedicated Student Success Advisor throughout your study.

How to apply

VU Online has simplified the application process, involving just three key steps.

 

 

  1. Speak to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors, who will help you determine your eligibility for the program and whether it suits your career goals. Our advisor will keep you informed of all the application requirements and what to expect during the process. They can also suggest flexible study plans for your circumstances.
  2. Begin your online application and submit the required documentation. This may include a copy of your CV and academic transcript.
  3. Upon completing your application, you will receive a confirmation email or an email letting you know if you need to provide any additional information.

Learn about our postgraduate online Block Model and how it can empower you to create your own success story.

What you'll study

The Graduate Certificate prepares nurses for the challenges of leadership and a pathway to career progression. Each unit of study lasts seven weeks, meaning you can earn your qualification in as little as eight months.

Promoting Cultural Competence and Community Health (Unit code: HN06001)

This unit examines the major concepts and principles of community health promotion including self-care, continuity of care, primary health care, health promotion, illness prevention, community assessment, family assessment and home care. Health promotion is a proven dynamic in disease prevention and maintenance of community health. In this unit you will review the major health issues impacting on national and global health. Australian and World Health Organisation (WHO) health priorities and strategies for optimising community health will be critically reviewed. You will reflect on the role of the nurse in community health promotion within areas of specialisation. You will examine communities with diverse and specific health requirements and health literacy needs to understand how to optimise the success of health promotion strategies. This unit also examines the major concepts and principles of cultural safety and the knowledge and skills required of the nursing profession to work ethically with diverse people and communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Students will examine a health problem in relation to a specific community and design strategies of community health promotion in a specialised area of your choice.

View unit page

Care Coordination in Practice (Unit code: HNO6002)

This unit explores the competencies registered Nurses need to work within inter-professional teams to provide coordinated care for clients with complex needs. The unit investigates strategies for working together effectively; making informed health care decisions and ensuring continuity of care for clients. This unit provides students with essential skills in utilising available resources effectively, health coaching and consultation, and the development of care plans that meet complex care needs. Students will further their skills in client advocacy and anticipatory care management, assessment of risk factors related to decline in a community context and determination of available alternatives for managing risks and balancing the needs and desires of clients. Key themes of the unit include exploring and practising the collection and management of client information across the continuum of services and how to negotiate potential service providers for best care package for client needs, including the management of subcontracted services.

View unit page

Leading Improvement and Innovation (Unit code: HNO6003)

One of the key performance indicators in management and leadership within nursing is to effectively lead improvement and innovation. In this unit students will determine key safety and quality concerns within the nurse practice environment and their influence on patient outcomes. Students will interrogate contemporary approaches, tools and techniques to improve the safety and quality of patient care. The unit requires students to formulate an approach to quality improvement that enhances an aspect of the nurse practice environment and patient outcomes in a specialised area of nursing practice. Students will also demonstrate the skills required to develop a teaching module to support an implementation strategy and ensure sustainability.

View unit page

Evidence and Research for Practice (Unit code: HNO6004)

This unit investigates evidence-based research and its application in the healthcare setting. Students will develop and refine their skills in searching and critically reviewing and evaluating available nursing and healthcare research and evidence. Students will also learn to use critical appraisal tools to evaluate qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. By examining systematic reviews to clarify how evidence is synthesised, students will critically appraise literature and identify gaps in current knowledge to design and develop research proposals and/or projects.

View unit page

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Read more about the units you will study in this course and more, by downloading our comprehensive free brochure

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To apply for the online Graduate Certificate of Nursing, you are required to have:

  • Completed an AQF Level 7 Bachelor of Nursing, or equivalent qualification AND
  • Current Registration as a Registered Nurse (Division 1) with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) OR equivalent registration with the relevant registering authority for applicants outside of Australia OR
  • Completed a minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience, or the part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse. OR
  • Applicants without an AQF 7 Bachelor Degree of Nursing or above but hold an alternative qualification in nursing AND current Registration as a Registered Nurse (Division 1) with the Australian Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) will also be considered.

 

Units of study

Units of study

The Graduate Certificate prepares nurses for the challenges of leadership and a pathway to career progression. Each unit of study lasts seven weeks, meaning you can earn your qualification in as little as eight months..

For more information about the units of study, download a brochure.

Core Units

Promoting Cultural Competence and Community Health (Unit code: HN06001)

This unit examines the major concepts and principles of community health promotion including self-care, continuity of care, primary health care, health promotion, illness prevention, community assessment, family assessment and home care. This unit also examines the major concepts of cultural safety and the skills required of the nursing profession to work ethically with diverse people and communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
View unit page

Care Coordination in Practice (Unit code: HNO6002)

This unit explores the competencies registered Nurses need to work within inter-professional teams to provide coordinated care for clients with complex needs. The unit investigates strategies for working together effectively; making informed health care decisions and ensuring continuity of care for clients. This unit provides students with essential skills in utilising available resources effectively, health coaching and consultation, and the development of care plans that meet complex care needs.
View unit page

Leading Improvement and Innovation (Unit code: HNO6003)

In this unit, students will determine key safety and quality concerns within the nurse practice environment and their influence on patient outcomes. The unit requires students to formulate an approach to quality improvement that enhances an aspect of the nurse practice environment and patient outcomes in a specialised area of nursing practice.
View unit page

Evidence and Research for Practice (Unit code: HNO6004)

This unit investigates evidence-based research and its application in the healthcare setting. Students will develop and refine their skills in searching and critically reviewing and evaluating available nursing and healthcare research and evidence. Students will also learn to use critical appraisal tools to evaluate qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.
View unit page

Career options

Career options

Prepare for the healthcare challenges of the 21st century.

Australia requires registered nurses with advanced knowledge, skills and competencies to help drive the transformation of the Australian healthcare system.

Move up to the next level of your nursing career. You may be the next Nurse Unit Manager. 

On completion of this course, Australian Registered Nurses (RNs) will be eligible for the postgraduate qualification allowance.

Student Support

Student Support

VU Online provides you with the support you need, when you need it, during your course. With four layers of student support, our goal is to ensure you succeed in your studies.

Our experienced academics understand how to deliver a quality online learning experience and are highly responsive and accessible.

You will also have access to a dedicated Student Success Advisor, who provides motivation and one-on-one personalised assistance with non-academic matters for the duration of the course. You will experience the support of a community, through chat, virtual seminars and discussion board activity. Your support network is only a phone call or email away.

 

Career Outcomes

Ready to take charge of your nursing career?

VU's online Graduate Certificate in Nursing is your ticket to success. With an online graduate certificate in nursing from VU, you'll gain the expertise and practical skills to succeed in a range of dynamic career paths.

From nursing management and education to research and clinical practice, our program prepares you for the diverse and rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

Elevate your career and unlock new opportunities with a Graduate Certificate in Nursing from VU.

Download our program guide now to take the first step toward your future.

Frequently asked questions

What are my career opportunities with Master of Nursing Online at VU?

Some of the prospective career paths you may choose include Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinical Research Nurse, Unit Manager, or Director of Nursing.

Do I need to be a nurse to do this course?

Yes, the course is designed for APHRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or equivalent.

What is the difference between a Grad Cert, Grad Dip and Masters in this course?

A Graduate Certificate in Nursing is designed for registered or Division 1 nurses with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. If you successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Nursing, it guarantees you entry into the Master of Nursing, with the first four units credited. A Master of Nursing is aimed at a registered nurse or midwife who wishes to further enhance their years of experience or is looking to increase career advancement opportunities. These courses prepare registered nurses for the challenges of clinical leadership, research, and advanced practice roles in their chosen specialisation.

Can students with a Bachelor of Nursing from overseas apply?

Students who completed Bachelor of Nursing from overseas can apply with us, provided:
-Their registration is validated and confirmed by APHRA and, if students simply have a Bachelor of Nursing from overseas and reside overseas, they do not qualify as applicants into our Master or Graduate Certificate of Nursing course.
- They reside in Australia as a Permanent Resident or an Australian Citizen.

What can students expect to walk away with regarding each specialisation? Where can these specialisations lead into?

With the Master of Nursing, students will have the credentials to progress into management and leadership in one of our specialist areas - Chronic Disease and Ageing OR Nursing Leadership.

Will the students be provided access to unlimited journal articles, etc through online library - and for how long upon completion of course?

Students will have full access to the VU Library during their enrolment in the course. Upon graduation, as an alumni, you can access the library by applying for library membership for alumni at a cost of $55 per annum directly at a VU library.

What types of assignments can be expected?

All of the assignments are work-based, meaning the knowledge and skills you acquire in the course are then applied to your current working role, or a recent role you are still familiar with. There are 3 assignment in each unit and they vary considerable from reports to presentations to projects, posters, literature reviews and essays.

How can I gain clinical skills (which are taught in a hospital) from studying this nursing course?

This course is not focused on clinical skills. It is a generalised nursing skillset, aiming to provide and elevate leadership qualities of Registered Nurses in their field of specialisation.

What advice would you give to someone considering nursing?

Our Master of Nursing will allow you to develop the skill set to prepare registered nurses for the challenges of clinical leadership, research, and advanced practice roles in their chosen specialisation. You’ll also have the option to choose to specialise in either Chronic Disease and Ageing or Nursing Leadership. Each course is delivered 100% online, giving students the flexibility to fit study around their busy personal and professional lives.

I haven't studied for a while. What type of support will students receive while studying Master of Nursing with VU Online?

When you study with VU Online, you will receive four layers of personalised academic and non-academic support including:

  • Weekly online office hours and seminars from your unit coordinator
  • 1:1 academic support via phone, SMS, or email on nights and weekends from your online facilitator
  • Non-academic and study support from your success advisor
  • IT, library, literacy, numeracy, and counselling support.

 

What is a Commonwealth Supported Place?

A Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) is a place where the government subsidises part of a student’s unit fees. This is a subsidy, not a loan, so you do not need to pay it back. Your remaining fees may also be eligible for FEE-HELP.

This subsidy is available to eligible students completing the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health, Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing, Graduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Graduate Certificate in Nursing and Graduate Certificate in Public Health. It is only applicable to new, eligible students who enrol and commence their studies in 2023.

To find out more or check your eligibility, please speak with an Enrolment Advisor.

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