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Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing

Speciality Classification
Nurses and Midwives
1 Year Part-time
Australian College of Nursing

Course overview

The Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing enables students to develop specialist knowledge and skills required of a nurse in a variety of critical care areas, including coronary care, emergency departments and intensive care. This course fosters both academic and clinical competence enabling students to integrate theory into practice and further develop clinical decision making skills. Comprehensive multidisciplinary team approach is advocated to manage and support critically ill patients and their family. This course enables nurses to develop their professional autonomy and provide leadership within their chosen area of critical care nursing.

Students complete 4 units of study – 3 cores and 1 specialty elective.

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing is an investment in your future and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure better outcomes for your patients and progress your career, leading to opportunities in clinical education, management and specialist nursing roles.

Learning outcomes

This course is designed for registered nurses wishing to further their education in the practice of critical care nursing. It enables students to:

  • apply specialist knowledge and high levels of clinical competence in the critical care setting to facilitate patient centred care and ensure optimal clinical outcomes
  • formulate a sound theoretical base to inform nursing practice in dynamic, complex and demanding critical care environments
  • demonstrates the provision of comprehensive assessment and care delivery for patients with life- threatening health problems using evolved clinical judgement and skills
  • evaluate qualitative and quantitative health research to determine evidence for critical care nursing practice
  • analyse the nurse’s role as an integral member of the critical care team, relying on effective communication to ensure safe practice and support for other clinicians, patients and families
  • develop leadership, mentoring and educational skills to contribute to high standard critical care practice and facilitate quality improvement in the health care setting
  • justify and prioritise clinical decisions using evidence based data to ensure professional integrity and ethical nursing practice
  • appraise the importance of and participate in continuous learning to remain a safe and effective critical care nurse by enhancing clinical skills and knowledge.

Course structure

The Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing is a one year course, consisting of four 10-week terms.

3 specialty streams are available: Cardiac, Emergency and Intensive Care. In each stream students will need to complete 4 units – 3 core and 1 specialty elective. One unit is studied per term.

Approximate hours of study are 12 – 15 hours per week.



2021 Member price (10% discount)

 / 2021 Non-member price



Tier 1





Tier 2





Tier 3





Tier 4





Fees are subject to change without notice.

ACN offers a flexible payment option allowing students to pay their fees on a term-by-term basis. Each term’s fees are due upfront, prior to term commencement.

FEE-HELP is also available for eligible students.

Want to save on course fees?

Being a part of the ACN community allows nurses to be the best they can be and strengthen the voice of nursing through a range of invaluable benefits, including 10% off graduate certificates and other education offerings, exclusive networking events, access to support and advice on ACN’s online engagement platform neo, free online CPD courses and opportunities to be involved in shaping health care policy.

Entry requirements

Admission to GC courses is based on academic merit and selection. In addition, applicants must satisfy any prerequisites or additional requirements specified for particular courses, including ACN’s general eligibility criteria.

All applicants seeking admission are required to:

  • hold a Bachelor of Nursing or registered nurse* equivalent qualification
  • be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) or the equivalent registering authority in your country of origin
  • have a minimum of one year postgraduate experience
  • be currently employed in an appropriate clinical setting.

*For some GC units of study, consideration may be given for applicants who are not registered nurses on an individual basis.

Meet your Nurse Educator

Maria Baric MACN, Nurse Educator – Higher Education

RN, MPH, BHSc, Certificate in Cardiac Nursing, Cert IV TAE

Maria coordinates our Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing. With extensive clinical, management and nursing education experience, Maria’s skills include designing, delivering, assessing and evaluating programs in critical care and emergency nursing.

Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
1 Year Part-time
Price Details
2021 Non-member price (Tier 1) - $2,300.00 ; 2021 Member price (10% discount)