Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing (Surgical)
Care for patients before, during, and after surgery
Add a valued speciality practice to your nursing knowledge and experience. You’ll explore current perioperative care skills and theory. Extend your clinical nursing services across the continuum of care. Broaden your job prospects.
Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
- 12 Feb 23
Established in 1991 after amalgamating four eastern Australian Catholic tertiary institutes, Australian Catholic University now has seven campuses, from Brisbane to Melbourne and welcomes students of all beliefs. Specialising in arts, business, education, health sciences, law, theology and philosophy, ACU encourages its students to think critically and ethically and bring change to their communities and offer this online through Open Universities Australia.
Learn more about ACU.
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The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing (Medical) aims to enhance the practice of health care professionals by expanding the breadth and depth of their knowledge and skills.
Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing (Surgical) should have:
LO1. A body of knowledge that includes the reflection, analysis and evaluation of recent developments in their area of professional practice;
LO2. Cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and professional practice; and
LO3. Technical and communication skills to design, evaluate implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice.
Graduates may seek employment in clinical nursing in government and private health care facilities depending on your choice of specialisation:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nursing Education
- Clinical Leadership and management roles within the specialty area
- Leadership and management roles within healthcare services
- Community nursing opportunities
- Pathways to further study and research
Surgical nursing specialisation:
- Specialist in Surgical Nursing
- Nursing educator - surgical specialty
An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.
To be eligible for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing, an applicant must:
a) have completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree or equivalent; AND
b) hold current registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
English Proficiency Requirements
- International English Language Testing System - Academic (IELTS): Overall score: 6.5 with an individual score of 6.0 in all tests
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): 58 with a minimum of 50 in all four communicative skills
- Test of English as a Foreign Language - Academic (TOEFL): Internet based total of 79 with a minimum of 21 in writing, 18 in speaking, 13 in reading and 12 in listening
- ACU English Language Test: B (65-74%)
- Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): Overall CAE of 176 with a minimum individual score of 169 in all test areas.
Recognition of Prior LearningIf your previous study has equipped you with knowledge, skills or experiences that align with the learning outcomes of units in your new course you may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning and you may be able to complete your course sooner. Speak to your course consultant for more information or to discuss your eligibility. ACU will consider requests for advanced standing based on prior studies to a maximum equivalence of 2 subjects (20cp).
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing is designed to expand your knowledge and skills in clinical nursing and practice. You will develop your holistic care skills in specialty practice, including person- and family-centered health promotion. Specific knowledge in the areas of bioscience, pharmacology, and lifespan development, relevant to your chosen specialty, will also be explored and applied to your clinical nursing practice.
The surgical specialisation explores acute and chronic health conditions that require surgical intervention. Modules include principles and management of nursing care across the pre-operative, post-operative and discharge, surgical care continuum. Content related to surgical comorbidities, common surgical procedures, surgical safety, risk assessment and the early recognition and timely escalation of deterioration to mitigate patient harm is extensively covered. The impact that pre-operative and post-operative complications have for surgical patient outcomes, and discharge planning, will also be detailed.
Recommended Study Pattern
Students are required to follow the pattern of subject enrolment set out in the relevant Course Enrolment Guide, unless otherwise approved by the Course Coordinator. In all aspects of progress through the course, students will be advised by the Course Coordinator.
To qualify for the degree, a student must complete 4 subjects from Schedule of Unit Offerings comprising of:
- 2 subjects from Specified Clinical Nursing Units; and
- 2 subject from Specialisation units.
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing (Surgical):
Specified Clinical Nursing Units
- NRSG524 Advanced Pathophysiology for Specialty Nursing Practice (10cp)
- NRSG525 Evdence-based, Person-centred Family Care in Specialty Nursing Practice (10cp)
- NRSG532 Surgical Comprehensive Care for Surgical Patients (10cp)
- NRSG533 Surgical: Advanced and Complex Surgical Nursing (10cp)
To qualify for the degree, a student must complete 40 cp from the Schedule of Unit Offerings, consisting of:
a. 20 cp from Clinical Nursing units
b. 20 cp from Specialisation units