Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Critical Care)

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Nursing Practice Award Graduate Certificate
Course Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Critical Care)
Course Code GC-NPCC
Course Abbreviation GCert Nursing Practice (CC)
Partner Faculty MDHS / Melbourne School of Health Sciences and Western Health in the areas of clinical speciality.
Background A review of the specialist nursing programs offered by the University of Melbourne has recently been completed. The aim of the review was to develop a suite of programs that:
  • leverage The University of Melbourne’s unique expertise and teaching strengths in nursing;
  • leverage the unique specialisations and skills in nursing practice available in the hospital system;
  • offer a program that more easily enables practicing nurses to participate and their employers to support them in their development; and,
  • creates clear pathways to further study.
The result is a suite of seven Graduate Certificates in Nursing Practice, each with a specific nursing specialisation, delivered in partnership with a number of Centres of Excellence, all providing rigorous and high quality education and training, and with a clear pathway to Masters level study in Nursing at the University of Melbourne.
Course Description The Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Critical Care) is a 50 credit point, part-time, clinical coursework program of one year's duration. Students typically take four 12.5 credit point subjects across a year. Admission is based on a Bachelor of Nursing degree (or equivalent training), at least one year of clinical experience in an acute care setting within the five years prior to applying for the course, and current employment and clinical support in a Critical Care work environment.

The course delivers theoretical content through a combination of on-line study and face-to-face course delivery at the partner hospital for the clinical speciality. The students’ employing hospital provides clinical practice in a hospital setting.

Students complete 50 credit points of study part-time, over a year, commencing in January with an on-line subject, completing a face-to-face subject at the partner hospital each semester and a supervised clinical practice subject at their employing hospital across the whole study period.
Delivery Mode The course is delivered through a combination of on-line and face-to-face delivery
Subject Delivery Mode
Applied Pathophysiology (12.5 points) Fully on-line delivery
Critical Care Nursing 1 (12.5 points) Face-to-face delivery at Western Health
Critical Care Nursing 2 (12.5 points) Face-to-face delivery at Western Health
Critical Care Nursing Practice (12.5 points) Supervised clinical practice at students’ employing hospital and attendance at Western Health
Applicants must ensure that the computer and device they use to access course materials and undertake assessment on-line are suitable. Check the system requirements and perform a system test.

It is common for students to access course information from a range of computers and devices, and they must all be checked to ensure that they allow full functionality. In particular, hospital computer systems may have firewalls in place that do not allow full access and you should alert your IT administrator to these requirements well in advance of needing access using work based computers.
Who Should Apply Admission is based on a Bachelor of Nursing degree (or equivalent training), at least one year of clinical experience in an acute care setting within the five years prior to applying for the course, and current employment and clinical support in a critical care work environment.

Applicants must be registered nurses and have the support of their employing hospital for the Nursing Practice subject (Critical Care Nursing Practice), and the employing hospital must be equipped to support the student to complete their studies.

International nurses with a working visa who meet the course entry requirements are also eligible to apply.
Subjects To graduate from the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Critical Care) requires successful completion of 4 x 12.5 point subjects. Applied Pathophysiology is a pre-requisite subject and must be successfully completed to allow enrolment in the other course subjects.
Applied Pathophysiology (12.5 points) This subject provides a foundation for understanding the pathologic basis of disease across the lifespan. It equips learners with the knowledge and skills required to explain assessment data and prioritise patient care in a specialty area of practice based on scientific principles.
Critical Care Nursing 1 (12.5 points) This subject is designed to provide the theoretical foundation for entry into specialty critical care nursing practice. Students will extend their understanding of general to systemic pathology of organ systems. This knowledge will be applied to the assessment and management of the critically ill patients. Patient and family perspectives of illness will be considered in the development and implementation of multi-disciplinary care planning. Students will gain essential knowledge to plan, manage and monitor critical care interventions. They will apply scientific principles and research evidence underpinning the use of critical care therapies and identify signs and symptoms, clinical deterioration and life threatening.
Critical Care Nursing 2 (12.5 points) This subject is designed to provide the theoretical foundation for entry into specialty critical care nursing practice. Students will extend their understanding of general to systemic pathology of organ systems. This knowledge will be applied to the assessment and management of acute and complex illness in critically ill patients. Patient and family perspectives of illness will be considered in the development and implementation of multi-disciplinary care planning. Students will gain essential knowledge to plan, manage and evaluate advanced critical care interventions. They will apply scientific principles and research evidence underpinning the assessment and management of acute and complex illness, and identify patients’ deterioration / life threatening complications.
Critical Care Nursing Practice (12.5 points) In this subject students will clinically apply the theoretical principles in Applied Pathophysiology and Critical Care Nursing 1 and 2. To support comprehensive patient assessment, monitoring and care planning in specialty nursing practice. Students will learn to incorporate knowledge and evidence of psycho-social factors influencing patient outcomes to inform their clinical decision making in practice.
Assessment The course is rigorously assessed. Further details of assessment are contained in individual subject guides that are provided to enrolled students.

Applied Pathophysiology 12.5 (12.5 points):
Type of Assessment (Including Extent/Duration) Timing of Assessment Assessment %
4 online MCQ quizzes (30 mins each) Week 2 - Week 7 (every 2 weeks) 40%
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 5 60%
2 online MCQ quizzes
(15 minutes each)
Week 1 & Week 8 Hurdle Requirement
Additional Requirements: Student must achieve 50% or greater in all quizzes and the written assignment and sum of both assessments must be 50% or greater to pass the subject.
Note: Specific details regarding assessment tasks are provided on the LMS at the beginning of week 1.

Critical Care Nursing 1 (12.5 points):

Type of Assessment (Including Extent/Duration) Timing of Assessment Assessment %
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 6 30%
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 11 30%
Closed-book Test 1 (20 mins) Week 3-5 15%
Closed-book Test 2 (50 mins) Week 8-10 25%

Critical Care Nursing 2 (12.5 points):

Type of Assessment (Including Extent/Duration) Timing of Assessment Assessment %
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 6 30%
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 11 30%
Closed-book Test 1 (20 mins) Week 3-5 15%
Closed-book Test 2 (50 mins) Week 8-10 25%

Critical Care Nursing Practice (12.5 points):

Type of Assessment (Including Extent/Duration) Timing of Assessment Assessment %
6 x Clinical Skills Assessments Distributed evenly across the year Hurdle
Clinical performance appraisal (minimum of 2) 1 per semester Hurdle
Reflective essay x 1 (1000 words) Week 30 20%
Patient Assessment and Care Plan x 2 (2000 words) 1 per semester 40% x 2
Note: Specific details regarding assessment tasks are provided on the LMS at the beginning of week 1.
Pathways to Further Study Applied Pathophysiology is a pre-requisite subject for the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice. Students that successfully complete this subject and associated assessment may be eligible for credit into the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice.

Credit into the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice is dependent on:
  • Meeting the course entry requirements
  • Subject equivalence at the time credit is sought
Students that successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice may apply for entry into the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice.

Students may also be interested in:
Master of Advanced Nursing Practice
Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner)
Master of Advanced Nursing (for International Students)
Additional Information

Dorothy Jean Ineke Nursing Scholarship

Two scholarships/awards of $7,500 each will be awarded to the two top performing students in the subject Applied Pathophysiology who are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Nursing Practice 2018 and not in receipt of a Commonwealth Supported Place.
The scholarships will be awarded in April 2018.

Recruitment and Application Process Map
Pathways from Specialist to Advanced Nursing
Frequently Asked Questions

STUDENT ORIENTATION FOR 2018
Save the Date: Wednesday 6 December 2017
Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Medical Building, Level 3, Room 312, ESJ King Theatre

Academic and Teaching Team The academic team is led by Associate Professor Marie Gerdtz (The University of Melbourne).

Marie will be supported by a team of Course and Subject Coordinators drawn from The University of Melbourne, Centres of Excellence and Hospital Partners to ensure a quality and consistent teaching and learning experience for nursing students.
Entry Requirements Admission requirements for all specialty and advanced practice courses:
  • A Bachelor of Nursing (or equivalent training)
  • At least one year of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse within the five years in an acute care setting prior to applying for the course
  • Current unrestricted registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (courses with clinical components only);
  • Current employment and clinical support in your specialty area
  • meet the University of Melbourne's English language requirements
Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice who are not employed by Western Health or a Partnering hospital must provide evidence of current clinical employment and support from their employing hospital.

If the applicants employing hospital is a designated Partner Hospital, then the applicant is expected to be included in the Partner Hospitals’ approved students and nominated Nursing Practice Supervisor list.

If the applicants employing hospital is not a designated Partner Hospital, then a form providing details of the nominated Nursing Practice Supervisor and confirmation of employing Hospital support needs to be completed and submitted with the application.


*Please note, all applications are subject to the nomination process.*
Course Fees Course fees for 2017
Student Type Subject Fee Total Course fee
Local Students $2,372 $9,488
International Students with a working Visa $3,684 $14,736
Fees are subject to an annual increase.
Fee Inclusions Fees include tuition, course materials and access to on-line resources.

Fees to do not include the prescribed text for the course.

This text needs to be purchased prior to commencing the Applied Pathophysiology subject. Applicants who accept a place on the course will be provided with information to obtain this text at a discounted price direct from the publisher.

As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.
FEE HELP Fee-Help is available for this course. It is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.
Key Dates Semester Study Periods
Subject Delivery Period 2017 Semester Start Date End Date
Applied Pathophysiology Summer Semester 03/01/2017 24/02/2017
Foundations 1 Semester 1 27/02/2017 23/06/2017
Foundations 2 Semester 2 24/07/2017 17/11/2017
Nursing Practice All Year (Across Semester 1 and 2) 27/02/2017 17/11/2017
Delivery Dates and Times Coursework Attendance Dates and Duration
Semester 1 Coursework Attendance Date 2017
Critical Care Nursing 1 1st March 22nd March 26th April
Duration (hours) 8.5 8.5 8.5
Semester 2  
Critical Care Nursing 2 26th July 30th August 20th September
Duration (hours) 8.5 8.5 8.5
Semester 1 & 2  
Critical Care Nursing Practice 8th March 3rd May 2nd August
Duration (hours) 8.5 8.5 8.5
*Please note: these dates are indicative and subject to change.
Delivery Venue NorthWest Academic Centre
WCHRE (Western Centre for Health Research and Education)
Sunshine Hospital, Level 1
176 Furlong Road, St Albans Victoria, 3021
Related courses and subjects

Single Subject in Applied Pathophysiology
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Cancer and Palliative Care)
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Emergency)
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care)
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Paediatrics)
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Paediatric Intensive Care)
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Rural Critical Care)

Contact Program Co-ordinator: Elizabeth Soares
Phone: (03) 9035 9608