Course overview

This course has intakes in term 1 and term 3.

Part-time durationCore Pre-requisite SubjectsCore SubjectsSpecialisation Subjects*Total course fee
12 months123$10,416

*The University reviews fees annually. The indicative total course fee is based on typical subject enrolments, and includes an indexation of 4 per cent per annum.

This course is not available to international students unless registered under APHRA and working in an Australian accredited health care facility.

Upcoming terms

Critical care nurses provide essential care to seriously ill patients and their families. It’s a specialist role that requires collaboration with the interprofessional team, so patients can receive the highest quality care when facing potentially life-threatening conditions.

The Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing expands the scope of practice for Registered Nurses. It advances your knowledge, specialist skills and core competencies related to critical care nursing which are required to care for patients in the critical care environment.

Drawing on current evidence-based practice in the care and management of the critically ill, this course will equip you to assess and manage seriously unwell patients. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as your critical care knowledge and capabilities. You’ll acquire the skills to analyse and critique delivery of specialist nursing care in the current healthcare context. Through this course, you’ll become proficient in using evidence-based nursing research skills to plan, and to implement and evaluate the provision of care in critical care environments.

Offered online, this flexibly delivered course will enable graduates to competently practice as a critical care registered nurse in accordance with either the Emergency Nursing or Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Practice Standards.

Students of this course have nested study options, which means you have alternative entry and exit pathways. You can choose to finish your specialist education early and graduate with a Specialist Certificate in Critical Care Nursing. Or on successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing, you may also be eligible to enrol in the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice.

This course is not available to international students unless registered under APHRA and working in an Australian accredited health care facility.

Course aims

We’ve devised this course to provide a sound understanding of the requirements of critical care nursing, with a focus on emergency and intensive care.

In 2019, students can choose Intensive Care as a major specialisation and in 2021, students can choose either Emergency or Emergency-Intensive Care as a specialisation.

Completion of the Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing enables you to:

  • Apply specialist knowledge and clinical competence in the critical care setting to facilitate patient centred care and ensure optimal clinical outcomes
  • Develop a sound theoretical base to inform nursing practice in dynamic, complex and demanding critical care environments
  • Comprehensively assess and care for patients with life-threatening health problems using informed and advanced clinical judgement and skills
  • Utilise and evaluate qualitative and quantitative health research to determine best evidence for critical care nursing practice
  • Justify and prioritise clinical decisions using evidence-based data to ensure professional integrity and ethical nursing practice.

This course has been designed so you can develop a greater understanding of the role of the nurse as an integral member of the critical care team. You’ll become competent in effective communication to ensure safe practice and support for the interprofessional team, as well as patients and families.

By specialising in critical care nursing, you will:

  • Participate in continuous learning to practice safe and effective critical care nursing thorough enhancing clinical skills and knowledge
  • Develop leadership, mentoring and educational skills to contribute to high standard critical care practice and facilitate quality improvement in the healthcare setting.

What’s distinctive about this course is that while it is delivered online, it incorporates work-industry clinical experience. The course delivers theoretical content through online study and a practical clinical speciality component at a partner hospital. The students’ employing hospital facilitates your clinical practice and education in the clinical setting.

Who the course is for

This course has been designed specifically for:

  • Division 1 Registered Nurses with AHPRA or equivalent registration with an international health practitioner regulation agency.

Career outcomes

Working in critical care nursing has become a specialisation that is popular within the broader nursing industry. While the role can be emotionally demanding, it is also rewarding and offers a range of opportunities across a variety of health care settings.

Critical care nurses work in areas such as intensive care units and emergency departments or retrieval services and care for acutely and critically ill patients of all ages and diagnoses, often on a one-on-one basis utilising complex technologies.

Being a critical care nurse requires highly-developed assessment skills and knowledge to manage seriously ill patients who are often in a dynamic and unstable condition. Critical care nurses also work closely with all members of the critical care team in healthcare delivery and the provision of emotional support to patients as well as their family and friends.

What you will learn

The Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing draws on scientific knowledge and evidence-based research to develop skills in critical care nursing. The focus of the course is to learn to identify, analyse and understand complex physiological problems and develop and implement appropriate, safe and timely solutions.

Who you will learn from

Your online learning will be enriched by the extensive knowledge of academics who are experts in the principles and practice of critical care nursing. You can expect regular real-time sessions with your academic instructors, which will give you the opportunity to discuss your ideas and learnings.

Find out more about the University of Melbourne online learning experience.

  • Rebecca_Jarden
    Rebecca Jarden, Academic Coordinator – Graduate Certificate in Critical Care (Intensive Care)

Next: see what subjects you'll be studying

  • Your dedicated student support team

Contact student support

You can talk with a dedicated online student support consultant via the chat function at the bottom right of this page or connect through by phone. Alternatively, click on the Enquire Now tab below and fill out the form to find out about key details relating to this program, including:

  • Entry requirements
  • Time commitment required for each subject
  • Fees and payment options.

Phone: + 61 3 8344 0149
Email: study-online@unimelb.edu.au
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm AEST/AEDT
Weekends and University of Melbourne observed Public Holidays 10am to 5pm AEST/AEDT.