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C11201v2 Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

Award(s): Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing (GradCertN)
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 24
Course EFTSL: 0.5
Location: City campus


This course does not have an intake in 2019.

This course is not offered to international students.

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Articulation with UTS courses
Other information


Combining online learning with face-to-face workshops, this course provides opportunities for students to extend and refine their practice in the context of acute care nursing. Focusing on evidence-based practice and contemporary standards and guidelines, students develop specialised knowledge and highly sought-after skills to lead and advocate for optimal care of acutely ill patients, and their families. Integral to this course are the concepts of early detection and management of patient deterioration, interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration across a variety of health care settings.

Students learn to recognise and support the unique characteristics of the acute care patient population and are able to practise safely and competently as acute care nurses. The knowledge, skills and expertise gained enable students to enhance the quality of care for patients and their families. Students also develop skills to actively contribute to the professional development of others and use research in order to make informed decisions about nursing practice.

Course aims

Using innovative teaching and learning strategies, including immersive simulation, students' existing attributes are enhanced with a specific focus on critical thinking, social and ethical accountability, Indigenous cultural respect, communication, professionalism and leadership. In addition, this course aims to assist students with the progression of their careers within areas such as specialist practice, consultancy and/or education.

Career options

Career options include specialty acute care nursing in a wide range of clinical settings.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.0 Are reflective critical thinkers who contribute to practice, policy and research to enhance health care and health outcomes
1.1 Locate and apply research knowledge and skills to critically evaluate the available evidence for optimal healthcare delivery
1.2 Examine local, national and international networks to enhance translation of latest evidence into acute care nursing practice
2.0 Are effective, collaborative and responsive leaders
2.1 Review strategies to enable leadership and advocacy, within scope of practice, for person-centred care
2.2 Examine the potential for creative approaches that enhance the interdisciplinary workforce, enabling health-promoting environments
2.3 Review collaborative approaches used with patients, families and interdisciplinary teams to enable optimal health outcomes
3.0 Are socially, culturally and ethically accountable and consider health care in a global context
3.1 Identify the health professional role as it relates to social justice
3.2 Identify the health professional role as it relates to global citizenship
3.3 Explore issues relating to efficient use of resources within acute care practice settings
4.0 Communicate appropriately and consistently in diverse situations
4.1 Analyse effective strategies and techniques to communicate appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations
4.2 Examine techniques to empower, facilitate and support healthy behaviours
5.0 Embody the professional qualities appropriate to the scope of their role
5.1 Explore knowledge and skills within their context of acute care practice to enable best practice
5.2 Maintain professional standards and engage in lifelong learning
5.3 Practice and promote the principles of self-care that build resilience and a positive work environment
6.0 Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness
6.1 Examine world view differences and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing
6.2 Describe the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing
6.3 Recognise and discuss the diversity of Indigenous Australians and the importance of this in relation to their health and wellbeing

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

Applicants must hold current registration as a nurse in Australia. Registered nurses who do not have an undergraduate diploma or degree but do have recent relevant work experience and can demonstrate the capacity to undertake tertiary study may also be considered eligible.

Applicants must have concurrent employment in, or access to, the clinical area of study and one year of post-registration clinical experience.

Students' current nursing registration will be confirmed via the National Register of Practitioners. Students should ensure that details of their registration are up-to-date on this register.

The English proficiency requirement for local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64; or CAE: 176-184.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered on a one-year, part-time basis.

Subjects are offered via on-campus study days, workshops in a high-fidelity simulation laboratory and online learning. Part-time study is usually undertaken at the rate of two subjects a session. The normal attendance per subject is four full days on campus spread over the session.

Dates for 2019 are:

Course structure

Students are required to complete a total of 24 credit points of study, comprising four specified nursing subjects.

There are structured, work-based learning opportunities for students who are employees of Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD). These students may undertake a Clinical Accreditation Program (CAP) with this organisation. This is at no cost to participants. Students who successfully complete a CAP are awarded exemption from subject Specialty Clinical Practice. If students change their sub-major they may need to redo a CAP related to the new sub-major or do the subject Specialty Practice.

Course completion requirements

92713 Health Breakdown 6cp
92616 Core Concepts in Acute Care Nursing 6cp
92617 Early Interventions in Acute Care Nursing 6cp
Select one of the following: 6cp
      92869 Specialty Clinical Practice6cp 
      STM90490 Clinical Accreditation Program (CAP)6cp 
Total 24cp

Course program

The following example shows a typical part-time program.

Autumn commencing, full time
Year 1
Autumn session
92616 Core Concepts in Acute Care Nursing   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
92869 Specialty Clinical Practice 6cp  
92713 Health Breakdown 6cp  
Spring session
92617 Early Interventions in Acute Care Nursing   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
92869 Specialty Clinical Practice 6cp  
92713 Health Breakdown 6cp  

Articulation with UTS courses

This course articulates with the Graduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing (C07044) and the Master of Advanced Nursing (C04228).

Other information

Further information is available from:

UTS Student Centre
telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
or +61 2 9514 1222
UTS: Health

Debra Palesy
Course coordinator