Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Mental Health)

Course J03MH (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 12 months part time.


Dr Bridget Hamilton


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 9035 4224
F: +61 3 8344 4188
Course Overview: The Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice is a 50 point 4th year coursework program offered with or without clinical specialisation depending on the program of study undertaken.

It can be taken as a stand-alone award, or as 50 points toward the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (100 points) or the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (200 points).

The Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice with bracketed specialization comprises two (2) mandated 25 credit point subjects for the relevant specialty stream. These subjects provide an integrated program of learning focusing on foundational theoretical knowledge to inform beginning level specialty practice. Each subject includes both a theoretical component and a field practice component. In recognition of the objectives and content of these subjects they are referred to as 'Foundation' specialty subjects. In recognition of the time taken to develop specialty clinical skills, one foundation subject is offered in first semester and the second is offered in second semester.

Therefore the Postgraduate Certificate with bracketed specialization is only offered part time over two semesters.

In order to exit the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice with a bracketed specialization, students must complete 50 points of mandated subjects as prescribed for each specialization. The specialization groups are arranged into cognate areas.

The 4 Cognate Areas include:

Acute and Critical Care

- Anaesthetics

- Critical Care

- Emergency

- Perioperative

- Rural Critical Care

Cancer and Palliative Care

Mental Health


Objectives: The Postgraduate Certificate aims to provide the opportunity for nurses to extend their undergraduate nursing knowledge and skills into an area of specialty nursing practice. Upon completion of the course it is therefore expected that students will have:
  • a sound understanding of the scientific knowledge and research based evidence that underpins skill development specific to a specialty area of nursing practice;
  • the ability theoretical knowledge to understand the practice of providing care to individuals experiencing specific disturbances to health and well-being that require specialty nursing interventions;
  • skills in critical inquiry relevant to a chosen specialty area of nursing practice;
  • the ability to communicate an understanding of the theoretical basis for practice both verbally and in a written form;
  • problem solving skills appropriate for delivery and evaluation of patient care as a specialty practice nurse;
  • life long learning skills that facilitate knowledge and skill development as a specialty practice nurse and the ability to undertake ongoing professional development in preparation for more advanced levels of specialty practice;
  • demonstrated clinical competencies in a workplace environment assessed by clinical experts to be at a beginning competency level as benchmarked against Australian specialty practice competencies.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: The Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice with bracketed specialization comprises two (2) mandated 25 credit point subjects for the relevant specialty stream.
Subject Options:

Mandated Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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 Division 1, 3 or 4 nurse within the five years prior to applying for the course
  • current unrestricted registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (formerly the Nurses Board of Victoria) in Division 1, 3 or 4 of the Register (courses with clinical components only)
  • current employment and clinical support in your specialty area (courses with clinical components only)
  • meet the University of Melbourne's English language requirements

If you are applying for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice or Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice or a clinical specialisation in the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice, you must provide evidence of current clinical employment and support by submitting a completed Confirmation of Clinical Employment and Support Form with your application.

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s courses. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to clinical/field work activities. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

  • Academically excellent:
    • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
    • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
    • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
    • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
    • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines:
    • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
    • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
    • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
    • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment
  • Leaders in communities:
    • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
    • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
    • mentor future generations of learners
    • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs
  • Attuned to cultural diversity:
    • value different cultures
    • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
    • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
    • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values
  • Active global citizens:
    • accept social and civic responsibilities
    • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
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