Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice

Course J03AA (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months


Dr Pat Nicholson


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 9035 3438
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Course Overview:

The course provides the opportunity for nurses to extend their undergraduate nursing knowledge and skills in an area of specialty nursing practice.

Enrolment in the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (PCNP) is dependant on meeting the registration and clinical experience requirements outlined in the Admission Requirements section. You must also be employed in your specialty area and have the support of your current employer to facilitate completion of specialty clinical competencies.

Learning Outcomes:

As a graduate of the PCNP you 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 to apply theoretical knowledge to understand the practice of providing care to individuals experiencing specific disturbances to health and well-being that require specialty nursing interventions
  • critical inquiry skills 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, assessed by clinical experts, at a beginning competency level as benchmarked against Australian specialty practice competencies
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The PCNP is comprised of 50 credit points of clinical coursework subjects. Enrolment is dependant on meeting prescribed registration and clinical experience requirements. You must also have the support of your current employer to facilitate completion of specialty clinical competencies.

Course structures for the specialty areas can be found at the School of Nursing website:
Please note that Paediatric Critical Care is not offered as a certificate course

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 feel 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
    • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Links to further information:

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