Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing

Course GD-PCN (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Kelsey Hegarty


Academic Contact:

Professor Kelsey Hegarty

Administrative Contact:

Weilun Nien
tel: +61 3 9035 3821

Course Overview:

The Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing is a tailored programme for nurses working in a primary care setting that delivers comprehensive and evidence-based education in chronic disease, prevention, quality systems and safety, women’s health, mental health or youth health. The programme also teaches strategies for health promotion, risk management and advanced nursing practice. Commonwealth government policy priorities in primary health care include an enhanced role for the practice nurse and this has been recognised in the course subjects. This programme is delivered by flexible education (distance, online and face-to face).

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing students should be able to:

  • Practice effectively patient centred and preventive clinical care
  • Contribute to effective teamwork and manage change and risk in the workplace
  • Deliver safe and effective nursing care and case management to patients with chronic illness
  • Provide an evidence based approach to clinical care in a range of clinical areas of their choice that builds on their previous experience
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

To attain the Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing, students must complete 100 credit points, comprising of three (3) core subjects and three (3) elective subjects.
Completion of the postgraduate diploma provides credit toward the Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice (Melbourne School of Health Sciences, Nursing). Selected subjects are available to students enrolled in the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice. Enrolment is dependent on meeting prescribed registration and clinical experience requirements.

Subject Options:

Subject Requirements

Core Subjects

Students must complete the following core subjects (62.5 credit points)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective subjects

Choose three subjects from the list below

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2015
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree in nursing or a three-year diploma of nursing or equivalent; and
• at least one year of documented relevant professional experience in a clinical setting; and
• National Division 1 registration.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
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 programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:

The Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing will prepare nurses to:

  • be a vital member of the general practice/primary care team;
  • contribute to the clinical care of patients;
  • be involved in quality improvement processes;
  • facilitate change in the practice setting;
  • improve access and health outcomes for patients;
  • provide better management of chronic conditions and an increased focus on prevention.

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