Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care)

Course PD-NPNICU (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015
CRICOS Code: 071301K
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months


Associate Professor Marie Gerdtz


Written Enquiry:

Phone: 13MELB

Course Overview:

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice is a 100 point coursework program offered with clinical specialisation in neonatal intensive care to develop proficient level competency in specialist practice.

The award is available with a bracketed specialization to acknowledge the nursing specialty that is the focus of the student's studies.

The course may be taken full time over 2 semesters or part time over 3 - 4 semesters. Enrolment in clinical components of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice is dependent on meeting the registration and clinical experience requirements outlined in the admission requirement section. Students must also have the support of their current employer to facilitate completion of specialty clinical competencies.

Learning Outcomes:

Overall the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice aims to provide the opportunity for nurses to extend their nursing knowledge into an area of specialty nursing to develop a level of clinical competence considered to be consistent with proficient specialty practice. Upon completion of the course it is therefore expected that students will have the outcomes described for the Postgraduate Certificate and in acknowledgment of the greater depth and complexity of knowledge incorporated in the Postgraduate Diploma achieve the following additional outcomes:

• the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to understand the practice of providing holistic nursing care to individuals experiencing a complex range of disturbances to health and well-being that require complex specialty nursing interventions;

• an understanding of the professional issues impacting upon specialty nursing and the wider nursing profession;

• a beginning understanding of the international context and sensitivities of the specialty area;

• a capacity to engage where appropriate with issues in contemporary society that impact on and are impacted by specialty nursing practice;

• an appreciation of the ways in which evidence based practice guides specialty practice and how specialty knowledge equips the student to offer leadership in the specialty area;

• an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of research as it relates to the development of evidence based practice;

• the ability to critically read nursing literature and a capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding of specialty practice in oral and written presentations;

• a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.

• demonstrated clinical competencies in a workplace environment assessed by clinical experts to be at a proficient level as benchmarked against Australian specialty practice competencies.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must complete:

NURS90003 Foundations in Acute and Critical Care 1 (25 points)
NURS90005 Foundations in Acute and Critical Care 2 (12.5 points)
NURS90009 Evidence for Practice (12.5 points)
NURS90023 Applied Concepts in Paediatrics (12.5 points)
NURS90024 Complexity in Paediatrics (12.5 points)

Plus one elective subject

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2015
Not offered in 2015

Elective 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 students are applying for a clinical specialisation in the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice, they are required to provide evidence of current clinical employment and support by submitting a completed Confirmation of Clinical Employment and Support Form with their application.

Core Participation Requirements:

Students are required to attend classes on campus and engage in on-line learning activities as part of this course. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to clinical/field work activities while completing clinical competencies.

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. 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.

Further Study:

Student can articulate into the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care)

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 advocapps for improving the sustainability of the environment
    • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills of the Melbourne postgraduate coursework student:

  • An understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • The ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to the specialist area;
  • A capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written modes of communication;
  • A capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work;
  • The student should particularly be able to apply these generic skills to support their beginning specialty nursing practice by demonstrating:
  • Integration of the theoretical content covered within the subject to develop new knowledge that supports safe practice as a beginning specialty nurse in the acute and critical care practice setting
  • The ability to integrate knowledge and skills learnt in the subject to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of acute and critical care environments;
  • The ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for participating in the delivery of care at the beginning level of acute and critical care nursing practice;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply knowledge learnt in the theoretical component of the subject to beginning level acute and critical care nursing.
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