Graduate Certificate in Primary Care Nursing

Course GC-PCN (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Kelsey Hegarty


Melbourne Medical School

Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

The Graduate Certificate in Primary Care Nursing is a tailored course for nurses working in a primary care setting that delivers comprehensive and evidence-based education in chronic disease, prevention, women’s health, mental health or youth health. 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 course is delivered by flexible education (distance, online and face-to face).

Learning Outcomes:

On completion students should be able to:

  • Apply an evidence based approach to screening, health promotion and an advanced clinical area of their choice
  • Consult with patients in primary care using a preventive approach
  • Identify the elements of systematic chronic disease management
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Graduate Certificate in Primary Care Nursing is a 50-credit-point, part-time, coursework program comprising three (3) core subjects and one (1) elective subject.

Subject Options:

Subject Requirements

Core Subjects

Students must complete all core subjects listed below: (37.5 credit points)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective subjects

Students must select one 12.5 credit point subject from the list below:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2016
Entry Requirements:

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate are selected from:

Australian or overseas qualified nurses who hold a 3 year degree or diploma of nursing or approved equivalent AND have at least one (1) year professional experience in a clinical setting.

Applicants must provide evidence of qualifications, as listed below, at the time of application submission:

• National Division 1 Registration

• Transcript and evidence of completion of undergraduate degree

• Evidence of at least one year professional experience in a clinical setting (the provision of CV is not sufficient; an example of valid evidence would be a letter of reference or an employment contract).

Other supporting documents such as a police check, Working With Children Check and first aid certificates are required for subjects that involve a clinical placement. Where needed, these documents will be requested during enrolment.

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 Student Equity and Disability Support:

Further Study:

Graduates may progress to a range of other graduate coursework programs, such as:

Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing

Master of Advanced Nursing Practice

Graduate Attributes:

The Graduate Certificate 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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