1 year part-time
Note: this course is only available part-time
Critical care nurses work in some of the most complex health environments across emergency departments, ICUs and other high dependency units. As a registered nurse, Deakin’s Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing will build on your existing knowledge and skills, preparing you to provide high-quality care to the critically ill across a range of settings.
Our School of Nursing and Midwifery is ranked 20th in the world*. It is one of Australia’s best and most established schools with cutting-edge nursing research recognised as well above world standard. Our strong industry connections mean you will be guided by experts in critical care nursing as you explore the current and emerging trends, concepts, knowledge and evidence that provides the policy and practice framework of critical care nursing.
Are you ready to build on you existing knowledge and skills and take the next step in your nursing career?
Deakin’s Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing prepares you to take the next step in your nursing career. Our graduates are able to demonstrate ethical, safe, high-quality and expert clinical decision-making abilities within an interdisciplinary team.
Your specialised theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person-centred care will allow you to practise effectively across a range of settings, ensuring you are well placed to meet the industry demand for nurses with speciality skills.
Deakin’s strong industry connections ensure a high level of collaboration and support during your clinical practice. This means that while you study you can immerse yourself in your specialty practice area with one of our numerous metropolitan, rural and regional health partners across Australia.
Our innovative online program delivers a rich, interactive and empowering learning experience designed for postgraduate nursing students. Live-streaming seminars and class discussions will encourage critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills. Australia’s top-rated tech support and access to our expert teaching staff means you can learn at your own pace, when and where it suits you, without compromising quality or support.
This course enables you to:
- analyse and provide advanced patient care in response to complex data from patient and technologically derived sources
- perform focused, systematic and methodical patient assessments
- develop an advanced understanding of normal physiology, and the pathophysiology of illness and injury of critically ill patients
- collaboratively assess and provide advanced management of specific patient groups: paediatrics, trauma, gynaecological, obstetric, oncology, older persons and those presenting with cardiovascular, renal, neurological and respiratory dysfunction
- develop greater decision-making autonomy, critical thinking and leadership skills, advanced clinical judgement, and enhanced professionalism.
Graduates are prepared to handle the contemporary challenges critical care nurses may face with a course that responds to industry trends and demands. You will learn how to make a difference through roles in areas such as practice, education, leadership and research.*
*2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects.
^Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018.
- Award granted
- Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing
2024 course information
- Deakin code
- Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)
- Approval status
This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
- Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.
To complete the requirements of the Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing, students must attain 4 credit points of core (compulsory) units, taken over one year of part-time study.
Both the theoretical and clinical components of the assessment for each unit must be passed in order to successfully gain an overall pass in this course. Compulsory clinical hurdles form part of the assessment of this course.
Note: Failure of a compulsory clinical component in a unit will normally lead to exclusion.
All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.
Semester 1 Entry
Semester 2 entry
Intakes by location
The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Semester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Semester 2. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.
Semester 1 - February
- Start date: February
- Available at:
Semester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
Additional course information
To undertake this course you must independently secure employment of at least 24 hours per week in a critical care setting within a collaborating hospital in Australia.
Course duration may be affected by delays in accessing or undertaking clinical requirements.
As a student in the Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing you can expect to participate in a range of teaching and learning activities each week. You will attend online synchronous study days and complete asynchronous guided learning modules. There are also additional self-directed study commitments to complete both university and clinical assessment tasks.
Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.
To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet all the following criteria:
- completion of a bachelor of Nursing or equivalent
- registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia with no conditions or restrictions
- evidence of secure, ongoing employment of at least 24 hours per week in a collaborating hospital within Australia, working in a relevant speciality practice area with appropriate clinical supervision
English language proficiency requirements
To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:
- bachelor degree
- IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
- other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)
As the specialisation pathways courses are offered collaboratively between the University and a range of partnership/ collaborating hospitals, student selection into the course is a joint process. Students must independently apply for and seek permanent employment within a collaborating hospital to support and provide a sound clinical learning environment for the clinical program requirements of the course.
Applicants are required to complete an Applicant Declaration form to be uploaded with their application.
Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you’re able to commit to your study.
Recognition of prior learning
If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of prior learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of prior learning.
You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.
Fees and scholarships
The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year in which they started. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning you have.
The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together four credit points of study. Four credit points is used as it represents a typical enrolment load for a Graduate Certificate.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
Learn more about tuition fees.
A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.
If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.
Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.
Applicants must complete the Applicant declaration as part of their application.
Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing, students have the option to further their studies by articulating into the below course:
With job growth of 13.9% projected for registered nurses by 2026#, there is an industry demand for nurses with sophisticated specialty skills. Our Graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing allows you to meet that demand in a variety of roles across advanced practice, leadership, management and education in regional, rural or metropolitan hospitals including:
- critical care nurse
- associate or unit manager
- clinical nurse specialist
- clinical nurse educator
#2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission.
Nurses employed under the Victorian public hospital award receive a higher duties allowance for postgraduate qualifications relevant to their practice.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
Demonstrate safe psychomotor skills and clinical practice commensurate with critical care nursing theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person-centred care.
Demonstrate communication skills to develop and implement plans of care to ensure the delivery of quality, safe nursing care to patients in the critical care setting.
Evaluate information using digital technologies to effectively disseminate relevant critical care information to patients and/or the multidisciplinary team.
Identify and evaluate complex data from multiple sources to inform clinical decision making in the critical care setting.
Apply specialised nursing knowledge and skills to routine and complex problems in the critical care setting to optimise patient outcomes.
Demonstrate professionalism, accountability, reflection, and personal autonomy as a critical care nurse.
Establish and maintain inclusive, collaborative professional relationships with all members of the multidisciplinary team.
Display accountability for, and sound professional judgement in behaviours that uphold ethical principles of practice within diverse social, cultural, and environmental contexts.