1 year part-time
Note: this course is only available part-time
Every year, 2.8 million hospitalisations in Australia result in surgical interventions.* Integral to these interventions are the perioperative nurses providing care and support in pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative environments. Deakin’s Graduate Certificate of Perioperative Nursing will equip you with the advanced assessment, practical and communication skills needed to step up to the challenges of perioperative nursing.
Ranked #16 in the world,^ our School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of Australia’s largest and most established. You will be learning from the best with the School’s cutting-edge research recognised as well above world standard#. Our strong industry connections mean you will be guided by experts in critical care and perioperative nursing as you explore the current and emerging trends, concepts, knowledge and evidence that provides the policy and practice framework in which perioperative nursing takes place.
Are you ready to take on the challenge of advanced level nursing in perioperative settings?
As a graduate of Deakin’s Graduate Certificate of Perioperative Nursing you will demonstrate ethical, safe, high-quality and expert clinical decision-making abilities within a multidisciplinary team. Your specialised theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person-centred care will allow you to practise effectively at an advanced practice level, ensuring you are well placed to meet the industry demand for nurses with specialty 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 nursing practice area with one of our numerous metropolitan, rural and regional health partners across Australia.
This course enables you to:
- critically assess and manage elective and emergency patients undergoing complex and specialty surgical procedures, including anaesthetic management
- develop an advanced understanding of pharmacological therapies, including anaesthetic agents, adjunct therapies and pain management therapies
- perform patient assessment and monitoring of neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory and haemodynamic states
- manage complex and special populations to identify risk and inform decisions that deliver safe, high-quality nursing care to promote optimal patient outcomes
- play a pivotal role in the multidisciplinary team management of surgical and/or procedural patients across: infection prevention, surgical safety and environmental planning and preparation; surgical wound closure and management; and medico-legal requirements
- demonstrate skills in advanced monitoring and postoperative anaesthesia care following complex and specialty surgery
- apply the core principles of perioperative practice across a range of surgical specialities.
Our innovative online program delivers a rich, interactive and empowering learning experience designed for postgraduate nurses. Live-streaming seminars and class discussions 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.
Graduates are prepared to handle the contemporary challenges perioperative 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.
* Australia’s hospitals at a glance 2022 – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Australian Government (2022).
^ 2023 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects.
# Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018.
- Award granted
- Graduate Certificate of Perioperative 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 Perioperative Nursing, students must attain 4 credit points, comprising of 4 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. Recognition of the importance of clinical assessments is calculated in the overall student workload.
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.
Intakes by location
This course commences in Semester 1 only. It is available across all nominated locations.
Semester 1 - February
- Start date: February
- Available at:
Additional course information
To undertake this course you must independently secure employment of at least 24 hours per week in a perioperative setting within a collaborating hospital in Australia.
Course duration may be affected by delays in accessing or undertaking clinical requirements.
As an online student in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 11-13 hours every week studying, interacting online and completing assessment tasks for each unit in your course. Refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information.
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.
Please note, there are limited places in this course and entry is competitive. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications for this course may close prior to the published closing date if all places are filled.
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 from a recognised English-speaking country
- 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 Perioperative Nursing, students have the option to further their studies by articulating into the below course:
With job growth of 12.1% projected for registered by 2028,** there is an industry demand for nurses with sophisticated specialty skills. Our Graduate Certificate of Perioperative Nursing will allow you to meet that demand in a variety of roles across advanced practice, leadership and management, including:
- anaesthetic nurse
- circulating nurse
- instrument nurse
- post anaesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse
- pre-admission and day surgery nurses.
** Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections
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 perioperative 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 perioperative care setting.
Evaluate information using digital technologies to effectively disseminate relevant perioperative care information to patients and/or the multidisciplinary team.
Identify and evaluate complex data from multiple sources to inform clinical decision making in the perioperative care setting.
Apply specialised nursing knowledge and skills to routine and complex problems in the perioperative care setting to optimise patient outcomes.
Demonstrate professionalism, accountability, reflection, and personal autonomy as a perioperative 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.