Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing

Postgraduate coursework

Take the next step in your nursing career and develop the specialist skills to play a pivotal role in the care of patients during surgery.

Key facts


2 year part-time study
Note: this course is only available part time


Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Semester 1 2023 close Friday 20 January 2023

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Each year, 2.8 million hospitalisations in Australia result in surgical interventions.* With a skills shortage in the intraoperative specialty area, Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing will equip you with the knowledge and skills to join this growth area and help meet the growing demand for intraoperative nurses.

Ranked 20th in the world,^ our School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of Australia’s largest and most established schools. You will be learning from the best with the School’s cutting-edge research recognised as well above world standard.#

Do you want to join the multidisciplinary team supporting and caring for patients during surgery?

If you want to take the next step in your nursing career, Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing develops specialty knowledge of the core principles and concepts of intraoperative nursing and collaborative management, with a specific focus on the global, national, and local quality and safety standards.

You will feel empowered to step up as a leader in evidence-based intraoperative care, helping to drive change to improve the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes, playing a key role in advocating for your patients.

Our strong industry connections mean you will be guided by experts in perioperative nursing as you explore the current and emerging trends, concepts, knowledge and evidence that provides the policy and practice framework in which the care of surgical patients takes place. Links to industry also ensures a high level of collaboration and support during your clinical practice. This means that while you study you can immerse yourself in your speciality practice area with one of our numerous metropolitan, rural and regional health partners across Australia.

This course develops your skills in:

  • how to critically analyse and apply evidence-based practice to implement risk management strategies in the intraoperative context
  • the concepts and principles of intraoperative techniques in assessment and management of elective and emergency patients undergoing complex and specialty surgical procedures
  • understanding the role specialist intraoperative nurses play in managing surgical and/or procedural patients across infection prevention, surgical safety and environmental planning and preparation; surgical wound closure and management; and medico-legal requirements
  • managing complex and special populations to identify risks and inform decisions that deliver safe, high-quality nursing care to promote optimal patient outcomes
  • how to apply the core principles of intraoperative practice across a range of surgical specialities
  • what role you will play in comprehensively managing patients through their surgical journey
  • advancing your professional judgement, leadership and professionalism through reflection on, experiential learning in, and knowledge acquisition of, the contemporary healthcare practice environment.

Elective units available from your first year enable you to pursue specific areas of interest aligned to your career goals. You can choose from complementary areas of nursing practice to intraoperative nursing or undertake units that will further prepare you for roles in education, leadership or management. You will also have the opportunity to select a unit from anywhere across the University, further expanding your skill set.

Our innovative online program delivers a rich, interactive and empowering learning experience that is designed for postgraduate nursing students. 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.

With job growth of 13.9% projected for registered nurses and 23.1% for nurse managers by 2026~, there is an industry demand for nurses with sophisticated specialty skills. Intraoperative nurses are in strong demand as they are an integral part of the multidisciplinary teams that support patients through their surgical experience.

*Australia’s hospitals at a glance 2022 - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Australian Government (2022)
^2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects.
#Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018.
~2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing

2023 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.

Course structure

To complete the Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing students must attain 8 credit points, comprising of 4 core units, 3 units of course electives and 1 postgraduate elective from anywhere across the University.

The intraoperative nursing specialisation units (HNN740 Core Principles of Intraoperative Nursing Care and HNN743 Principles of Complex Intraoperative Nursing Care) are completed in year one of the course and are semester-based delivery.

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 course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).

Note:Students wishing to complete a thesis at the masters level, must complete HNN730 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning and HNN749 Patient and Risk Management during their Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in order to gain the Intraoperative Nursing Specialisation at the masters level.

Core units

Year 1 - Semester 1

  • Academic Integrity (0 credit points)
  • Core Principles of Intraoperative Nursing Care
  • Plus 1 credit point course elective or specialisation unit

    Semester 2

  • Principles of Complex Intraoperative Nursing Care
  • Plus 1 credit point course elective or specialisation unit

    Year 2 - Trimester 1

  • Inquiry Into Specialty Nursing Practice
  • Plus 1 credit point course elective or specialisation unit

    Trimester 2

  • Advanced Concepts in Specialty Nursing Practice
  • Plus 1 credit point postgraduate elective from anywhere across the University

    Intraoperative Specialisation

  • Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Patient Safety and Risk Management
  • Course Electives

  • Pathophysiology of Diabetes
  • Management of Diabetes
  • Contemporary Approaches to Diabetes Education
  • Diabetes in Social and Psychological Contexts
  • Ethical Dimensions in Nursing
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' History, Culture and Health
  • Core Principles of Perianaesthesia Nursing Care
  • Facilitating Clinical Learning
  • Healthcare in Low Resource/Complex Environments
  • Healthcare Management of Vulnerable Populations
  • Quality and Safety in Medication Management
  • Therapeutic Medication Management
  • Research in Nursing and Midwifery
  • 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:
      • Online

    Additional course information

    To undertake this course you must independently secure employment of at least 24 hours per week in an intraoperative care setting within a collaborating hospital in Australia.

    Course duration - additional information

    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.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    • Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent, and 
    • Registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, with no conditions or restrictions, and  
    • Applicants must provide evidence of employment in Australia, working in a relevant speciality practice area with appropriate clinical supervision for the duration of the course. 

    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. 

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note: meeting minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into this program is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.

    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

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    $25,200 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available. Limited Commonwealth supported places (CSP) are offered and are available until the allocation is exhausted.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year. 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.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    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 fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    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.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    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.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Direct applications for Semester 1, 2023 open Monday 31 October 2022.  Head to the Deakin Application Portal, create an account and log in to apply.

    Not sure where to start? Find out how to apply. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing, students have the option to further their studies by articulating into the below course:

    H771 Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

    Alternative exits


    Want a degree that’s more than just a qualification? Our industry connections, world-class facilities and practical approach to learning are just some of the reasons why Deakin students graduate confident and ready to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

    Get the skills to lead patient care and develop healthcare policy

    Our School of Nursing and Midwifery is ranked 20th in the world*

    Be in demand: 23.1% projected job growth for nurse managers by 2026^

    Learn from the best – our research is ranked well above world standard#

    Career outcomes

    With job growth of 13.9% projected for registered nurses and 23.1% for nurse managers by 2026*, there is an industry demand for nurses with sophisticated specialty skills. Our Graduate Diploma of Intraoperative Nursing will allow you to meet that demand in a variety of roles across advanced practice, leadership, management and education including: 

    • instrument nurse
    • circulating nurse.

    *2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission

    Professional recognition

    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 advanced clinical practice commensurate with intraoperative nursing theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person-centred care.


    Demonstrate advanced communication skills to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe nursing care to patients in the intraoperative care setting.

    Digital literacy

    Evaluate information using digital technologies to effectively disseminate relevant intraoperative care information to patients and/or the multidisciplinary team. 

    Critical thinking

    Identify, analyse and evaluate complex data from multiple sources to inform clinical decision making in the intraoperative care setting.

    Problem solving

    Apply advanced nursing knowledge to complex problems in the intraoperative care setting to optimise patient outcomes. 


    Demonstrate professionalism, accountability, reflection and personal autonomy as an intraoperative care nurse.


    Establish and maintain inclusive, collaborative professional relationships with all members of the multidisciplinary team.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate accountability for, and sound professional judgement in behaviours that uphold ethical principles of practice within diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts.

    * 2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects
    ^ 2021 Employment Outlook - for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission
    # Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018