Note: this course is only available part-time
Direct applications to Deakin for Semester 1 2023 close Tuesday 10 January 2023
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. The advanced specialist skills required for this pivotal role in a multidisciplinary perioperative team are in high demand, in one of the strongest growth areas of the health sector.^ Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Perioperative Nursing prepares you to meet that demand.
Ranked 20th 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 play a pivotal role in a multidisciplinary perioperative team?
If you want to take the next step in your nursing career, our Graduate Diploma of Perioperative Nursing prepares you to practise effectively at an advanced practice level. As a graduate you will demonstrate ethical, safe, high-quality and expert clinical decision-making abilities within a multidisciplinary team, and psychomotor skills commensurate with specialised theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person-centred care.
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 speciality 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
- develop greater decision-making autonomy, critical thinking and leadership skills, advanced clinical judgement, and professional behaviours required for safe patient care, effective teamwork, and career advancement.
Second year elective units allow you to pursue specific areas of interest aligned to your career goals. You can choose from complementary areas of health practice, or undertake studies preparing 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. Perioperative 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).
^2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission.
#2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects.
**Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018.
- Award granted
- Graduate Diploma of Perioperative 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.
To complete the Graduate Diploma of Perioperative Nursing, students must attain 8 credit points, comprising of 6 core (compulsory) units and 1 unit of course electives and 1 postgraduate elective from anywhere across the University.
The core perioperative nursing specialisation units are completed in year 1 of the course and are semester-based delivery.
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).
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.
Semester 1 Year 1
Trimester 1 Year 2
Plus 1 credit point of course elective
Plus 1 credit point of postgraduate electives from anywhere across the University
* Speciality units are delivered on a semester basis in the first year 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 - 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.
- Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent, and
- Registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia with no conditions and restrictions and
- Applicants must provide evidence of employment in Australia working in a relevant specialist 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
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.
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.
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.
Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Perioperative Nursing, students have the option to further their studies by articulating into the below course:
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#
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, particularly in regional and rural areas. Deakin’s Graduate Diploma 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
- nurse educator
- perioperative nursing management positions
- post anaesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse
- pre-admission and day surgery nurses.
^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 advanced clinical practice commensurate with perioperative 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 perioperative care setting.
Evaluate information using digital technologies to effectively disseminate relevant perioperative care information to patients and/or the multidisciplinary team.
Identify, analyse and evaluate complex data from multiple sources to inform clinical decision making in the perioperative care setting.
Apply advanced nursing knowledge to 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.
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