Midyear entry, applications closing soon Apply now

Start Date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code

414145 (External)

Study as
Full-time or part-time


Assumed Knowledge

Entry Scores
2024 Guaranteed Entry
Year 12 (Grades-based): B,B,B
View Guaranteed Entry Info
2023 Cut-Offs
View full entry requirements

Degree overview

  • Join one of Australia’s most trusted professions as a Registered Nurse and be ready to provide life-changing healthcare to people.
  • Embark on 1,000 hours of nursing placements from your first year of study, in varied clinical settings across South Australia.
  • Develop the knowledge, clinical skills and attitudes needed for professional practice.
  • Practice your skills in our clinician-led, authentic simulated hospital and health service on-campus under the guidance of expert clinical and academic staff.
  • Study with South Australia's No.1 university for graduate careers in nursing.1
  • Study at a university ranked in the World Top 100 for nursing.2
  • Learn from academics and industry-experienced clinicians at a university with well above world-class research in nursing.3
  • Elevate your nursing career with lifelong learning, and upskill with further postgraduate study into clinical specialisations, management, or research roles.
  • Be supported by online learning resources, available to you 24/7.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,4 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22 – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). SA public universities. 22024 QS Subject Rankings. 32018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 4Ranked #43, 2024 THE Young University Rankings.


UniSA_19102844B_web.jpgStart your unstoppable career in nursing at UniSA, and become a highly sought-after health professional, caring for people across all health settings.

Graduate ready to confidently step into a rewarding career as a Registered Nurse and make a positive contribution to Australian healthcare. UniSA offers you an industry-relevant, practical qualification which will ensure you’re career-ready.

With constant change in technology and approaches to care in the healthcare industry, UniSA’s nursing programs are also constantly evolving and adapting with this change.

There are four delivery options for the Bachelor of Nursing. Studying externally, this program delivery allows you to study the majority of your courses online. However, you are required to participate in mandatory on-campus practical components such as workshops and placements across a range of nursing settings.

What you'll need

All students studying a health-related program where interaction with the public is required, such as clinical placements in health settings, must meet certain compulsory requirements.

All nursing students must confirm they meet the "Fitness to Practice in Clinical Placements" requirements upon entry to their programs and on each re-enrolment, as well as meeting mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements.  Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit page for more information.

All students enrolled in a program leading to professional registration must be registered with the relevant national board. The student registration process is completed by the University with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) after enrolment. No fees apply.

While students can study this program externally, you must attend mandatory on-campus workshops and undertake all clinical placements in South Australia.

What you'll learn

The Bachelor of Nursing prepares you for placement and your professional nursing career with online learning, hands-on workshops in our Horizon Hospital and Health Service, and 1,000 hours in clinical settings across metro, regional and rural hospitals, and health services in South Australia.

During your studies, your learning will enable you to meet the seven interconnectingNursing students using the campus interactive manikins Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Registered Nurse standards for practice, which include the capacity to:

  • think critically and analyse nursing practice
  • engage in therapeutic and professional relationships
  • maintain the capability for practice
  • comprehensively conduct assessments
  • develop a plan for nursing practice
  • provide safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
  • evaluate outcomes to inform nursing practice

The degree is designed to prepare you to meet healthcare delivery requirements for the 21st century and respond to Australian and international healthcare priorities and trends including mental health, primary healthcare and healthy ageing. Six integrated themes are embedded throughout the curriculum and represent core approaches which inform contemporary nursing practice:

  • safety and quality
  • cultural safety
  • evidence-based practice
  • professional communication
  • consumers as partners in care
  • teamwork

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
STAGE 1 - Knowledge, skills and attitudes for understanding
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Foundations of Nursing Practice NURS 1072 4.5 Note(s): 3
Experiential Learning Activity: Preparation for Clinical Practice Practicum 1 NURS 1061 4.5 Note(s): 2,3,4 Rule(s): 6,7,8
Global and National Health HLTH 1036 4.5 Note(s): 3
Human Body 1 BIOL 1047 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
First Peoples' Health HLTH 1047 4.5
Human Body 2 BIOL 1048 4.5
Health of Older People NURS 1073 4.5 Rule(s): 3
Experiential Learning Activity: Aged Care Practicum 2 NURS 1071 4.5 Note(s): 2,3,4 Rule(s): 6,7,8
STAGE 2 - Knowledge, skills and attitudes for intervention
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Health of Adults NURS 2023 9 Note(s): 3
Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice BIOL 2058 4.5
Experiential Learning Activity: Acute Care Practicum 3 NURS 2033 4.5 Note(s): 2,3,4 Rule(s): 6,7,8
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Health of Infants, Children and Adolescents NURS 2022 4.5 Note(s): 3
Assessment, Diagnostics and Pharmacotherapeutics NURS 2040 9 Note(s): 3
Mental Health Nursing NURS 2041 4.5 Note(s): 3
STAGE 3 - Knowledge, skills and attitudes for professional practice
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Evidence Based Nursing Practice NURS 3055 4.5
Nursing Context of Practice: Primary Health Care NURS 3045 4.5 Note(s): 3
Experiential Learning Activity: Extension to Practice Practicum 4 NURS 3042 9 Note(s): 2,3,4 Rule(s): 6,7,8
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Transition to Professional Practice NURS 3056 9 Note(s): 3
Experiential Learning Activity: Transition to Practice Practicum 5 NURS 3043 9 Note(s): 2,3,4 Rule(s): 6,7,8

Study hours

For each course you study, you’ll need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus, you’ll need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). As a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate on average 40 hours per week



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include: 

  • projects 
  • presentations
  • case studies
  • essays and assignments 
  • examinations 
  • objective structured clinical examination
  • clinical placement assessment
  • quizzes

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Bachelor of Nursing (External)

Nursing at UniSA offers a combination of theory and practical experience, with a strong track record of career-ready graduates.

Nursing Midwifery Lab2.jpgUniSA has invested millions of dollars towards building one of the most advanced simulated hospital environments and nursing teaching facilities in Australia. This includes our Horizon Hospital and Health Service at our City East, Mount Gambier and Whyalla campuses. During on-campus workshops you'll learn in authentic hospital wards, clinical units and community areas led by practising Registered Nurses and Midwives.

To teach our nursing students the highest standards of patient care, the simulated hospital is populated by residents of a virtual health community. Residents include interactive manikins each with their own persona; as well as real people acting as residents, who have their own personal stories, relationships, and health histories. 

By learning from experienced clinicians and academics at a university with well above world-class research in nursing2, you’re assured the very best in resources and support to become a capable and confident Registered Nurse.

This degree comes with a blend of online and real-world learning, with dedicated support staff who are with you every step of the way.

1ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2019-20 – Learning Resources Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Real-world connections

You’ll benefit from UniSA’s strong ties to the healthcare industry, across its many diverse settings. When you complete clinical placements as part of your study, you’ll learn from experienced clinicians, including Registered Nurses on-campus and in hospital and health settings in South Australia.

You’ll get to embark on clinical placements across metro, regional and rural hospitals and health services under the supervision of Registered Nurses. Through placements, you’ll practice your clinical skills, try hands-on patient care, and build valuable networks and relationships.

Students may also have the opportunity to go on an overseas study tour or participate in exclusive clinical placement streams with industry healthcare partners.

We also host regular University-wide alumni events, employee master classes and employment expos in Australia and overseas.

Online study

Online study

Most of your studies for this qualification can be completed online. With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment, you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. You can:

  • access videos and course resources online
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use online forums for teamwork and communication

There are four delivery options for the Bachelor of Nursing. Studying externally, this program delivery allows you to complete the majority of your studies online. However, you are required to participate in mandatory on-campus practical components such as workshops. On-campus attendance requirements are detailed on individual course pages.

Career outcomes

Your career

Registered Nurses are at the forefront of healthcare, with their contribution to patient care imperative for the wellbeing of today's society. UniSA nursing graduates can work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, such as:

  • hospitals
  • primary health and community support services
  • aged and rehabilitative care 
  • schools
  • home care
  • drug and alcohol treatment centres
  • community health organisations
  • mental health services
  • international aid agencies
  • corrections facilities
  • management.

Graduates may complete the Transition to Professional Practice Program with a participating employer.

As you gain working experience as a Registered Nurse, you can also extend your understanding of evidence-based practice by continuing onto further postgraduate study.

We offer a range of Graduate Certificates, allowing you to upskill into areas of clinical need. Tailor your studies to your specific career goals, or study targeted industry areas including mental health, health and ageing, nurse education, and critical care.

Further opportunities include a Master of Nursing which will equip you for senior leadership roles in clinical practice, policy, research, education or management, or the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) to join the growing nurse practitioner workforce and develop your confidence to diagnose and treat patients.

You may also expand your research capabilities with a Master of Research.

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses are home to fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student sports and fitness facilities, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • career services and mentoring
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Nursing Midwifery Lab.jpgYou'll get to learn in our simulated clinical environment, the Horizon Hospital and Health Service, located on our City East, Mount Gambier and Whyalla campuses. 

As part of your online degree you will travel to campus to complete in-person workshops and learning in these spaces.

Our state-of-the-art facilities include a fully equipped emergency department and day surgery, all led by practising Registered Nurses and Midwives (clinicians). Housed in the simulated hospital environment are the Residents of Horizon – interactive manikins each with their own persona and health concerns, as well as real people acting as residents, who have their own personal stories, relationships and health histories.

These teaching facilities and study spaces are designed to enhance and support your understanding of nursing practice as it continues to evolve, and provide a safe learning environment to practice your skills before stepping into placement and practice.

Your program director

My nursing career has predominantly been in Emergency, working for many years as a senior emergency nurse at the (old) Royal Adelaide Hospital and interstate. I completed my PhD in 2016 and remain a passionate nurse-researcher applying my clinical and theoretical knowledge to investigate the support needs of families with children with rare diseases, and how healthcare services aimed at supporting these families can be improved. I have taught and coordinated extensively across the Bachelor of Nursing program and am also an Academic Integrity Officer. In all of this, I remain committed to student-centred learning and to ensuring that our students get the most out of their studies, experience the full benefits of university life, and feel prepared for practice in the real-world as the next generation of nurses and nurse leaders.

AsPr Lemuel Pelentsov

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Lemuel Pelentsov
Portrait image for AsPr Lemuel Pelentsov

AsPr Lemuel Pelentsov

Program Director


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What others are saying

The authentic simulated settings are great because you are able to put theoretical knowledge into practice in a clinical setting.

Robyn Warner-Todd

Bachelor of Nursing

Robyn Warner-Todd

Robyn Warner-Todd

Bachelor of Nursing

My involvement in the rural health club at university provided me with a different view into the health care system and offered great networking opportunities around Australia.

Martins Strikis, Registered Nurse, Mount Gambier Community Mental Health Service

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Martins Strikis.jpg

Martins Strikis, Registered Nurse, Mount Gambier Community Mental Health Service

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Nursing allows me to follow my dreams. I have always wanted to care for people, and work in a hospital environment. The support that I got from my tutors and my colleagues throughout my studies was amazing. I also got the chance to create connections with local senior nurses via clinical placements. These placements were a way of putting all the skills I learnt at University into practice, while building my confidence.

Joseph Ndjeka

Bachelor of Nursing, Mount Gambier
Registered Nurse | Mount Gambier Hospital

Mount_Gambier_day_2-15 copy.jpg

Joseph Ndjeka

Bachelor of Nursing, Mount Gambier
Registered Nurse | Mount Gambier Hospital

UniSA graduates are overall passionate and engaged learners, who can successfully adapt to different clinical environments and cultures while still putting theory into practice. Not only can they learn a specific skill set, but they have the ability to think innovatively and question the perceived norms.

Juanita Ielasi

Chief Executive Officer | Calvary Wakefield Hospital

Juanita Ielasi, Calvary Wakefield Hospital

Juanita Ielasi

Chief Executive Officer | Calvary Wakefield Hospital