Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

Study as
Part-time only


$AU 3,120 per 0.5 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2024

Degree overview

  • This degree is exclusively for SA Health-employed Registered Nurses who have been endorsed by their employer to study.
  • Students can apply for the SA Health Clinical Specialisation Program scholarship to study their first course for free.
  • Further your career as a Registered Nurse by gaining advanced knowledge of the Australian healthcare system.
  • Study a variety of clinical specialisations or enhance your practice through evidence-based inquiry.
  • Study at a university ranked in the World Top 100 for nursing.1
  • Learn from industry-experienced clinicians at a university with well above world-class research in nursing.2
  • Study at the No.1 university in South Australia for student satisfaction in nursing.3
  • Enhance your learning through evidence-based practice and develop leadership and management skills.
  • Be supported by online learning resources, available to you 24/7.

12023 QS Subject Rankings. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2021-22 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Domestic Postgraduate). SA Public universities. 


Case_Study_26 copy - Copy.jpgThis degree is exclusively for SA Health-employed Registered Nurses who have been endorsed by their employer to study.

This graduate certificate is delivered by UniSA as part of the Clinical Specialisation Program, an SA Health sponsored opportunity for Registered Nurses and Midwives to undertake an accelerated pathway into further clinical specialisations.

In one year of part-time online study, build your understanding of leadership, management and healthcare governance. 

Students can apply for the Clinical Specialisation Program scholarship and have their first course fully funded by SA Health.

Designed to further your career as a Registered Nurse, this qualification will progress your understanding of a variety of clinical specialities. It will also equip you with advanced knowledge of the Australian healthcare system and the social, political and economic factors that affect nursing and health services.

Students interested in tailoring their learning to a specific clinical specialisation can choose courses in the following areas:

  • Comprehensive Care of the Older Person
  • Best Practice in Adolescent Mental Health
  • Best Practice in Older Persons Mental Health
  • Perspectives in Mental Health Nursing
  • Palliative Care Nursing
  • Perioperative Nursing

There are additional options to specialise in high acuity nursing and midwifery with the sub-specialties in areas like intensive care, cardiac care, emergency, high dependancy, neonatal and nephrology nursing.

High achieving students can seek further financial support from their employer at SA Health to study a second course, and complete the full graduate certificate funded by SA Health via the SA Health Recognising Academic Achievement Scholarship.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This graduate certificate will provide you with advanced practical skills and knowledge to develop your understanding of the global issues, trends and practices that impact the delivery of nursing and health services.

As a highly customisable degree, you may study topics ranging from policy analysis, healthcare governance and leadership, to specialised clinical care areas and health education in alignment with your career goals.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Must complete any two 9-unit courses from the following schedule:
Introduction to High Acuity Nursing and Midwifery NURS 5172 9
Perspectives in Mental Health Practice NURS 5071 9
Comprehensive Care of the Older Person NURS 5163 9
Palliative Care Nursing NURS 5168 9
Nephrology Nursing NURS 5169 9
Perioperative Nursing NURS 5170 9
Perinatal Mental Health for Health Professionals NURS 5157 9
Best Practice in Adolescent Mental Health NURS 5164 9
Best Practice in Older People's Mental Health NURS 5165 9
Skills for Recovery Practice in Mental Health NURS 5160 9
Leadership and Management in Nursing and Midwifery NURS 5150 9
Critical Care Nursing NURS 5118 9

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for planned learning activities. Depending on your study mode, these activities may include online discussion forums, virtual classroom sessions, lectures, tutorials, workshops, and seminars. You will also need to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings, and projects.

As a rule, most postgraduate study is completed part-time. If you are studying full-time, your studies should be treated like a full-time job, with approximately 35-40 hours of study per week. The full sum of these hours should balance your planned learning activities and your own independent study.



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

  • online activities
  • discussion papers
  • essays
  • case study analysis
  • assignments

Global opportunities

One of the key benefits of studying with UniSA is our ability to attract and retain internationally renowned researchers. You’ll learn from researchers and academics who are directly connected to industry and all of our clinical teaching staff combine teaching with industry experience. 

In addition, our diverse student population means you have the opportunity to gain global and cultural understanding, ideas and insights direct from your peers. 

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Certificate in Nursing (SA Health Clinical Specialisation Program)

Why this Degree

This qualification that has been designed to suit working professionals, with interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment.

You will learn from specialist postgraduate teaching staff, well above world-class researchers in nursing1 and industry-experienced clinicians, assuring you the very best in academic resources, learning facilities and support.

UniSA’s teaching is informed by cutting-edge research. We’re home to the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, where leading researchers are working to strengthen the role of the nursing and midwifery professions across the health system.

Our flexible suite of postgraduate nursing and midwifery qualifications are designed to recognise your prior learning and advance your career. Upon successful completion of this qualification, you may then be eligible to gain credit into higher level qualifications.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 

Real-world connections

Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics and health professionals via our online forums and virtual classrooms, giving you the opportunity to learn from experienced clinicians in the field and build valuable industry networks and relationships.

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

Online study

Online study

This qualification is offered 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

Some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may be required.

Advance your Nursing Career with Postgraduate Study

Hear from Dr. Allison Roderick, UniSA's Program Director of Postgraduate Nursing and Midwifery Programs, on how postgraduate study can take your career as an Registered Nurse even further.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Being at the forefront of healthcare service, nurses play a key role in contributing to the wellbeing of society.

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing prepares Registered Nurses to work in a diverse range of fields by extending their professional expertise. Graduates can work in a wide variety of nursing roles and will be well equipped to take on leadership and governance opportunities in a range of healthcare settings, such as:

  • hospitals
  • primary health and community support services
  • aged/rehabilitative care
  • schools
  • home care
  • drug/alcohol services
  • community health organisations
  • palliative care services
  • child and adolescent health services

Industry facts


Employment for registered nursing professionals in Australia is projected to increase by 13.9% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,000 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

Applications for February 2024 intake are now closed.

Applying to study with us:


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 have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and spaces that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

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. You can access a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling, career advice, social support services, as well as those 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 program director

I have worked as a clinician and researcher working extensively within the international and post-graduate portfolio. I have an interest in improving the learning experience for post-graduate nurses who are our current and future leaders.

Dr Allison Roderick

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Allison Roderick
Portrait image for Dr Allison Roderick

Dr Allison Roderick

Program Director


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What others are saying

Staff who have upskilled with postgraduate study really shine through as motivated workers. We often employ people with postgraduate qualifications in our managerial positions as they have equipped themselves with those extra specialised skills.

Jo Boylans

Director of Operations | Southern Cross Care

Jo Boylans.jpg

Jo Boylans

Director of Operations | Southern Cross Care

The University of South Australia understands that quality teaching in nursing and midwifery goes hand-in-hand with industry partnerships. They work collaboratively across all health care services to design industry-informed curriculum.

Jennifer Fereday

Executive Director | Women’s and Children’s Health Network

Jennifer Fereday, Executive Director, Women's and Childrens Health Network.jpg

Jennifer Fereday

Executive Director | Women’s and Children’s Health Network

In my field, there is an indefinite pool of knowledge to tap into. The process of being engaged in learning at a postgraduate level, with current research and evidence-based information, keeps my scepticism in check and helps me remain curious. Having my employer cover my tuition fees due to my academic achievements is very rewarding. It encourages me to continue striving to learn and improve my skills.

Lauren Alexander

Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Critical Care Nursing)
Registered Nurse | SA Health

Lauren Alexander.jpg

Lauren Alexander

Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Critical Care Nursing)
Registered Nurse | SA Health