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15 Postgraduate Nursing Courses Online

If you're a Registered Nurse in Australia, here are 15 postgraduate nursing courses to choose from. All are 100% online. Explore the range of master's degrees, graduate diplomas and graduate certificates for nurses.
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A postgraduate nursing course – whether general or specialised – is an opportunity to advance your nursing career. Online courses are flexible, allowing part-time study to be combined with full-time work. A short graduate certificate course may lead to a graduate diploma or masters degree.

Online Courses for Nurses

Graduate Certificates in Nursing

Woman in scrubs with stethoscope around neck using computer tablet

A Graduate Certificate in Nursing is the postgraduate course that most nurses and midwives start with. It is the shortest of the online nursing courses, usually consisting of 4 subjects from a nursing master's program.

As well as being relatively short, graduate certificates in nursing are flexible. You can choose a general course or a specialisation, such as those listed below.

You can use the online course to test out a master's program as well. The grad cert could be a stepping stone towards a graduate diploma or master's degree. Students receive full credit for completed subjects... READ MORE

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing

Woman in scrubs with stethoscope viewing biology and medical graphics above computer tablet

Advanced Nursing postgraduate courses are aimed at nurses who work in challenging environments and seek to boost their applied skills. Graduates should come away with greater proficiency and confidence in performing clinical nursing duties.

A Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing is a chance to develop professional skills by studying important aspects of nursing at a detailed, in-depth level.

Advanced nursing courses can be in specialist fields or general practice. The training may expand upon subjects contained in a nursing bachelor's degree... READ MORE

Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing

Female nurse or doctor putting on surgical gloves

A useful postgraduate course for almost every nurse is a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing. Students build general knowledge and skills in applied aspects of nursing.

Examples of topics you may cover in a clinical nursing online course are: quality application of medicines, effective governance in a clinical work environment, advanced health assessment, and communicating persuasively.

Nurses often gain energy and motivation for postgraduate studies due to clinical experience. Postgraduate courses for nurses try to stay highly relevant to the everyday demands of clinical practice... READ MORE

Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing

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Learn specialist nursing skills with a Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing. Critical care nurses are required to do complex patient assessments, intensive treatments and interventions, and monitor vulnerable patients.

Online nursing courses explore core concepts and practices that apply to almost any critical care setting. For example, you might study safe medication practices, respiratory assessment, case management, or ECG rhythm recognition.

As a post graduate nursing program, a Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing is ideal if you work in ICU or another critical care environment... READ MORE

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing

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A Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing is a useful postgraduate course for the many nurses who deal with patients experiencing psychological issues or cognitive impairment. You should have work-related access to mental health practice while doing the course online.

The specialist postgraduate course offers both one-off training and a potential platform for further study.

To qualify as a mental health nurse in Australia, you need to complete an accredited program through to a graduate diploma or masters level. Accredited 100% online courses are available... READ MORE

Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education

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A way to transition into education and teaching roles within the nursing profession is with a Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education. The online course positions you for senior roles in nurse training, education and professional development.

Whether you want to align yourself with the university and college sectors or focus on in-house staff development, this postgraduate course for nurses will enhance you educator skills and credentials.

Example subjects are clinical coaching, education principles, communication and in-practice teaching... READ MORE

Graduate Diploma of Nursing

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A Graduate Diploma of Nursing might offer the right amount of postgraduate education for you. Consisting of 8 subjects, a post graduate diploma in nursing is halfway in length between a graduate certificate and masters. You can finish an online graduate diploma in 16 months of part-time study.

JCU Online Graduate Diploma of Nursing

The Graduate Diploma of Nursing from James Cook University is a versatile course that offers three majors: Advanced Practice, Education, and Leadership and Management. You can also double-major in a combination of these specialisations. The course is open to registered nurses and midwives. Students benefit from 100% online learning and ongoing access to a Student Success Advisor. You complete subjects one at a time over a series of 7-week teaching blocks. The nursing course is also accelerated, allowing you to finish in 16 months while working full-time.

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

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You can be recognised as a qualified Mental Health Nurse by completing an accredited Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing online.

Caring for patients with psychological challenges is a specialist field. Australia is experiencing high demand for expertise because of the prevalence of mental illness.

Students learn to understand mental wellbeing and are given tools to respond to patient needs, including treatments, and communication and case management strategies. You learn to support behavioural change as part of a team... READ MORE

Masters in Nursing

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A Masters in Nursing is the ultimate postgraduate course for nurses. You do extensive, in-depth study into nursing practice, education or administration. A full program consists of 12 subjects and takes 2 years of part-time study.

You have the flexibility to start with a shorter graduate certificate, only commencing the master's after testing the program for yourself. As shown with the course list below, many specialisations are available.

Nursing postgraduate courses online are designed for working professionals. You can complete a master's degree while working full-time... READ MORE

Master of Advanced Nursing

Nurses and doctors viewing records in clinical lab

A Master of Advanced Nursing program emphasises the acquisition of superior skills and knowledge. The postgrad course enables experienced nurses to achieve advanced levels of proficiency in their chosen areas of specialisation.

Some might consider an "advanced nursing" masters to amount to a re-branding of the traditional nursing masters degree. After all, any student doing a Master of Nursing course will learn advanced techniques.

Whatever the significant of the degree title, some excellent Advanced Nursing programs are available online to meet your learning goals... READ MORE

Masters of Advanced Nursing Practice

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An Advanced Nursing Practice masters will take your clinical nursing skills to the next level. The major is available as part of a Masters in Nursing online course.

The idea of an advanced practice program is to build skills towards stronger assessing, planning and application of healthcare services. Experienced nurses are able to add to their knowledge base and gain practical skills.

Over the 12-subject postgraduate course, you study topics such as applied health assessment for advanced practice, the quality use of medicines, advanced health assessment, and diagnostic reasoning... READ MORE

Master of Nursing Education

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If you're aiming to be an educator within the nursing profession, a Master of Nursing Education is the ideal postgraduate nursing degree to move in that direction.

A master's degree in Nursing Education will prepare you for high-level roles in nurse education and training, professional development, and the training of healthcare staff. You can work at a university or college, within health service facilities, or in a consulting capacity.

A nursing education program develops your ability to instruct, mentor, guide and otherwise promote learning in healthcare... READ MORE

Master of Emergency Nursing

Doctor and nurses wheeling patient on gurney in hospital

Postgraduate nursing online programs allow you to major in Emergency Nursing or Acute Care. The specialisation is ideal for nurses who work in an emergency department or other clinical setting where time pressures are great.

Students learn skills for handling patients who present with conditions or injuries requiring timely treatment. You build skills in areas such as patient monitoring, treating critical injuries, handling emergency equipment such as respiratory devices, and administering pharmacological agents.

A master's degree in the field can help boost your confidence and ability to take on senior roles... READ MORE

Master of Nursing Management

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A major in Nursing Management will build specialist skills and knowledge in areas such as: leading teams, managing finances, collaboration, resolving disputes, health services ethics, and implementing change.

Managers are needed in all healthcare sectors. Potential jobs include nursing team leader, nursing coordinator, health service manager and manager of a health facility. Your ability to perform such roles grows with experience and is helped by earning a nursing postgraduate qualification.

Develop your management expertise as part of a Masters in Nursing online course... READ MORE

Master of Mental Health Nursing

Woman in blue scrubs with document

Mental health nursing is a large and growing field. A high percentage of Australians will experience psychological challenges at some stage of their lives. Specialist nurses are there to provide support, treatment and case management for people with passing or ongoing mental health challenges.

You can become an accredited Mental Health Nurse by completing a Master of Mental Health Nursing program online with an Australian university. Students do 12 subjects, which you can study part-time while working full-time.

You should have access to relevant nursing practice throughout the course... READ MORE

What You'll Study (Course Structure)

The structure of a postgraduate course for nurses depends on the speciality as well as program length. Most longer courses will include subjects on interpreting health research, better equipping graduates for lifelong learning. Health assessment subjects are common in clinical courses, whereas administration courses focus more on leadership and management.

The standard size of a postgraduate course is 4 subjects for a graduate certificate, 8 for a graduate diploma, and 12 typically for a master’s degree.

Here are example subject lists from a couple of master’s programs – to give you an idea of the types of subjects offered. Further electives are available. Enquire for details.

UTS Master of Advanced Nursing

  • Specialty Clinical Practice
  • Applied Pathophysiology
  • Evidence for Informing Practice
  • Improving Safety and Quality
  • Leading Health and Social Care
  • Quality and Safety in Medicines
  • Research in Health
  • Advanced Professional Practice

JCU Master of Nursing

  • Informatics for Health Professionals
  • Effective Clinical Governance
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Synthesising Evidence for Healthcare
  • Quantitative Research in Healthcare
  • Qualitative Research in Healthcare
  • Implementing Practice Development
  • Portfolios for Career Advancement

Learning Outcomes

By doing a postgraduate course for nurses, you have the opportunity to look beyond the daily demands of the job and imagine how you might do things better. As well, you can develop new skills for future roles. Here are some of the learning outcomes you can attain.

Clinical excellence
Enhanced ability to critically think about clinical practice and apply evidence-based techniques to improve health outcomes.

Management ability
Administration and communication skills, along with improved knowledge of how to influence others.

Well-developed values and ethics
Heightened awareness of diversity in patient needs and the professional attitudes that promote consistently high standards of care.

Career mastery
Greater awareness of self-development and career opportunities, and improved self-learning skills.

Career Outcomes

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Postgraduate courses for nurses open career opportunities in clinical, administration and education roles. The programs are designed to train nurses for advanced and specialised clinical work, to build administration skills in the nursing leaders of tomorrow, and to teach future health educators how to instruct others.

Caree with a postgraduate qualification include clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse consultant, nursing unit manager, director of nursing, health services manager, nurse educator, clinical instructor, and healthcare researcher.

With the wide selection of online courses available from anywhere in Australia, you can choose the course that best meets your particular career goals. If you’re unsure about your ambitions, general programs are also available.

Entry Requirements

The standard entry requirements for a postgraduate nursing course are that you: hold a Bachelor of Nursing degree or equivalent or higher qualification AND are currently a Registered Nurse (Division 1) or Registered Midwife AND have at least a full year of clinical experience.

For specialised courses, you may also have to be working in a relevant health setting for the program’s duration. Since entry requirements vary, check out the detailed criteria if you have any doubts about your eligibility.


† Online courses are available in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle. Australia Wide.