Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Nursing

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Nursing is designed for registered nurses currently working in the intensive care environment. This course is intended to assist registered nurses working in this area to become clinical leaders.

Students' individual clinical experience is integrated with relevant evidence to produce information that can be used to inform the clinical practice of others. Registered nurse working in the intensive care environment are expected to provide sophisticated care and advice to critically ill patients and their families. This requires the application of advanced physiological knowledge during the assessment and management of patients who may be experiencing single or multiple organ dysfunctions.

The course will provide students with the specific knowledge, skills and attributes to provide care to this challenging group of patients. Completion of this Graduate Certificate program can be used as credit towards a Graduate Diploma or a Masters degree.

Inherent Requirements for Nursing courses

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan

The Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Nursing may be completed over one year part-time. Students will undertake two units of study in each semester. The course consists of 24 credit points of core units of study, which include three specialty-specific units for the intensive care nursing courses.

Further course information

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of this course will be recognised as having advanced knowledge relevant to intensive care nursing. The Australian Health Workforce Advisory Committee suggests that 75% of nurses working in intensive care units should have appropriate postgraduate specialty qualifications.

Intensive care nurses normally work with a nurse patient ratio of 1:1 and are in a position to provide comprehensive care to patients and their families. Many intensive care nurses also work in education, administration, research and as nurse consultants.


Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Nursing will hold a pre-registration nursing degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification. In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the School, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.
In addition, the applicant is required to be a registered nurse in Australia, have a minimum of one year's experience as a Registered Nurse, and satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.

The applicant is also required to be working in an intensive care nursing environment and must provide a statement of support from their supervisor or manager in order to undertake the required clinical assessments.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by Sydney Nursing School. On-time applications for the March Semester close on 20 February. Please note that late applications may be accepted.
Please scan and upload the following with your application:
(1) academic transcripts or clinical qualifications/achievements;
(2) any degrees or diplomas;
(3) current authority to practice as a registered nurse from an Australian state or territory;
(4) passport, birth certificate or citizenship certificate;
(5) marriage certificate or other appropriate documentation, if your name has changed;
(6) Curriculum Vitae, including nursing employment experience (position, start and end dates, employer, FT, PT or casual)
(7) Statement of Support – Clinical Assessment
Clinical Assessment Requirement form ;
(8) evidence of English proficiency (ie IELTS test results) if appropriate;
any other relevant documentation that you feel may support your application.

International students

How to apply

This course is not currently available to international students.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the 2017 amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at:

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

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