Primary Health Care Nursing

Primary Health Care Nursing

Take your career to the next level by studying Primary Health Care Nursing at Sydney Nursing School. Our Primary Healthcare Nursing programs are offered at masters, graduate diploma and graduate certificate levels. The latter two are embedded within the master’s degree, meaning you can choose to study the program over a duration which suits you best.

These programs equip registered nurses with advanced skills and knowledge to move towards leadership roles in primary health care in a range of settings.

True to the philosophy of primary health care, these courses encourage interdisciplinary work through electives and opportunities for collaboration across the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health and the Charles Perkins Centre.

What impact can I have as a primary health care nurse?

With rising incidence of complex, chronic diseases and an ageing population, the need for skilled primary health care nursing leaders is greater than ever before.

The program will equip nurses with the advanced skills and knowledge to develop and promote primary health care strategies to meet future challenges, including innovative and advanced approaches to clinical practice, patient engagement, communication and clinical assessment.

Why study at Sydney Nursing School?

  • Build the professional practice capabilities needed for leadership in primary health care nursing.
  • Further develop your research skills, enabling you to make evidence-based decisions, and opening the door to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.
  • Enhance your specialty knowledge, clinical expertise and therapeutic skills, immediately applying what you learn in class to your professional practice.
  • Join our global community of influential students, staff and alumni, building your professional network as you study alongside academics and peers from a range of primary health care settings.
  • Choose how to fit study into your lifewith full-time and part-time options, as well as self-paced online study for some components of the program.

How will I learn?

  • Graduate certificate: Study over one year part-time
  • Graduate diploma: Study over one year full-time or two years part-time
  • Master's program: Study over eighteen months full-time, or two and a half years part-time.

This program is delivered via:

  • Flexible, self-paced online study, allowing you to fit study around other commitments.
  • Face-to-face on-campus study days for each unit of study.

On-Campus Study Days

Compulsory attendance at face-to-face study days is an integral part of the course. These intensive study days offer students real-time support from lecturers and clinical experts and provide opportunities for sharing experiences with peers and growing professional networks.

There are four study days per unit of study, per semester. The part-time study load is two units of study per semester which means there are eight study days per semester to attend. These are generally offered in a block of four days twice a semester, in March/May and August/September. To give you time to plan your study leave, the Postgraduate Study Day Timetable is posted on the Sydney Nursing School website in November of the preceding year.

What will I study?

Graduate certificate
Building on your existing knowledge and experience, this course will explore the theories and philosophical underpinnings of primary health care. In line with Australia’s first primary health care strategy, this course will provide you with the opportunity to critically explore the application of primary health care principles to practice and to understand how these relate to individuals, families and communities. You will also explore social determinants of health in Australia, care integration across sectors, health literacy, patient self-management, TeleHealth and eHealth.

The course will further develop your knowledge and skills in health promotion and illness prevention models, as well as current models of care for people with chronic conditions and complex health care needs. There will be scope for you to explore all of these aspects of the course in the context of your particular area of interest, for example specific chronic conditions, care of complex wounds, pain management and end-of-life care. You will become a leader in the primary health care field by learning how to use evidence to make advanced clinical judgments and develop innovative models of care.

Graduate diploma
In the Graduate Diploma in Primary Health Care will you to undertake an in-depth exploration of an advanced nursing practice issue relevant to your own clinical setting. As well as the graduate certificate content, you will explore professional issues such as simulated education techniques, quality and safety frameworks, contemporary leadership, research, and the potential for expanding the scope of your practice as you carry out a clinical project in an area of your choice. The course will also focus on the professional capabilities needed for effective community-based nursing, including interpersonal skills, resilience and emotional intelligence and awareness of legal and ethical obligations that promote a culture of safety and quality in the clinical environment.

Master's program
Building on the graduate certificate and diploma content, this program ends in a six month capstone project, offering two options for study: the first option facilitates an examination of the professional and political context of your dream job and the development of your professional portfolio; the second option is to undertake a supervised research project, in the form of an integrative literature review, allowing an in-depth exploration of an area that you feel passionate about. This second option may also provide a pathway to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.

Next steps: Course details and planning your study