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Graduate Certificate in Health (Intensive Care Nursing)

100% online course

Study load

Approx 12-15 hours per week* (see course structure)


9 months (60 credit points)


Enrolments are currently closed

As an intensive care nurse, you will enhance your skills and experience in supporting patients who require urgent and critical care. You will explore the key aspects of critical patient care and further develop your analytical, leadership and communication skills.
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Are you an intensive care nurse who wants to take your career to the next level? Do you want to learn how to provide the best care for the most critically ill patients in our healthcare system?

The Graduate Certificate in Health (Intensive Care Nursing) is for registered nurses looking to develop and integrate advanced level theoretical knowledge and clinical reasoning for the care of critically ill patients. In this course you’ll learn how to apply clinical reasoning in the intensive care clinical setting and build your knowledge of pathophysiology and health assessment.

This course will help you develop your skills and knowledge in critical patient care, leadership, communication, and evidence-based practice. You will also benefit from flexible learning options and a supportive learning environment. Don’t miss this opportunity to advance your professional practice and make an impact in intensive care nursing.

How To Balance Study Around A Nurse’s Work Schedule

Working as a nurse while studying is possible thanks to the flexibility of online learning. It’s never been easier to gain a new qualification while maintaining your income – all it takes is some smart scheduling and forward planning.

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Course structure

Students may study one unit per teaching period. 15 credit points equates to approx.12-15 hours of learning per week. A 30-credit point unit will require approx. 24-30 hours of learning.

Code: HEALT6003

Contact Hours: 24-30 hours

Credit Points: 30

This unit allows registered nurses to build on their existing knowledge by introducing them to advanced nursing practice. You'll develop an in-depth understanding of human pathophysiology of the major body systems, their alterations and health assessment. This unit will enable nurses to apply advanced level knowledge relating to pathophysiology in a clinical setting.

Code: HEALC6401

Contact Hours: 12-15 hours

Credit Points: 15

In this unit, Registered Nurses will develop advanced level knowledge and clinical reasoning for care of the critically ill. You may use this unit as a framework for supporting the systematic assessment and ongoing management of patients in the intensive care setting. By expanding your knowledge of the pathophysiology of illness and injury of major body systems, you will gain confidence in delivering high quality care for critically ill patients.

Code: HEALC6402

Contact Hours: 12-15 hours

Credit Points: 15

This unit helps students to explore the applied role of an advanced clinical nurse in an intensive care setting. You'll apply advanced level clinical reasoning in a clinical environment to solidify your knowledge. By using evidence based practice, you will develop skills for the safe and effective care of the intensive care patient.

What you will learn

Learn to provide assessment and ongoing management for patients in an intensive care setting. You’ll learn to provide safe and quality nursing care to patients at their most vulnerable.

Apply knowledge of interpersonal skills, communication skills, and the use of various medical devices and equipment that are used in the ICU, such as ventilators, monitors, catheters, feeding tubes, and infusion pumps.

Develop an in-depth understanding of the major body systems and use this to support health assessments in a clinical setting.

Gain the skills and knowledge to manage patients who need specialist care in an intensive care setting such as management of patients of dialysis, monitoring the vital signs, blood tests, and other indicators of the patient’s condition.

Entry requirements

Please note: This course is for currently employed registered nurses working in an ICU nursing environmentfcareer.

Applicants must have successfully completed a three-year (minimum) Bachelor level qualification in Nursing. You cannot enter based on Diploma level studies.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate current and satisfactory registration with AHPRA as a Registered Nurse and be working a minimum of 19 hours per week in current and ongoing employment in an intensive or critical care setting.

Upon application, a current resume and letter of agreement from your hospital will be required.

The Graduate Certificate in Health (Intensive Care Nursing) provides a pathway into further studies at the Graduate Diploma or Masters level. Graduates receive credit for one unit (30 cpts) to continue into the Graduate Diploma of Health (Advanced Nursing). There is a further study pathway into the Master of Health (Advanced Nursing) which is focused on leadership skills.

Completion of the Master of Health provides a pathway into Doctoral studies with Federation University.


2024 Indicative Fees

$2,223 student contribution amount (Commonwealth Supported Place)

If you’re offered a Commonwealth Supported Place, your fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Your fees (student contribution) are set on an annual basis by the government and are determined by the discipline area and band of your individual enrolled units not the overall course.  Each unit falls into a band which determines the student contribution amount.

Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and the indicative amount should be used as a guide only. Total cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved credit you receive.

You may need to pay some other fees such as the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Support services

Be supported through your studies with services tailored to the online learning environment. Federation University Online personalises support for every student, accessible at every stage of your study journey.

  • Student advisors dedicated to answering your questions about anything from enrolment and course management to essay writing and technical support.
  • Online Learning Advisors (OLAs) guiding you through your course, bringing industry experience and expertise in online learning to your studies.
  • Study and assignment resources to help you get the most out of each unit and submit high quality assessments.
  • An online community made up of a diverse network of students, who you’ll study alongside in learning groups and discussion boards.

Flexible study requires flexible support – discover the services available to you so you can go further.

Learn more


This course does not lead to professional registration with AHPRA, however students and graduates are encouraged to apply for membership to the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.

Career outcomes

Share your advanced nursing knowledge to support the wider nursing team. You’ll provide direct patient care in acute settings, while also finding opportunities to improve clinical practice.

Help other nurses gain the skills and knowledge to provide the best possible intensive care to their patients. You’ll be able to apply your leadership and communication skills in this role.

Supervise and manage a nursing team. In this role you’ll work closely with a variety of healthcare professionals in order to optimise patient care.

Train and mentor ward staff on how to manage patients who have been discharged from the ICU or who are at risk of deterioration. An ICU liaison nurse also runs courses and workshops on topics such as tracheostomy care, management of deteriorating patients, and critical care skills. They also provide information and emotional support to the families of patients who have been in the ICU or who are critically ill.

"I’ve absolutely loved it, even though I was really worried about studying again. But you make that decision and you make the commitment to do it and it just happens."

Stacey Krahne

Federation University Graduate, Nursing


Industry insights

With a Graduate Certificate in Health (Intensive Care Nursing) from Federation University Online, you’ll be equipped with the critical skills to take on a number of important roles within intensive care units, including:

  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Clinical nurse educator
  • Nurse unit manager or Associate nurse unit manager
  • Critical Care Outreach or ICU liaison nurse.

Why study Nursing at Federation University Online?

A Federation University Online Nursing degree equips you with the skills to confidently deliver care to our health system’s most urgent and critical patients.

We received 5 stars for Student Support for our Nursing courses, with 80.6% of students feeling satisfied with their support.
We received 5 stars for Skills Development in Health Services, placing our courses in the top 20% in Australia.
We received 5 stars for Learner Engagement in Health Services, meaning that most students felt engaged throughout their studies.

Meet the people behind your course

Dr Blake Peck

Senior Lecturer

Blake Peck is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health. Blake’s main research interests relate to pediatric injury, the health workforce, childhood long-term illness and qualitative research theory. Blake has been widely published in journal articles relating to nursing and health, and his main teaching areas include research methods, pathophysiology of disease and pharmacology.

Dr Kerry Hood

Senior Lecturer

Kerry Hood is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health. Kerry has been published across numerous nursing journals and her research interests include interprofessional learning and teaching and learning pedagogy. Kerry’s main teaching areas include education, leadership and social determinants of health.

Alicia Perkins


Alicia Perkins is a Lecturer in the School of Health who teaches clinical nursing (cardiology, critical care and trauma). Alicia’s research interests include stress management across nursing specialties, PTSD in in-hospital clinicians, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout syndrome and motivators for learning in undergraduate and postgraduate nurses.

Get in touch

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