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Study online

Nursing

Explore Australian postgraduate nursing courses and choose the qualification you need to advance your career.

Why choose accelerated online study

We list programs from our Australian university partners that are offered in the online accelerated mode of study. This mode is specifically designed to cater for busy people, who are balancing work and life while continuing their education as they build or change their careers in health and social care roles.

Start when you want

New courses start every couple of months meaning that you can start at a time that fits in with your lifestyle.

Study at your own pace

If you want to fast track your study, you can take up to 6 units per year, or take breaks when you need.

Dedicated support

You get your own student success advisor with the sole purpose of supporting you through the course. 

  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Specialise in chronic and complex care
  • Strong connection to healthcare industry partners
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
Master of Mental Health Nursing
  • Meets the ACMHN​ Credential education requirements
  • Contemporary curriculum designed by mental health experts
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 12 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Specialise in acute care
  • Strong connection to healthcare industry partners
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in nursing
  • Gain In-demand skills in quality & safety
  • Strong connection to healthcare industry partners
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • Designed by nursing professionals
  • 4 units specialising in advanced practice
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
Master of Nursing (Chronic Disease and Ageing)
  • Specialise in nursing for chronically ill and ageing
  • Devise innovative care interventions and models of care
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,700 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • 4 units specialising in healthcare education
  • Designed by nursing professionals
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
Master of Nursing (Leadership)
  • Specialise in nursing leadership
  • Enhance clinical leadership and management skills
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,700 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • Designed by nursing professionals
  • 4 units specialising in leadership & management
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialed Mental Health Nurse
  • Course is accredited by the ACMHN
  • Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • 4 specialisations and a general pathway with diverse electives
  • Strong connection to healthcare industry partners
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Learn from world-leading educators & clinicians
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Pathways to Masters available
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE-HELP available
  • 4 units
Graduate Certificate in Nursing
  • Prepares nurses for the challenges of leadership
  • Award winning study model
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,650 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialled Mental Health Nurse
  • Learn from clinically experienced nursing academics
  • Enhance your nursing practice with immediately implementable skills
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Developed with healthcare industry partners
  • Advanced skills you can apply immediately
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Focus on patient care in ICUs and ED's
  • 100% online and supported
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • JCU is one of Australia's top 10 nursing schools
  • Specalise in advanced practice
  • Pathway to Masters of Nursing
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Pathway to range of health masters courses
  • Advanced and holistic clinical practice skills
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing
  • Designed by mental health nursing experts
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 4 units
  • JCU is one of Australia's top 10 nursing schools
  • Specalise in advanced practice
  • Pathway to Masters of Nursing
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • JCU is one of Australia's top 10 nursing schools
  • Specalise in leadership & management
  • Pathway to Masters of Nursing
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • Specialise in advancing your nursing practice
  • Pathway to a masters degree
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • Specialise in healthcare education
  • Pathway to a masters degree
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units
  • JCU is one of the top 10 nurse educators in Australia
  • Specialise in leadership & management
  • Pathway to a masters degree
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,850 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialed Mental Health Nurse
  • Course is accredited by the ACMHN
  • Learn from clinically experienced nurse academics
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
  • Meets the ACMHN​ Credential education requirements
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 8 units

Nursing in Australia

The COVID pandemic has sent shockwaves through the health sector. As a result, the demand for nurses has grown faster than the overall economy, and strong growth over the next decade is projected as our population ages. Now is the time to help transform healthcare in Australia. Take a positive step forward in your career and enquire about postgraduate study today.

Nursing offers a variety of pathways in both public and private healthcare environments. Take your career in a new direction or focus on your specialisation of choice by developing your expertise. Postgraduate study allows you to gain the skills you need to make your job more rewarding, become a leader, facilitate change, and improve patient outcomes, service and delivery. 

There are nearly 460,000 nurses and midwives in Australia, making nursing the largest healthcare profession in the country. Roughly three-quarters of these are registered nurses. 

The future growth prospects for nursing are considered very strong. In 2021, there were nearly 20,000 jobs for registered nurses advertised, and 1,400 of those were for mental health registered nurses. Nurses with specialist skills in infectious diseases, and with vaccination skills in particular, were most in demand. Mental health nursing also saw a significant increase in demand, as well as obstetrics and gynaecology. 

Skills gained and learning outcomes in online nursing postgraduate studies

Online postgraduate study enables you build hands-on skills and grow your theoretical knowledge, while you work. You will learn technical skills as well as the interpersonal management ‘soft-skills’ that are in growing demand in the nursing industry. 

Most postgraduate nursing degrees offer one or more specialisations or majors to choose from, enabling you to focus on your area/s of interest. Topics covered in these online postgraduate nursing courses include:  

  • Leadership and management:
    This focus area enables you to develop the skills required to become a healthcare leader. Build your understanding of health systems holistically to achieve better person-centred care. You may also gain people and business management skills to lead in nursing and broader healthcare settings. Depending on the program, topics may include business and financial management, leadership in health and social care organisations, change in the health system and people management. 
     
  • Education:
    Build your skills and knowledge to become an effective educator in clinical or non-clinical environments. Learn the foundational principles of education in contemporary healthcare settings; and how to teach in practice settings.
     
  • Acute care:
    A program that focuses on acute care enables you to gain skills in comprehensive physical assessment and diagnostic reasoning; quality and safety in medicines; plus managing clinical deterioration and responding to nursing-sensitive indicators in acute care settings.
     
  • Chronic and complex care, and ageing:
    Develop specialised skills to understand the complexities around managing patients with multiple chronic health conditions including diabetes. Topics also focus on illness and chronic disease in ageing, mental health and the wellbeing of older people.
     
  • Quality and safety:
    Integral in improving person-centred care, skills in quality and safety are in high demand and are a major focus of the National Safety and Quality Health Services (NSQHS) Standards. This topic focuses on implementing innovative systems and services, enabling nurses to gain advanced skills to improve overall safety and quality for consumers regardless of the healthcare setting.
     
  • Advanced practice:
    This major builds advanced skills to deliver patient care across healthcare settings and specialisations; including topics within the areas of advanced health assessment, diagnostic reasoning and use of medicines in practice.
      

Depending on the course you choose, you can apply the skills you gain to: 

  • step into senior nursing and leadership roles  
  • become a transformational leader  
  • improve your clinical practice  
  • build highly functional teams 
  • develop individual and team resilience  
  • improve workplace culture  
  • be at the forefront of improving quality and safety standards in healthcare 

Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nursing is a distinct career path and Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Masters specialising in mental health nursing are offered online.

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) is the only nationally consistent standard for recognition of specialist mental health nurses. If you wish to become a credentialed mental health nurse through ACHMH, you'll need to complete a Graduate Diploma or Masters that meets ACMHN standards, which means a minimum of five courses specialising in mental health nursing.

Demand for qualified mental health nurses is on the rise. Mental health nursing postings increased by 21% from 2020- 2021.

Employers – which include state governments, corrections organisations, hospitals and universities – value skills in working with patients experiencing mental health conditions.

Career outcomes for online nursing courses

Nurses with postgraduate qualifications can qualify for the following:

Nurse unit manager

  • Salary range: $78–$128K/year
  • Skills in acute care can positively affect Nurse Manager salaries
  • According to Job Outlook there is very strong future growth for this role 
  • Other potential roles include: nurse manager, nurse manager resource allocation, after-hours nurse manager, clinical unit nurse manager  

Clinical Nurse Consultant and Clinical Nurse Specialist

  • Salary range: $90–$150K
  • These roles have very strong future growth prospects 
  • Ideal for a postgraduate-qualified nurse seeking a leadership role and who is ready to be at the forefront of nursing care in a clinical setting, acute or chronic and complex care environments

Clinical nurse educator

  • Salary average: $108K
  • These roles are suited to a nurse who aspires to work in education and training of other nurses, to have wide-ranging and meaningful change

Benefits of studying postgraduate nursing online

  •  Study around your career and life – online postgraduate study complements nurses’ shift work and busy family and social lives 
  • The online accelerated learning model lets you focus on one unit at a time over a seven-week term; there are six terms a year
  • Complete your Masters in two years or a graduate certificate in eight months 
  • Take breaks based on your life and work needs, then pick up study again when it’s convenient for you. Online learning platforms are accessible anywhere, any time, on any device 

Choosing the right online nursing course for you

Masters degrees allow you to build skills and knowledge across different areas of nursing – for example, critical care and leadership. Most have graduate certificate and graduate diploma qualifications embedded within them, so you can work toward your Masters at your own pace, acquiring new skills and career-boosting qualifications along the way.

Choose a university that offers both specialist and generalist graduate certificates that all lead to a Masters degree and look into the electives you can do. If life gets busy, you can always take breaks as required.

Before you choose a grad cert, check out the grad dip or Masters degree it's embedded within. Some graduate certificates are specialist, others are generalist.

Make sure you enrol in a Masters program that’s appropriate to your needs – reach out to the university’s student admissions advisors to help you decide what’s best for you. If you want to start with a graduate certificate with the option go on to complete a Masters, you should confirm that pathway is available.

To make the best possible decision for you, start by reviewing the courses on offer in detail. If you need more information than what’s available online, have a chat with an enrolment advisor – they will help you understand which course is right for you.

Compile a list of the key factors and questions you should seek to answer in deciding which course to do. This list might include the following:

  • How do the various courses on offer differ from one another?
  • How do the providers differ? What are their points of  difference that are of value to me?
  • Does this program give me skills and knowledge for the next stage of my nursing career?
  • If I pick a specialisation/major, can I change my mind part-way through and study a different specialisation or take a generalist path?
  • If I wanted to come back and study again in the future, does this degree offer me pathways?
  • What support do the universities offer students?
  • Are there any additional fees? Who teaches the course?

Frequently asked questions

Online postgraduate nursing courses are normally priced per unit as they can be taken as an individual unit of study right up to 12 units for a Masters. The price per unit can vary by university and unit but the range is normally between $2,500 and $3,000.

To complete a graduate diploma (4 units) would cost around $10,000 to $12,000 and $30,000 to $36,000 for a masters (12 units). 

The duration of nursing courses varies by study mode, and type of course. Online postgraduate nursing courses are offered in an accelerated mode that is designed to fit into the lives of working professionals. If you choose the accelerated model, there are six terms per year and you can study one unit per term. A nursing masters typically has 12 units and can be completed in 24 months. A graduate certificate is 4 units and can be completed in 8 months and a graduate diploma is 8 units and can be completed in 16 months.