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Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Close Date: Accepted throughout the year
International Close Date: Accepted throughout the year for NZ RNs who are international students

Develop your nursing career by expanding your knowledge and skills.

A range of courses (5 - 10 credits) is delivered through on line media and/or face-to-face sessions over three to five days. Delivery of face-to-face content is mostly at our Manawa campus, near Christchurch Hospital.

Registered Nurses can commence studying for the Graduate Certificate in Nursing immediately after graduating. A number of courses at Level 7 are available, including Health Assessment, Cardiology Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Perioperative Nursing, Rural Nursing, Emergency Nursing, Pressure Injury Assessment, Wound Care, Mental Health and Illness, Child Health Assessment, Management of Diabetes, Pain Management and ECG Analysis.

The programme is designed to be studied part-time, with up to six years to complete. You may choose to do one or two courses, or work towards the whole 60-credit qualification.

Please note:

  • This programme is intended as professional development for New Zealand Registered Nurses (overseas-trained nurses seeking registration in New Zealand are advised to explore our Graduate Diploma in Nursing or CAP pathways.
  • We regret that online applications can’t be accepted for this programme.

Part time: 2 - 6 years

For detailed information about this programme please contact:

Michelle Thompson
Academic Manager

This qualification is open to New Zealand Registered Nurses holding a current Practising Certificate issued by the New Zealand Nursing Council. Additional information is specified for some courses.

Individual courses may, by request, be taken by other professionals with qualifications in a specialty area.

What if English is not my first Language?

If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study.

  • Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.
  • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
  • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.
  • IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.
  • What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?
  • You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.

Overall IELTS 6.0 Academic

  • 5.5 Listening
  • 5.5 Reading
  • 5.5 Writing
  • 5.5 Speaking

Funding assistance

If you face unexpected financial hardship during your studies, we have several funds that you can apply for. These are designed to enable you to continue your current course of study. We also have a wide range of scholarships and awards that can provide financial assistance.

Find out more
Core courses
Elective courses

Career opportunities

This is an excellent opportunity for New Zealand Registered Nurses to gain a formal qualification as recognition of your on-going professional development. You will graduate with the confidence and skills to plan and coordinate complex patient care demands.

Study pathways

Many study options are available and this certificate is recognised as essential professional development for nurses.

Recommended school subjects

  • For registered nurses only

Graduate Certificate in Nursing

PART-TIME - 2 Years

Develop your nursing career by expanding your knowledge and skills.

Type Graduate Certificate / Diploma
Code CH3890
Application close date Accepted throughout the year
May be available for Study Visa? Yes
International application close date Accepted throughout the year for NZ RNs who are international students
Credits 60
Level 7
Additional Equipment/Fees Advised before enrolment
Available Part time Yes
May be eligible for Fees Free? Yes
Reference CH3890-STRU
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With an internationally-recognised Ara qualification, the world is your oyster. Our graduates can be found working and making a difference across the globe…


Credit Recognition

If you have prior relevant experience or previous related study credits, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

Find out more


Key Information for Students

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