Why Study a Master of Nursing?
Are you a nursing graduate or an experienced nurse with a number of years in the field? Do you enjoy the challenge of working in a range of different health-oriented environments? Is the idea of being associated with clinical research something you aspire to? Becoming a nurse-practitioner? Working in a management or administrative position in nursing education?
Perhaps then, you should be looking at enrolling in postgraduate courses to upgrade your qualifications. A Master of Nursing degree is tantamount to career development and to your advancement in the healthcare industry. Senior level positions generally require one or employers will give precedence to the candidate who has invested the time in achieving one. Your postgraduate nursing degree will position you for the career path in healthcare that truly interests you by strengthening your fundamental clinical and theoretical knowledge of professional practice in healthcare. You will develop expertise in the critical application of contemporary evidence-based research to the practice environment. You will be on your way to becoming a leader in your profession.
What You Will Learn
A Master of Nursing degree will expand upon your undergraduate education and experience to get you ready for the next steps in your career. Degree courses are offered at a number of Australian universities with more intensive study in clinical or non-clinical areas of specialization being available in the larger institutions, although some of these are specific to certain universities.
Full-time study requires one and a half to two years. Longer part-time courses are available at most universities and a number of study modules can be completed online. In addition to clinical care, study is centred on comprehensive theory content that includes exploration of the biological and psychological sciences as well as social sciences. Core modules usually include:
- Human Biology
- Healthcare Systems
- Healthcare Leadership
- Healthcare/Illness in a Social Context
- Research Practices
- Ethical and Legal Topics
Leading clinical and nursing experts, together with hands-on practise, guide you in both providing care in the various health, wellness and illness situations and in how it is experienced. Full-time clinical placement hours, normally in excess of 800 hours, are required in the various healthcare areas – intensive care, paediatric, oncology, emergency, mental health and community health. These are generally preceded by 200+ hours of simulated experience in class. Capstone projects are also a part of the syllabus.
Majors in specific study areas include those specialising in advanced nursing practice, primary care, cancer and haematology, emergency, clinical trials, intensive care, mental health, gerontology, dementia and nurse practitioner studies. These are selected based on your further career aspirations. In all cases, unit content is based on developing advanced understanding of best practices in the relevant specialisation.
Basic eligibility requirements for a Master of Nursing course are a degree in nursing or an approved equivalent qualification, eligibility for an unrestricted licence to practice as a registered nurse in Australia, and recent experience working as a nurse. In the case of applicants with non-nursing undergraduate degrees and depending upon the university’s regulations, completion of a graduate certificate in nursing may complete eligibility for admittance.
In addition, candidates are interviewed and must take literacy and numeracy tests. In cases where English is not his/her first language, the applicant may be required – depending upon whether or he/she has previously completed study in an English language institution – to take an IELTS examination.
Graduating Your Nursing Masters
Completion of all required core units and elective courses at passing grades is required for graduation and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Required clinical placement hours must be successfully completed. Credit may be given for previously completed postgraduate study. Should the need arise to exit a Master of Nursing degree course, a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma can be granted, depending upon the number of units completed, and credits can be applied if this or another degree course is continued at a future date.