Gain essential industry experience to work in a range of healthcare settings with the Diploma of Nursing. Guided by a registered nurse, you’ll learn to administer and monitor medication and care for a range of clients with various needs. Upon graduating, you’ll have 440 hours of experience through supervised clinical placements.

Due to limited capacity, students will be unable to defer their place in this course.

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
  • TAFE Victoria
    TAFE Victoria
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Your industry experience

Bolster your CV with real industry experience. This course involves 440 hours of mandatory supervised clinical placements.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Health assessments
  • Monitor medication
  • Skills to work in a variety of settings
  • Effective communication skills

Your career opportunities

  • Acute Care Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Rehabilitation Nurse
  • Aged Care Nurse
  • Palliative Care Nurse

Further education

Key codes

International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Location options

Professional accreditations


Entry into this course is based on an applicant's literacy and numeracy skills (ACSF Exit Level 3 - working at Level 4) or satisfactory VCE completion with minimum score of 20 for English or 25 in EAL and satisfactory score for Units 1 and 2 in Maths. It is recommended that all applicants attend a course information session.

For information on essential physical and behavioural abilities needed to perform assessment tasks and professional placements, please review the Informed Choices statement.

One of the following:

  • successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification
  • completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees).

You’ll be guaranteed a place in this course if you meet or exceed the ATAR Guaranteed Entry Score, provided you meet the course prerequisites.

If your ATAR is below the guaranteed entry score, you can still be offered a place as your ATAR may be adjusted based on subject bonuses, equity schemes or other factors. Use the above ATAR as a guide on your eligibility, and see the course handbook page for more information on entry requirements. 

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

Course prerequisites

  • Satisfactory completion of VCE, with a minimum score of 20 for English or 25 in EAL and satisfactory score for Units 1 and 2 in Maths


  • ACSF Exit Level 3 (working at Level 4), or above, in both literacy and numeracy as determined by completion of literacy and numeracy testing (BKSB) as part of the application process. 

Other requirements

English language requirements

The Diploma of Nursing has program entry criteria set by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council. All students entering this program must demonstrate they have achieved the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) specified level of English language skills, prior to commencing the program.

You must demonstrate your English language competency in one of the following ways:

  • English is your primary language and you have attended and satisfactorily completed at least six years of primary and secondary education taught and assessed in English in one of the recognised countries*, including at least two years between years 7 and 12.
  • You have successfully completed at least five (5) years (full-time equivalent) continuous education taught and assessed solely in English, in a recognised country that is a combination of:

a)    tertiary and secondary education taught and assessed in English; or

b)    tertiary and vocational education taught and assessed in English; or

c)    combined tertiary, secondary and vocational education taught and
           assessed in English; or

d)    tertiary education taught and assessed in English

  • The last period of education must have been completed no more than five years prior to applying for registration.
  • Test pathways – below is a list of the approved tests and the minimum scores required:
    • IELTS (academic Module) with a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components
    • OET with a minimum score of B in each of the four components
    • PTE (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills
    • TOEFL iBT with a minimum total score of 94 and a minimum score of 24 in listening, 24 in reading, 27 in writing and 23 in speaking

* Recognised countries include Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa or the United States of America.

Additional requirements

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of placement
  • NDIS Worker Screening Check – this process includes a National Police Check**
  • Working with Children Check (Volunteer or Employee) for the duration of the program.

**If a candidate believes there would be a disclosable issue on their National Police Check, a confidential conversation will be required prior to enrolment to determine suitability for work within the healthcare environment.


This course requires up-to-date evidence of immunisations. If you are not willing to provide up-to-date evidence, you may not be eligible to complete this program.

Immunisation requirements may include the following:

  • COVID19.
  • Measles / Mumps / Rubella
  • Diphtheria / Tetanus/ Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (Annual requirement)
  • Tuberculosis Screening – QuantiFERON Gold test

For more information about the minimum immunisation requirements please download the:

Additional immunisations may be required in response to any changes in Government policy or the specific requirements of the organisation you attend for your clinical placement. Further information will be provided at the commencement of the course.

Informed Choices Statement

View the Informed Choices statement, which provides information about the inherent requirements of nursing, specifically the essential physical and behavioural abilities needed to perform assessment tasks and professional placements in nursing and progress to a career in this field. This information is intended to assist you to choose whether you can successfully participate in and complete a course.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

The course consists of 25 units of study made up of 20 core units and five elective units.

The program is structured in to 3 phases of study, all 6 months duration and each with their own focus. Phase 1 provides foundational understanding of human anatomy and the development of patient assessment skills to enable recognition of deterioration and appropriate responses.

Phase 2 builds on previously acquired knowledge and prepares the student for delivering nursing care in a more complex setting, which includes the administration of medications.

The final phase of delivery focuses on knowledge of specific care and disease processes and nursing management and medication administration, including IV medication administration and therapies. The objective of this phase is to bring all acquired skills and knowledge together to ensure you can recognise and respond to deterioration appropriately and maintain patient safety in the clinical environment.

Core units
Elective units
Indicative nominal course hours: 1810

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Confirm physical health status
Core unit, 90.0 credit points
Analyse and respond to client health information
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Reflect on and improve own professional practice
Core unit, 120.0 credit points
Work with diverse people
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
Practise nursing within the Australian health care system
Core unit, 75.0 credit points
Apply communication skills in nursing practice
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Perform clinical assessment and contribute to planning nursing care
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Implement, monitor and evaluate nursing care
Core unit, 110.0 credit points
Apply principles of wound management
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Apply legal and ethical parameters to nursing practice
Core unit, 30.0 credit points
Implement and monitor care for a person with mental health conditions
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Implement and monitor care for a person with acute health conditions
Core unit, 150.0 credit points
Implement and monitor care for a person with chronic health conditions
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Implement and monitor care of the older person
Core unit, 75.0 credit points
Apply nursing practice in the primary health care setting
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
Provide end of life care and a palliative approach in nursing practice
Core unit, 70.0 credit points
Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control
Core unit, 35.0 credit points
Follow safe work practices for direct client care
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
Administer and monitor medicines and intravenous therapy
Core unit, 275.0 credit points
Elective units
Provide First Aid
Elective unit, 18.0 credit points
Research and apply evidence to practice
Elective unit, 65.0 credit points
Contribute to the nursing care of a person with diabetes
Elective unit, 80.0 credit points
Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
Manage personal stressors in the work environment
Elective unit, 25.0 credit points

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Fees are estimates only

Fees published on this page are estimates only and are subject to change depending on individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. The above fees apply for units studied in 2023 only and may change for units studied in future years. There may be additional costs related to learning material and equipment.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Eligibility for VET student loans (VSL)

If you apply for a VET Student Loan, Swinburne must first verify your identity. If you are eligible, we will provide your enrolment information to the government so you can complete the application within their eCAF system.

The VET Student Loan amount for this course is capped. You must start repaying this loan once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

Concessions rates for vocational students

Concession rates for Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs are also available if you self-identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and qualify for a government-subsidised training place under the Indigenous Completions Initiative.

The eligibility criteria are set by the Victorian Government and assessed by Swinburne in accordance with government directives, which are subject to change at any time.

  • Portrait   Female Nurse  Scrubs  Hospital Work  Smiling  Happy  Clipboard

    Study this course for free in 2023

    You could have your tuition fees covered in 2023 thanks to the Victorian Government's Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative. 

    Free TAFE for Priority Courses is available to any Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen.

    There are other factors, too. The best way to find out if you’re eligible is to apply!

Student services and amenities fee

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

From 1 January 2024, all Diploma level and above courses will contribute to the Student Services and Amenities fee. Below is the capped amount for 2023 as a guide ahead of fees for 2024 being announced.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

This amenities fee is included within your annual tuition fee listed above. The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

SSAF fee* ($AUD)


SSAF fee* ($AUD)



Scholarship applications for 2023 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! Remember, you cannot apply direct if you have an active VTAC application.

Apply through VTAC

International students currently studying Year 12 in Australia must apply through VTAC. VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria. 

VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria.

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