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Deakin University

  • 21% international / 79% domestic

Master of Nursing Practice

  • Masters (Coursework)

Elevate your nursing career and prepare to take on leadership roles with the Master of Nursing Practice.

Key details

Degree Type
Masters (Coursework)
Course Code
Intake Months

About this course

Elevate your nursing career and prepare to take on leadership roles with the Master of Nursing Practice. This degree helps you build the advanced clinical decision-making skills to improve health service delivery in your workplace, with an option to specialise in an area of advanced nursing practice.

Open the door to roles in advanced practice, education, leadership and management, policy and research.

If you want to improve the quality and safety of your patient care, the Master of Nursing Practice can help you take your career to the next level. This flexible degree puts you in control of your learning, with:

  • the opportunity to choose either a coursework or minor thesis pathway
  • an option to complete the course with a specialisation
  • exit points available at both the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma levels, whether you complete a specialisation or not.

Throughout the Master of Nursing Practice, you will be challenged to look at nursing from a new perspective while building your knowledge and skills in leadership, governance, research, education, critical thinking and decision making.

Deakin's Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS) is a leader in clinical care, quality and risk management, and has researchers within six of Victoria's major health services. Research from QPS is used alongside industry needs to shape the course curriculum. Course material is evidence-based, patient-focused and informed by academics, researchers and clinical experts who are leaders in their fields.

A core coursework unit in the masters degree will introduce you to a range of research methods. This subject will help you build your understanding of research in a clinical context.

You can choose to complete your degree by coursework or, if academic entry requirements are met, undertake research in your clinical practice area with a minor thesis. Undertaking a minor thesis provides a strong foundation for a career in senior nursing roles and may also provide entry to a PhD program.

Whether you are pursuing a senior position in emergency care or want to be a leading voice in nurse education, this course will prepare you for the realities of your role. You'll graduate ready for careers in areas of nursing education, leadership, management, policy and research.

Specialist streams

If you want to specialise in a particular area of nursing practice, you can choose from the following streams:

  • intensive care
  • cardiac care (including interventional cardiology)
  • emergency care
  • critical care
  • perioperative nursing.

Specialist units are completed at Graduate Certificate (4 core units) and Graduate Diploma (6 core units and 2 electives) levels. You may choose to exit the course at one of these points with a specialist qualification, or continue to complete the full masters degree by completing electives in areas such as leadership and management in nursing and quality and safety in medication management.

To be eligible for a specialist stream, you must independently secure employment of at least 24 hours per week with a collaborating hospital in your chosen specialty area.

Eligible graduates of the Master of Nursing Practice can also seek endorsement as a nurse practitioner via Pathway 2.

Entry requirements

Entry will be based on performance in:


  • Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent, AND registration as a registered nurse with relevant statutory registration/licensing body with no conditions or restrictions.
  • Applicants must have 6 months clinical experience as a registered nurse.


  • Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent, AND registration as a registered nurse with AHPRA, with no conditions or restrictions.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of employment in Australia in a relevant specialist area with appropriate clinical supervision for the duration of the course.

As the Specialty pathways courses are offered collaboratively between the University and a range of partnership/ collaborating hospitals, student selection into the course is a joint process. Students must independently apply for and seek permanent employment within a collaborating hospital to support and provide a sound clinical learning environment for the clinical program requirements of the course. Where concurrent employment is not possible, clinical practicums may be negotiated.

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.

All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

Please note: meeting minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into this program is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.

For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

Career pathways

The healthcare industry is the largest growing employment industry in Australia. A number of roles within nursing are expected to grow significantly by 2023*, including:

Graduates of the Master of Nursing Practice will be well placed to take advantage of this demand. Depending on the units you have completed, your expertise will allow you to pursue a range of roles, including:

  • clinical nurse educator
  • clinical nurse specialist
  • associate or unit manager
  • research roles
  • critical care nurse
  • intensive care nurse
  • cardiac care nurse
  • emergency care nurse
  • perioperative nurse
  • anaesthetic nurse.

Course structure

To complete the Master of Nursing Practice students must attain 12 credit points, chosen from a suite of units. HNN727 Research in Nursing and Midwifery, a 2 credit point unit, is core. Students may choose either the Master of Nursing Practice (Minor Thesis) or Master of Nursing Practice (Coursework) pathway. The Minor Thesis is comprised of 4 credit-points (HNN756 Nursing Research Thesis A, HNN757 Nursing Research Thesis B, HNN758 Nursing Research Thesis C and HNN759 Nursing Research Thesis D). Entry to the minor thesis is offered once academic requirements have been met.

For coursework units, at least 6 of the 12 credit points must normally be level 7 nursing units from the list below. Students are encouraged to select units based on interest and/or relevance to their clinical practice. Please note, among the elective units listed below, four units relate to Diabetes Education. These are HND701 Pathophysiology of Diabetes, HND732 Diabetes in Social and Psychological Contexts, HND702 Management of Diabetes and HND731 Learning and Teaching for Health Professionals. These units may be taken as electives in the Master of Nursing Practice but do not contribute to a Diabetes Education qualification. If a student wishes to obtain a qualification in Diabetes Education, please seek course advice.

Aside from the units listed below, up to 4 credit points of elective units may be selected from any other postgraduate course at Deakin, providing the student meets the unit entry requirements. Students are encouraged to seek course advice from the Master of Nursing Practice Course Director prior to selecting alternate units.

To be eligible to apply for endorsement as a Nurse Practitioner under Pathway 2, students are advised to complete units indicated (**) in the list under Master of Nursing Practice without specialisation. It is assumed students will have completed postgraduate clinical studies to a graduate certificate level, prior to undertaking these units. Further detail about Pathway 2 is available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to read this information, in particular, the requirement for 5000 hours of clinical practice at an 'advanced practice level' in a specialty relevant to the context for which they are seeking endorsement. Completion of units in the Master of Nursing Practice will not guarantee endorsement as a Nurse Practitioner.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).

The Master of Nursing Practice can be undertaken over 1½ years full time or 4 years part-time. Students wishing to seek employment in the specialty practice areas must undertake core specialty units and may exit either at the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma level.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.

Credit for prior study or work

The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

Students holding an approved specialist certificate from the former Nurses Board of Victoria may apply for up to four credit points of Recognition of Prior Learning towards the Masters.

Graduate outcomes

Graduate satisfaction and employment outcomes for Nursing courses at Deakin University.
Overall satisfaction
Skill scale
Teaching scale
Employed full-time
Average salary