La Trobe University

Master of Nursing


Start dates
Semester 1 and 2 (March and July)* 2018
18 months full-time or 36 months part-time study load, while working full-time in a related discipline* (*excluding child, family and community care students).
Fees and costs
$24,000 per 120 credit points.
Note: 120 credit points represents full-time study for one year.
There are limited CSP places.

Our Master of Nursing helps registered nurses build their careers through qualifying in one of our 14 specialisations. The degree is flexible and easily accessible for working nurses through online study. You'll need to work at a hospital that focuses on your specialisation subject (like intensive or renal care) so that you can do advanced clinical training on site.

You'll do some subjects wholly online, so broadband internet access is essential for taking part in this degree. Depending on your specialisation, you may also have face-to-face study days at La Trobe or at one of our affiliated hospitals.

Many of our teaching staff are clinical nurses in demanding areas like emergency care, cardiac and intensive care, so you'll get high quality training you can apply directly into your practice.

In each specialisation you'll study the latest evidence-based research developments, undertake advanced clinical studies, study both theory and clinical practice, explore the physiological, psychosocial, ethical and rehabilitation aspects of care, and take part in supervised clinical practice.

You also have the option to take an early exit from the Master of Nursing and get awarded with a Graduate Certificate or a Graduate Diploma.

The qualification awarded on graduation is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as Level 9.

Specialisations, majors and minors

Acute care

Develop the assessment skills required to care for patients in acute settings. Learn under industry professionals and expand your knowledge base so you’re prepared for the unique demands of acute care nursing.

Students specialising in acute care can elect to study one of the following sub-streams:

  1. Respiratory nursing – managing ventilated patients in the ward setting and caring for lung transplant recipients
  2. Acute surgical nursing
  3. Acute medical nursing
  4. Basic emergency principles/paediatric nursing
  5. Day surgery

Acute care is highly challenging and requires strong critical thinking and problem solving skills. The acute care specialisation trains students in specialised clinical proficiency, and develops the communication skills required for a successful career as an acute care nurse.

Cancer care

By choosing the cancer care specialisation, you’ll receive in-depth training on how to care for cancer patients at all stages of their treatment.

Cancer care involves a holistic approach to caring for those with a range of cancers at different stages, and are undergoing a variety of treatments.

Specialising in cancer care means you’ll be equipped to support those facing this life-threatening and debilitating illness, offering them improved quality of life.

Learn how to use the structure advocated by the cancer professional development framework.

The course content aligns with five intervention points: reduce the risk of cancer, find the condition early, treatment and support during active treatment, management and support after and between treatment, and care and support at the end of life.

Cardiac care

Develop the fundamental knowledge and skills required for cardiac care nursing.

For people suffering from a range of heart conditions, including heart failure, the cardiac care team provides crucial advice and support.

You’ll be prepared for advanced practice in a variety of specialist cardiovascular settings, including medical cardiology, interventional cardiology, and cardiothoracic surgical nursing.

Learn to care for patients with coronary artery disease; from acute myocardial infarction to ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation. Develop the skills needed to be a leader in cardiovascular nursing practice.

You’ll learn from practicing nurses and cardiac care professionals, ensuring you’re ready to meet the day-to-day challenges of cardiac care.

Child, family and community care

Work alongside leading professionals in the field and receive first-hand experience into this rapidly-growing speciality.

You’ll learn to critically analyse the complexities associated with child and family health, and the appropriate courses of management.

Combining theory and practical experience, this stream will prepare you for a broad community approach to nursing children and families, particularly for those who are in the prenatal to school-entry stage of life.

Graduates of the child, family and community care speciality are highly employable and well positioned to advance their career.

Critical care

Equip yourself with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, specialised clinical proficiency and effective communication skills to excel in critical care nursing.

Critical care nursing involves assisting patients with a high-dependency and life-threatening conditions.

As a highly sought-after specialty, you’ll gain a competitive edge and be well-positioned to advance your career in nursing.

Working with leading professionals, build on your knowledge in the essentials of triage and trauma, paediatric and obstetric emergencies, invasive monitoring in shock states, cardiac pacing and renal replacement therapies.

This specialisation will equip you with the skills needed to make sophisticated judgements quickly, as patients in ICU can experience rapid decline in their conditions.

The course will also provide you with high-level training in both theoretical and practical experience to prepare you for ethical professional practice as a critical care nurse.

Emergency care

Gain an in-depth understanding of the complex and critical needs of emergency care patients and develop the procedures necessary to quickly address emergency situations.

Build a theoretical and practical foundation that will prepare you for ethically oriented professional practice. Once you graduate, you’ll be equipped to work as an advanced practice nurse in emergency care.

As a highly sought-after specialty, graduates will have the competitive edge to advance their career in emergency care nursing.

Intensive care

Our intensive care stream provides you with an in-depth understanding of the requirements of intensive care patients.

Learn from practicing nurses and industry professionals who’ll ensure you’re equipped to deal with the theoretical demands and day-to-day challenges of the specialisation.

Gain the skills needed to make informed judgements and develop plans to deal with critically-ill patients, while developing specific intensive care skills via hands-on simulations with ICU equipment, and through access to the Australian Centre for Health Innovation clinical simulation education centre.

As an intensive care nurse, you’ll experience the rewards of working in a challenging environment to support patients who require well-trained nurses with strong decision-making skills.

Neonatal care

Discover the rewards of working in neonatal care nurseries and intensive care units to support ill or premature newborns and their parents.

With the optional pathways of either neonatal intensive care or neonatal special care, our neonatal care stream equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to care for premature, low birthweight or sick infants and their families.

You’ll learn from practicing nurses and industry professionals, ensuring you have a balanced knowledge base of both the theoretical demands and day-to-day challenges of neonatal care.

The course offers a range of opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of relationships between theory and evidenced-based practice in neonatal care, through critical thinking, systematic analysis and reflection.

Perianaesthetic care

Support patients undergoing or recovering from anaesthesia, drawing together knowledge and expertise from several different nursing practice areas and skill sets.

You’ll develop the skills required to care for patients in pre and post anaesthesia units, including ambulatory care and pain management.

You’ll learn from practicing nurses and industry professionals, ensuring you have a balanced knowledge base of both the theoretical demands and day-to-day challenges of perianaesthetic care.

Graduates of the perianaesthetic specialty work in hospitals and in the community, and are ready for clinical nurse practice in this area.

Perioperative care

Assist patients before, during and after operations and ensure patients’ needs are met during this critical time.

Tailor your focus on circulating and instrument nursing with an understanding of anaesthetic and recovery room practice.

With a strong emphasis on professional communication and leadership skills, you’ll be equipped with the experience and knowledge to move towards advanced practice, management, and leadership in perioperative practice.

There’s an increasing demand for nurses who have postgraduate, specialist qualifications in perioperative care, and graduates are well positioned to advance their career in nursing.*

*Department of Employment, Occupational report – Nurses, 2016

Renal care

Provide support in treating kidney disease, hypertension, transplantation and dialysis.

Gain the knowledge and skills needed to care for renal patients and their families in the high demand speciality of renal nursing.

Develop a deeper understanding of relationships between theory and evidenced-based practice through critical thinking, systematic analysis and reflection.

Graduates of this speciality stream work in specialist services in hospitals and in the community, and will be career ready with the skills necessary to provide successful clinical renal care.

Urology and continence

We’re one of the few universities in Australia to offer a specialty of urological and continence nursing, the branch of medicine concerned with the functions and disorders of the urinary system.

With a strong emphasis on professional communication and leadership skills, you’ll be equipped with the experience and knowledge to advance your skills and career path toward advanced practice, management and leadership in urology and continence practice.

Graduates of this speciality stream work in specialist services in hospitals and in the community, and are prepared for clinical nursing in urological and continence practice.

Wound management

Explore wound healing physiology, different aetiologies for wound formation and contemporary wound management practice.

Learn from nurses highly experienced in wound management and prepare yourself for a successful career specialising in the critical area of wound management.

You'll develop expertise in wound assessment, relevant wound management investigations and techniques used for wound debridement, wound dressing, and client support and education.

With input designed alongside our industry partners, this stream prepares nurses to undertake advanced practice roles as a clinical nurse wound management specialist or a clinical nurse wound management consultant.

Chelsea Webster

Chelsea Webster

Graduate, Master of Nursing

“I liked the flexibility of undertaking the course off campus.”


Chelsea Webster always wanted to specialise in neonatal intensive care nursing.

By enrolling in a Master of Nursing, she learnt from industry experts in this specialist field.

Chelsea explains, ‘La Trobe is the only university in Victoria that offers neonatal nursing as a postgraduate speciality. My Master’s supervisor was an expert in neonatal nursing, which gave me the confidence and support I needed to successfully complete my thesis.’

‘La Trobe University has a great reputation in postgraduate studies, which gives you the confidence to be successful in completing your studies. Knowing the co-coordinator for the neonatal nursing intensive care course is an expert in the field gives you a feeling of support and is extremely reassuring.’

Realise your potential with La Trobe's Master of Nursing

Meet our staff and students. Find out why our Master's should be your next move.

Entry requirements


You must be a Division 1 Registered Nurse and hold a current practising certificate with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or equivalent international body. You must also have at least one year of recent relevant nursing experience, a degree or diploma from a college or university, or nursing certificate from a hospital-based program. You must either already be employed in the relevant clinical specialist area or an agency approved by the Course Coordinator, or have applied to the agency to undertake your clinical placement at the time of applying for the course. In the latter case, an offer into the course will be conditional upon confirmation of the clinical placement.

Applicants for the child, family and community clinical specialisation must also have APHRA registration to practise as a midwife (and at least one year's experience post-registration in midwifery). Although you are encouraged to organise your own clinical placement, clinical practicum in the Maternal and Child Health Service will be arranged by the University, through negotiation with the student and local government agencies.

Some subjects are delivered online. Internet access is an essential requirement of this course.

NB: Meeting minimum prerequisites does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into all La Trobe courses is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.

Career outcomes

Past nursing graduates have worked at: - Alfred Health as a clinical nurse specialist in perianaesthetic care - Monash Medical Centre in Clayton as a clinical nurse educatior - Singapore Health Services as assistant director of nursing informatics - Austin Health as a project officer - National Skin Centre as head of nursing.

Fees and costs

Course fees

$24,000 per 120 credit points.
Note: 120 credit points represents full-time study for one year.
There are limited CSP places.


Do you have an excellent academic record? If you're a full-fee paying student, you may be eligible for a La Trobe College Excellence Scholarship and receive up to a 25% reduction on your course fees.

Scholarships are available for both current and future students. Find out what La Trobe scholarship opportunities might be available to you.

How to apply

Apply now to start in Semester 2, 2018.

How to apply for a postgraduate coursework degree

You need to submit a supplementary form [PDF 942KB] with your application.

To find out more about this course and studying at La Trobe:
- ask us a question
- book a one-on-one consultation
- chat online
- visit our FAQ page
- connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
- call us on 1300 135 045.

Additional information

*Students may commence without previous postgraduate studies in Emergency Care, Intensive Care or Neonatal Care. All other streams are only available mid-year to those who have successfully completed the relevant Graduate Certificate and will be eligible for advanced standing. You may be eligible for institutional credit - please contact us for more information. Depending on your choice of specialisation, you'll study via our flexible online delivery mode and/or in-person at one of our affiliated hospitals. For most subjects, the online learning modules are supported by a limited number of on-campus workshop days (or equivalent online virtual classrooms) with location dependent on specialisation. All online subjects require broadband internet access.

See Student Handbook for more details

The Handbook contains detailed course information designed for enrolled students, including course structures, electives and options. The delivery of this course can vary between campuses. For detailed information please select the relevant campus: