Graduate certificate of emergency medicine

This intake is currently closed.

Find out about when the next intake opens for the employed model programs.

The Employed Model Program is an exciting initiative through NT Health that supports registered nurses to gain employment, experience and certification in Emergency Medicine. Specifically, the Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital (RDPH) is offering registered nurses paid employment while completing their Graduate Certificate in Emergency Medicine (one year full time or two years of part time study). Staff employed under this model of care will be financially supported to complete their Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing through a recognised university course.

Emergency Medicine, Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital

Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) is the tertiary referral centre for the Top End of the Northern Territory, North-West Western Australia and South-East Asia. RDH provides 24-hour comprehensive emergency and trauma care services to a geographically disperse population. The nearest tertiary referral hospital to RDH is in Denpasar, Indonesia. Palmerston Regional Hospital (PRH) opened in August 2018 and is 20 minutes by road from RDH. PRH Emergency Department (ED) staff provide and coordinate the Code Blue response within Palmerston Regional Hospital.

RDPH ED’s sees a combined total of almost 100,000 emergency presentations per year and this number continues to rise. Within these presentations, 54 percent represent high acuity being triaged as an ATS 1, 2 or 3, 35 percent are First Nation’s people and 37 percent of total presentations require an acute hospital admission. The Northern Territory’s population in itself is unique having the lowest average age in Australia of 33. Children under the age of 14 account for 20.1 percent of the Northern Territory population, while people over the age of 65 account for only 7.7 percent. While our population is younger than the Australian average, it is heavily impacted by complex chronic disease requiring a high level of both primary health care and emergency care. The young and active population contributes to high rates of traumatic presentations with much lower rates of presentations typically seen in the older populations.

The tropical climate and proximity to South-East Asia has seen infectious and tropical disease experts make Darwin home and assist in managing these unique presentations to RDPH ED. Along with the healthy crocodile population, approx. 100,000 representing just under half of the human population, means that ED nursing in the Top End provides challenges for the experienced and novice ED nurse alike!

Professional development program

This professional development program consists of two phases.

  • Phase one is designed to support nurses who are new to Emergency Medicine, or who have worked in Emergency Medicine before but not yet to a resuscitation level.
  • Phase two is for experienced emergency nurses.

Phase one: Consolidation year

This phase is spent working within RDPH EDs honing your emergency nursing and assessment skills.  In this phase you are introduced to our progression pathway which is supported by learning packages, known as “passports”.  These are done through a combination of self-directed learning and support from the RDPH emergency clinical education service. These passports are designed to ensure you meet the entry level requirements for each progression step (majors, paediatrics and resuscitation).  Each progression step is complemented by supernumerary time with a clinical nurse educator to provide a supportive learning environment. Other education opportunities provided in the consolidation phase include:

  • Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Advanced Life support (ALS) level 1.
  • Three day RDPH emergency orientation program + supernumerary clinical shifts.
  • Clinical supported shifts in each progression area (Paediatrics & Resuscitation).
  • CENA Trauma Nurse Program (pending course availability).
  • Training in mental health and de-escalation techniques.

Once progression to resuscitation has been achieved the consolidation phase has been completed, this is expected to take approximately one year.

Phase 2. Post Graduate study

This phase sees you complete your Graduate Certificate through one of the universities listed below. The RDPH Clinical Education Service will support you to complete the clinical requirements of your post graduate program. The additional departmental education opportunities provided are:

  • ARC ALS level 2
  • Emergency Triage Education Kit- RDPH ETEK course (2 days) with clinical supernumerary time at triage with a Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE)
  • Neonatal Advanced Life Support Course
  • Clinical assessment support (within university guidelines)
  • Access to suite of courses offered through the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) including: (pending course availability)
    • MIMMS - Major Incident Medical Management System
    • H-MIMMS - Hospital Major Incident Medical Management System
    • ATTT - Australian Team Trauma Training
    • EMST - Emergency Management of Severe Trauma
    • EMSB - Emergency Management of Severe Burns

Once you have completed your post graduate year several exciting opportunities are possible including retrieval, rural and remote nursing placements, research and further critical care placements all within the Northern Territory.

To apply for the program you must

  • Be an Australian citizen or hold a visa allowing ongoing, full-time employment in Australia (a copy of your visa or passport must be supplied with your cover letter and resume).
  • Possess at least twelve months recent nursing experience in an acute care setting (including a graduate program).
  • Be or plan to be enrolled in a recognised Graduate Certificate of Emergency Nursing for 2022/23.

Conditions of the contract

You will be provided with leave to attend study sessions, however, must be able to work all rostered shifts.

You will be required to successfully complete academic course and clinical practice requirements each semester in order to continue the term of employment.

Fee information

The RDPH Division of Emergency Medicine will subsidise 100 percent of the cost associated with each unit of study (up to $2,000 per subject). Any course cost beyond $2,000 is covered by the employee. Students are advised to consider the personal cost associated with choosing a university course where the cost of study exceeds $2,000 per unit.

University fees are paid for by the student and reimbursed through the organisation at the completion of each semester. To be eligible for re-imbursement students need to complete part one of By-law 41 at the commencement of each semester and part two on completion.

Recognised university providers

The following university Graduate Certificates are recognised as part of this employed model program:

  • Deakin University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • Charles Darwin University (CDU)

*assistance in choosing the right university for you can be provided on request.

Positions and locations

The Division of Emergency Medicine is a dual campus single service model, where staff work across the RDH and PRH campuses. Each of these campuses provides a unique setting to provide emergency care to the Top End community.

Clinical requirements

The Post Graduate Employment program aims to support clinicians to acquire the knowledge, skills and capacity to work as a specialist emergency nurse. Theoretical clinical requirements will be provided by the university program chosen by the individual. Clinical experience, practical support and clinical assessments will be completed with the emergency education service.

Departmental progression requirements will need to be met alongside university requirements. Staff must be able to work a rotating eight and 10 hours clinical roster at a minimum of a 0.84FTE.

Application checklist

This section contains a checklist of compulsory documentation you need to provide with your application through NT Careers in Government Employment Opportunities Online.

  • Cover letter (one page summary)
  • Resume (include employment history and existing qualifications)
  • Certified copy of passport/birth certificate or visa


For all enquiries, email nursing and midwifery in the Northern Territory at or by calling 1800 000 648.

Last updated: 22 August 2022

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