Graduate certificate of neonatal intensive care nursing

NT Health’s Royal Darwin Palmerston Hospital (RDPH) is offering a unique opportunity for registered nurses and midwives to undertake Post Graduate Studies in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing through a one year (full time) paid employment program (Graduate Diploma). Successful applicants must be eligible for employment with NT Health as a registered nurse and meet Latrobe University enrolment criteria.

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Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital

The Northern Territory continues to have the highest neonatal morbidity and mortality in the country. According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics, neonatal mortality in the Northern Territory in 2013 was 5.5/1,000 live births, double the national average of 2.8/1,000 live births[1].  In 2016, it had reduced to 4.6/1,000 births, but remains much higher than any other region in Australia. High rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the Northern Territory reflect the complex social and environmental determinants of health especially for First Nation people from remote communities. Preterm birth remains the leading cause of both severe morbidity and mortality for neonates in the Northern Territory with nearly 1:5 First Nation women having a baby born too early.

RDPH is the most remote hospital providing specialist neonatal care in Australia, serving a widely dispersed, remote population. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at RDPH is the only level six tertiary referral centre for the Northern Territory and Top End of Western Australia. The NICU provides specialist family integrated neonatal care in an 18 bed unit including five intensive care cots, eight High Dependency Unit cots and 13 Special Care Nursery cots. The unit provides specialised neonatal care for extremely pre-term neonates from 23 weeks onwards to sick term infants within the first 28 days of life. Staff employed through this program will be supported to care for neonates requiring a range of respiratory support and intensive care, including invasive ventilation, high frequency oscillation, nitric oxide and minor surgeries.

In addition to being the sole provider of specialist neonatal intensive care services for the largest geographic region in the country, the RDPH NICU is in the process of standing up a Neonatal Emergency Transport Service. This highly unique retrieval service will see specialist paediatricians and neonatal nurses’ work in collaboration with CareFlight NT to retrieve and care for sick and preterm babies born across Northern Australia. The Neonatal Emergency Transport service will also enable specialist teams to support neonates requiring complex paediatric or cardiac surgery to access higher level care interstate.

Eligibility to apply

  • Current registration as a registered nurse or hold a dual degree (registered nurse and registered midwife) with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • Minimum of one year post registration experience in an acute health care setting.
  • Meet eligibility and entry requirements for post graduate study through Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital’s partner universities, Latrobe University.
  • Be able to work all rostered shifts (morning, afternoon and nights).

Employed Model Programs are offered on a part time 32 hours per week basis.

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 Women’s, Children and Youth 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 reimbursement students need to complete part one of By-law 41 at the commencement of each semester and part two on completion.

Recognised university providers

La Trobe University’s Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Neonatal Care) is recognised as the sole University Provider as part of this Employed Model Program.

Clinical requirements

The Post Graduate Employed Model Program aims to support clinicians to acquire the knowledge, skills and capacity to work as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. Theoretical clinical requirements will be provided by La Trobe University.

Clinical experience and practical support will be provided by Royal Darwin Hospital through Hospital and Ward Orientation, Study Days and supernumerary shifts in the Special Care Nursery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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

[1] AIHW Perinatal deaths in Australia 2013-2014

Further Information

For further information regarding the Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Neonatal Care), read the La Trobe University Handbook.

For all enquires relating to employment on the Employed Model Program, contact:

Alexandra Matthews
Neonatal Clinical Nurse Educator
Phone: 8922 7916

Deborah Ribbon
Clinical Nurse Manager
Phone: 8922 8625

Last updated: 16 September 2022

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