Graduate certificate perioperative

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 Perioperative Nursing. Specifically, Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital (RDPH) is offering registered nurses paid employment while completing their Graduate Certificate Perioperative (one year full time or two years of part time study).

There is a one year program available which will be Darwin based and candidates will be required to work across Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospitals.  Alternatively there will be a 2 year option allowing candidates in their 2nd year to rotate to regional hospitals across the NT – Katherine, Gove and Alice Springs program (after completing all study requirements of the 12 month graduate certificate course).

Staff employed under this model of care will be financially supported to complete their Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing through a recognised University course.

Operating Theatres, Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospital

Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) is a level six Tertiary Hospital. There are a total of nine Operating Theatres at RDH and a further four at Palmerston Regional Hospital (PRH). Combined, the two facilities perform over 20,000 procedures per year. The Operating Theatres provides surgical services to one of the largest and most challenging geographical contexts in the country. Staff training in this model will have the option of an Anaesthetic, Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) or Instrument/Circulating Nurse development pathway.  Emergency and elective surgical services, including obstetrics are provided, for both adults and paediatrics.  A number of key competencies are included in the program and are based on the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN) and Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Standards.

The Anaesthetic Nurse Pathway

An exciting opportunity to advance your skills and become part of a complex and dynamic team providing expert specialist care. Skills you will obtain include managing and assessing complex patient needs, patient advocacy, airway anatomy, invasive monitoring, sedation, mechanisms of general anaesthesia including ventilation modes and monitoring, anaesthetic pharmacology and implementing advanced airway management techniques. You will work in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team to ensure patient anxiety is managed and health education is provided.

The Instrument/Circulating Nurse pathway

Involves co-ordination of the intraoperative care of the patient, advocating for the patient and anticipating and meeting the needs of the surgical team before and during surgery. There are opportunities to advance your anatomy and physiology knowledge and increase your understanding of a variety of surgical specialities and the relevant equipment including neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, general, ENT, plastics, OMF, thoracic, hepatobiliary, vascular and ophthalmology.

The Post Anaesthetic Care Nurse (PACU) pathway

Involves managing patients postoperatively and will enable you to develop core assessment skills, advanced airway management techniques and to promptly respond to the patient’s changing clinical condition.

Perioperative Services - Alice Springs Hospital

Surrounded by the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges, the Alice Springs Hospital Perioperative Unit is comprised of a small and dynamic team, who provide a broad range of elective and emergency surgical services to meet the needs of the community. The Unit promotes a culturally safe environment where you can expect to work with and learn from a culturally diverse population.

Perioperative nurses can work to their full scope of practice across the following core areas:

  • Preoperative patient assessment and education
  • Anaesthetics
  • Instrument / Circulating
  • Post Anaesthetic Care (PACU)

Professional development program

Other training activities included in the program are Management of the Critical Care Patient, Advanced Life Support (ALS 1) and Neonatal/Paediatric Basic Life support (OPTIMUS). As part of the Anaesthetic development pathway you will also receive a certificate of completion for the Anaesthetic Assistant as per ANZCA accreditation standards after you have met all the competencies included as part of on the job education and training over approximately 12 months.

Once proficient in your perioperative specialty area there is the option of additional training through the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) to become a perioperative participant in emergency deployments through the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT).

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).
  • 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 Perioperative Nursing for mid-year 2022 or 2023.
  • There will be 2 intakes available – one in August 2022 and the other in January 2023

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.

Relocation cost will be available to only those staff undertaking a 2 year program and are willing to do undertake a rotation for 4 months in one of the regional settings.

Fee information

The RDPH Division of Surgery and Critical Care 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:

  • Charles Darwin University (CDU)
  • University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Clinical requirements

The Post Graduate Employed Model Program aims to support clinicians to acquire the knowledge, skills and capacity to work as a Perioperative Nurse. The program will allow nurses to apply their postgraduate learning into practice in an exciting and challenging clinical environment. Each student as part of their chosen pathway will spend clinical time being exposed to a number of surgical specialities which will allow them to place theory into practice and provide opportunities to expand their repertoire of clinical skills (relative to chosen pathway) and provide a solid base for their ongoing learning.

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: 16 September 2022

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