Post Graduate Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Program (2 year program) 

Neonatal Services at Mercy Hospital for Women has up to 62 beds which comprises of intensive care and special care nursery cots. It is one of the largest nurseries in Australia.

Annually over 1,300 premature and sick babies are cared for in the NICU and Special Care Nurseries. We provide neonatal care for infants admitted to the nursery within the first 28 days of life with gestations as low as 23 weeks. These babies may be premature or sick full term infants requiring respiratory support, intravenous therapy, specialised feeding, incubator care or high technological care such as ventilation, high frequency oscillating ventilation and nitric oxide as well as minor surgery. 

The neonatal team provide a family centred care approach to the management of these vulnerable patients. Parents are encouraged to work together with Mercy Staff, collaboratively to provide optimum care for all of the babies in Neonatal Services.

Developmental care is an important part of the care provided for our neonatal population. Individual needs of the infant are assessed and the nursery environment is modified to ensure optimal neurological outcomes.

The unit is involved in significant research and teaching programs, including international studies and neonatal intensive care and special care nursery training for nursing staff, midwives, students and paediatricians.

Clinical placement is provided for post graduate studies in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Courses.  This is for nurses interested in developing knowledge and skills in both general neonatal nursing and neonatal intensive care nursing.

Post Graduate Studies in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing

This 2 year program (graduate certificate) is suitable for registered nurses/midwives with at least one year of nursing experience to learn neonatal intensive care nursing skills. Clinical placement is offered to participants who are undertaking a post graduate Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Course through: La Trobe University or the University of Melbourne.  Applicants are required to apply for a position with their university of choice and acceptance into the program will be in conjunction with a paid clinical position at the Mercy Hospital for Women Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Program outline                   
Intake Dates: Placement commences at Mercy Hospital for Women in February (negotiable)

Entry Requirements:    

  • •  Registered Nurse Post Graduate Neonatal nurse
  •   Minimum 12 months recent acute nursing/midwifery experience (course dependent)
  •   Registered with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (AHPRA) with current eligibility to practice
    •   Successful application with one of the follow universities: Latrobe University or University of  Melbourne
  •   Satisfactory references and interview at Mercy Hospital for Women
  •   Learning contract with Mercy Hospital for Women

Duration of program: Approximately 104 weeks

Shift Expectations: Rostered over a rotating roster; minimum 32 hours per week

Theoretical input: Theory will be provided by the university of choice. This can be undertaken over two years or all theory may be undertaken in second year. NICU subjects may not be undertaken in first year.

Clinical experience and practical support will be provided by Mercy Hospital for Women over two years.

Clinical Support:                 

  • Hospital orientation
  • Four days supernumerary orientation into SCN
  • Eight days supernumerary orientation into NICU
  • Four days supernumerary for observational visits in second year
  • NICU Tutorials once a week at MHW in second year
  • Clinical support provided by Educator and Clinical Support Nurses    
  • Associated costs: Full fees as deemed by La Trobe University or University of Melbourne (scholarships may be available).

    Assessment: Theoretical assessment by La Trobe University, University of Melbourne. Practical assessment including a learning contract and competency assessments by Mercy Hospital for Women.

Course Notification: The course will be advertised in Aug/Sept.  It will be placed on the following websites; and

Application Procedure:        

Entry to post graduate nursing studies Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing involves successful application to one of the following universities; La Trobe University or University of Melbourne. The applicant should identify Mercy Hospital for Women as their preferred hospital for clinical experience. An application must also be sent directly to Mercy Hospital for Women and will be received online at or

The application shall include:               

  • Letter of application that states rationale for applying to Mercy Hospital for Women and reason for choosing post graduate studies in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing
  • Curriculum Vitae including names, telephone numbers and email addresses of 2 professional referees.

Successful applicants must also provide a current police record check and working with children check within six weeks of commencement of employment.                 


Carolyn Morrissey
Neonatal Services Educator
Mercy Hospital for Women
Ph: (03) 8458 4686 or (03) 8458 4444 & request pager: 4686

Post Graduate Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Course Contacts

La Trobe University
Jacqui McGregor Lecturer/Course Coordinator Neonatal
Telephone Direct: 9479 5914

University of Melbourne

Sally Moss Lecturer/Stream Coordinator


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