Diploma of Nursing

CRICOS Code: 093597G
National Code: HLT54115


Gain the essential knowledge and skills required to provide caring, compassionate and effective nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. This course focuses on integrating theory with practice, giving you the skills to problem solve and work in a collaborative team environment.

Duration (incl. holidays)
Teaching Duration
Example Career Profile
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78 weeks
66 weeks
Nurse (Enrolled) Nurse (Enrolled)

In response to COVID-19, TAFE SA has had to make some changes to how courses are delivered. If any changes are made to the delivery or completion date of your course, TAFE SA will communicate with you directly.

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Contact Hours
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements
(for International Applications)

  • An academic IELTS score of 7.0 overall with minimum of 7.0 in all bands or equivalent test to enter the standalone Diploma of Nursing.
  • Ability to meet the physical demands of nursing work, particularly the requirements of manual handling.
  • Satisfactory completion of Year 12 or overseas equivalent .
  • Students with Year 12 and Year 12 Maths will be required to undertake a Maths test within the first two weeks of their Diploma course. In the case where students fail this test, they will need to complete the Maths unit PERMHA404A (Use mathematics in a nursing and health context). This Maths unit is taught concurrently during the 1st semester of Diploma of Nursing for half day a week for 9 weeks at Adelaide City Campus.The cost of this unit is $450.
  • Students with Year 12 but without Year 12 Maths will be required to undertake the Maths unit PERMHA404A (Use mathematics in a nursing and health context). This Maths unit is taught concurrently during the 1st semester of Diploma of Nursing for half day a week for 9 weeks at Adelaide City Campus.The cost of this unit is $450.
  • Students without Year 12 will be required to undertake the Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies which includes the required Maths unit PERMHA404A (Use mathematics in a nursing and health context). Students with this option will pay the usual tuition fee for the Certificate IV and are not required to do the Maths test for Diploma entry. The Certificate IV does not meet the English entry criteria for Diploma of Nursing, it only meets the academic entry.
  • Students seeking a packaged offer with the Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia or Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide also require an academic IELTS score of 7.0 overall with minimum of 7.0 in all bands or equivalent for entry into the Diploma of Nursing at TAFE SA. See course note for further details on package.
  • Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepalese students need satisfactory completion of Year 12 or overseas equivalent with 60% in the top 4 subjects (excluding native language) for all courses (i.e. Cert III, Cert IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree) If the student has needed to re-sit for their exam, the student will need to provide all exam results.Not accepting Punjab State Board or Haryana State Board HS results only – need to present a Central Board result exam or a higher qualification.

Work Placement Duration:   400 hours

Professional Placement Experience for a total of 400 hours minimum will be required to complete the qualification. This will occur across a range of clinical setting including but not limited to: residential aged care, primary health and acute medical and surgical areas. Prior to work placement, international students will be required to apply for and successfully receive a National Police Clearance and the following South Australian Department of Human Services Screenings: working with children, disability, aged and vulnerable persons. Students will also need to show evidence for up to 7 Vaccinations or proven history of immunity and have a current First Aid Certificate (which is a unit within this qualification). More details will be made available after commencement.

Course Notes

  • Applicants with only Year 10 or overseas equivalent will need to complete both the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and the Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies to gain entry into the Diploma of Nursing.
  • During classes and placement students will need to wear the TAFE SA T-shirt and adhere to uniform requirements, including non-slip waterproof enclosed shoes.
  • This qualification satisfies the academic requirements to be eligible to apply for registration through AHPRA. Graduates will also be required to complete other requirements of registration including evidence of English language skills and gaining a successful International Criminal History Check See for further details.
    For more specific information regarding registration requirements for Nursing can be sourced at
  • *University Packaged offers at the University of South Australia are available for July intake only.

    #University Packaged offers at University of Adelaide are available both the January and July intake.
  • For the UniSA Packaged course -
    Provision of evidence to UniSA of registration as an Enrolled Nurse (EN) with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). International students who complete the Diploma of Nursing must be registered as an Enrolled Nurse (EN) with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to be eligible for 36 units credit into the Bachelor of Nursing. If you do not intend to get registration with the NMBA on completion of your Diploma, please advise UniSA International so you can be provided with a new offer including reduced credit of 18 units. This should be done at the same time as providing evidence of completion to meet your academic condition. Please note: if you do not gain registration with NMBA and your English Proficiency test has expired you will need to provide a new objective English test. To be eligible you must provide evidence of (1) IELTS 7.0 overall, and 7.0 in all sub-scores or (2) An approved alternative English tests, such as Pearson PTE or the Occupational English Test (OET).


These course fees are for international students only.

Tuition Fees
Incidental Fees*
Semester 1
AUD $8134
AUD $1500*
Semester 2
AUD $8133
Semester 3
AUD $8133
Fee Totals
AUD $24400
AUD $1500*
Total Course Cost
AUD $25900

* International students will be required to pay for their own screenings, checks, vaccinations, First Aid Certificate (if it expires during your TAFE SA studies), site uniforms and shoes at approximately $A1000-$A1500. For studies on campus students will need to purchase a TAFE SA T-shirt at a cost of $A30 each.

Note: TAFE SA course fees are currently under review. Current fees published are for 2020 and will be updated shortly. TAFE SA does not commit to any fees shown. Charges vary between courses and subjects and are based on a rate per hour. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

Overseas Students Health Cover

All overseas students are required to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) insurance for the entire duration of the course. The health cover rate will vary depending on the personal circumstances and duration of stay in Australia. Read more about Overseas Students Health Cover.

  • Employment Outcomes

    Career opportunities include working as an Enrolled Nurse. Enrolled Nurses are employed across a variety of health care contexts including acute, community, aged care, residential, rural and remote settings.

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115)
    Knowledge and skills will be developed in areas including communication, cultural diversity, law and ethics, anatomy and physiology, acute and chronic health disorders, clinical nursing skills and medication management.
    To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 20 core units and 5 elective units.

    • 400 hours of Professional Experience Placement will be required.

  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on

    Not all units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Administer and monitor medicines and intravenous therapy 250
    Analyse and respond to client health information 60
    Apply communication skills in nursing practice 50
    Apply legal and ethical parameters to nursing practice 30
    Apply nursing practice in the primary health care setting 80
    Apply principles of wound management in the clinical environment 45
    Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures 25
    Confirm physical health status 90
    Contribute to nursing care of a person with complex needs 90
    Follow safe work practices for direct client care 25
    Implement and monitor care for a person with acute health problems 70
    Implement and monitor care for a person with chronic health problems 50
    Implement and monitor care for a person with mental health conditions 60
    Implement and monitor care of the older person 75
    Implement, monitor and evaluate nursing care plans 110
    Perform clinical assessment and contribute to planning nursing care 50
    Practise nursing within the Australian health care system 100
    Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety 25
    Reflect on and improve own professional practice 120
    Work with diverse people 40


    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply a palliative approach in nursing practice 80
    Implement and monitor care for a person with diabetes 80
    Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately 60
    Manage personal stressors in the work environment 25
    Provide first aid 18
    Research and apply evidence to practice 65
  • If your goal is to achieve a bachelor degree in your chosen field of study, TAFE SA offers two different types of pathway to university - a University Packaged Program or Credit Transfer.

    A University Packaged Program allows you to select the course and the university you wish to study at, before commencing your studies at TAFE SA.

    This course is available as a University Packaged Program. This allows students to accept a joint packaged offer with a local South Australian University, and upon successful completion of TAFE SA qualification, the student is eligible for a guaranteed entry into a nominated University Program. Find out more about University Packaged Programs.

    The table below shows current packages available for this course.

    Institution Course Indicative Package Cost
    Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences AUD$127,400
    Bachelor of Nursing AUD$117,400
  • Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest pathways towards a University Degree. Credit Transfer is the formal recognition that parts of a TAFE SA course are equivalent in content and level to parts of some University courses. Below are the Credit Transfer details for this course. View all TAFE SA Credit Transfer Agreements

    University University Course Details
    Bachelor of Nursing (Pre-Registration)
    Associate Degree in Primary Health and Wellbeing
    Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences
    Bachelor of Nursing
    Bachelor of Community Health (Online program)
    Bachelor of Public Health (Online program)
    Bachelor of Nursing
  • The city created for students

    You will never find another city like Adelaide. With welcoming locals, it is the perfect place for you to study, live and enjoy.

    Affordable living
    A student city

    A student city

    Adelaide is home to over 30,000 international students and has a strong and growing reputation as an education city. In addition to TAFE SA, Adelaide is home to six world-leading universities: The University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, Torrens University Australia and CQ University Australia.


    Adelaide’s crime rates are the lowest in the country and for that reason, Adelaide has previously been named the safest city in Australia.

    Beach Culture

    Beach Culture

    Adelaide’s pristine sandy beaches are just a 20 minute tram ride from the city centre. On hot summer days, you can study in the day and take the tram to have dinner at the beach and watch the sunset with friends.

    Live centrally

    Accommodation is more affordable in Adelaide than in other cities in Australia making it often possible for students to live in the heart of the city or just outside. This means more time is spent studying and less time travelling.

    Live centrally


    Adelaide is known for its cafe culture, with more cafes and restaurants by population than any other city in Australia. In recent years, Adelaide has also developed a vibrant and varied bar scene. The city is big enough that you will struggle to visit all of the places you would like to drink and eat in during in your first year of study. Our mix of cultures means there’s likely to be a supermarket that sells food from your home country too.

    Easy to get around

    Adelaide is a flat city so it is ideal for walking or cycling. Its grid layout makes it almost impossible to get lost! There are free trams and buses around the city centre. International students can show their ID to get cheaper tickets.

    Easy to get around


    Adelaide is known for its festivals, which are famous around the world. WOMADelaide, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival and Cabaret Festival are just some of the international arts and music festivals that keep the city buzzing

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study

    Adelaide is recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities. In 2014, Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel book ranked Adelaide in the global top ten. For the last four years Adelaide has been ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study
    Beautiful weather

    Beautiful weather

    Adelaide has four distinct seasons, with moderate winters and warm to hot summers. In winter you will need woolly jumpers and jackets and in summer, shorts and t-shirts. The heat in South Australia is dry, rather than humid.

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