Neonatal Refresher Course

This course is designed for qualified Registered Nurses, Midwives and Enrolled Nurses who have previous experience within a Special Care Nursery (SCN) and who are out-of-practice and wish to refresh their knowledge and skills in an acute critical and special care setting for neonates.

It is ideal for neonatal nurses who have taken an extended break, or are working in alternate areas of practice but still meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia mandatory registration standards of Recency of Practice and Continuing Professional Development.

Participants will learn contemporary best-practice and renew their confidence while gaining practical experience at Mater Mothers' Hospital Brisbane.

The course is designed to build on your previous special care neonatal skills, knowledge and experience to prepare you for safe practice according to the relevant NMBA registered nurse Standards for Practice.

Throughout the course, participants will:

  • gain an understanding of contemporary, evidence-based best practice, in the SCN environment;
  • observe and perform a variety of SCN clinical skills with the support of clinical facilitators and educators i.e. low flow oxygen, caring for neonates in incubators and administration of medications;
  • receive regular feedback and support from clinical facilitators and educators, and have the opportunity to be individually assessed.
Course structure

This course includes three components:

  1. 1. Theoretical learning modules (self-directed)
    • Introduction to neonatal care
    • Family centred and developmental care
    • Neonatal pain and analgesia
    • Neonatal vascular access (part one)
  1. 2. Three-day orientation
    • Orientation dates will depend on the completion of the theoretical modules and will be discussed with each participant, one-on-one.
  1. 3. 120 hours of clinical placement
    • Clinical placement will be accommodated in Mater Mothers' Hospital Special Care Nursery's Transition to Home Unit in NCCU during a designated placement period. While shift times may be negotiable, start and finish dates are fixed.
Together, these components will allow participants to build upon their previous neonatal experience (and qualifications), and understanding of the requirements of a contemporary, current-day neonatal nurse, including professional practice, critical thinking and analysis, provision and coordination of care and collaborative and therapeutic practice.
Duration and dates

This program will take approximately ten weeks to complete, and will be available during:

  • November – January
  • April – June
  • September – December
Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this program, you will receive a Certificate of Completion to determine that you are able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Standards for practice 2016.
  • Perform holistic family-centred care in an acute care clinical setting.
  • Demonstrate safe practice in medication administration by a variety of routes.
  • Participate in nursing inquiry/evidence-based research to make informed clinical decisions.
  • Identify the value of diversity and cultural safety within the healthcare workplace.


Payment plans may be available and can be discussed on acceptance of the placement.

To be eligible to pass the program, the applicant must satisfactorily complete all the requirements, including:

  • Competency assessments
  • Theoretical modules
  • Reflective practice
  • Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool (ANSAT)
Employment outcomes

Following successful completion of the course, participants will be able to apply for vacancies (as applicable) available within the SCN's Transition to Home Unit areas, and the casual pool roster.

Application process

This program is open to eligible RNs and ENs registered in Australia who have been out of the workforce for five years or less.

To apply, complete the application form below.

All applicants will be screened via an interview process and will be required to submit and/or complete the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae showing evidence of previous clinical practice
  • Evidence of 12 months (minimum) post graduate nursing experience in NCCU or SCN
  • National Australian Federal Police Check: Health workers and students must comply with Employment Screening using Criminal Record Checks Policy Directive PD2005_552
  • Immunisation records
  • Identification with current photo (drivers licence or passport)
Who should attend
The course is designed for Registered Nurses, Midwives and Enrolled Nurses who:
  • have at least one year neonatal nursing experience in a special care nursery
  • hold general registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and
  • meet the Recency of Practice Registration Standard of three (3) months practice in the last five years.
Click to view the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia's assessment framework for re-entry to practice

Apply for upcoming dates

Due to the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Professional Development and Community Education courses held after Monday 6 April will no longer be going ahead and we plan to reassess the availability of these courses from June 2020. We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause. 

Currently no sessions are available for this course.

Please contact us to find out about upcoming sessions for this course.