Mental health nursing

The Mental Health Nursing Workforce Strategy 2020–2030 delivers a new narrative for nurses working in mental health within the South Australian context - now and in the future. It provides a blueprint for shaping a compassionate, caring, confident, capable and committed mental health nursing workforce in which everyone matters – every minute, every shift, every day, nurses make a difference.

The SA Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer and the Nursing and Midwifery Office have partnered with industry experts and leads to co-design new and innovative approaches to deliver mental health nursing education, including an accelerated pathway into post-graduate mental health nursing qualification. The accelerated Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing provides a new and flexible approach to deliver specialist mental health nursing education in South Australia.


The program provides Registered Nurses with the knowledge and practical skills needed to engage with, assess, and care for people experiencing mental health problems and mental illness.


The accelerated program consists of a two staged approach across 26 weeks.

  • Stage 1 - can be undertaken as a stand-alone 12 week program. Nurses can choose to exit at this point and be granted a Professional Certificate in Specialist Mental Health Nursing Practice.
  • Stage 2 - continue to complete a further 14 week program and on successful completion of the two stages nurses will be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing qualification.

Key dates

Applications opened in August 2020 for study to be undertaken in 2021.

How to apply

To apply for the program, you are required to submit your application via the UniSA website.

Further information

If you’re interested in an exciting and dynamic career in Mental Health Nursing or want more information, you may find the following websites helpful: