Newborn intensive care training

The Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care is committed to maintaining the Centre’s international reputation for providing training to doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

We are a NIDCAP training centre. If you would like information about our NIDCAP training program, email us.

For doctors

The Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care (GCNC) is accredited with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for advanced training in neonatal medicine. The unit cares for around 600 newborn infants each year with the either cardiac or surgical disorders or a constellation of complex medical problems that require multi-disciplinary care. There is an emphasis on developmental care, working in partnership with families and improving long term outcomes.

A clinical placement in the Grace Centre provides exposure to all facets of neonatal intensive care as well as the opportunity to engage with sub-specialty teams, attend regular education sessions and gain experience with research and quality improvement projects.

Provisional fellows who wish to spend a portion of their advanced training in neonatal medicine within Grace may apply via the NSW-wide collective recruitment process which is advertised annually via the NSW Health recruitment website.

Placement at individual units is made following interview and takes into account preferences of both the trainee and individual intensive care units.

Registrars employed by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and undertaking basic training, may be assigned to work within Grace as part of their rotation. Staff also have access to an extensive education program offered throughout the Network including the Diploma of Child Health.

The Grace Centre is committed to ongoing Professional Development and offers access to: 

  • a state-wide training day for advanced trainees
  • SIM Training – with access to state-of-the-art equipment to simulate 'real-time' incidences to facilitate learning in a safe environment
  • A career development and mentorship program where junior medical staff are assigned a supervisor for the duration of their placement on the unit
  • The opportunity to undertake a research or quality improvement project.

The University of Sydney Clinical School assigns placements within GCNC for medical students for short periods of one to two weeks. During these placements students become part of the ‘Grace’ team and participate in a wide variety of activities spanning both inpatient and outpatient care.

There are additional opportunities for medical students undertaking honors projects.

Details of the honors program can be obtained from the Clinical School.

Once familiar with the program, interested honors students are invited to contact either of Grace Centre’s medical co-heads (Prof. Nadia Badawi or Dr Robert Halliday) to discuss possible projects.

For nurses

Susan Ryan Neonatal Seminar – held on the first Friday every August, this Seminar offers an opportunity for participants to network, share and learn in a positive environment. Presentations about innovations in care and management of the surgical neonate are given by nurses, doctors and surgeons from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Extended Nursing Orientation Program – for newly employed nurses interested in a career in neonatal nursing and the surgical neonate. The program complements skill development as outlined in our Nursing Clinical Progression Ladder and includes observation days, support with an experienced nurse and a team of clinical nurse educators who will facilitate an individual program for the new employee including assessment and competency.

Leadership pathway program – offered for nursing staff wishing to progress their leadership skills and career in the Grace Centre.

Neonatal Nursing Speciality Transition Program  – a 12 month program designed for nurses new to the neonatal surgical setting. The course consists of clinical support work based learning activities, clinical progression opportunities and assessable components. Successful completion of this course also offers credits to University of Technology Sydney and University of Tasmania.

Advanced Neonatal Concepts Education Program – offered several times a year, this one-day program covers advanced treatment modalities relevant to the provision of nursing care to the critically ill neonate and their family.

PEDALO – a self-directed multimedia e-training package specifically designed for neonatal intensive care nurses with less than three years of clinical experience. The package consists of five modules designed to support and develop clinical judgement and critical thinking skills in the management of evolving clinical scenarios.

Nursing Study Days – several study days are offered for nurses on staff as well as external nurses addressing:

  • Surgical care – providing training in the optimal care of the baby with surgical needs
  • Developmental care – looking at the best way to care for families and babies in a holistic fashion
  • Premature care – providing training in evidence based care of the premature baby who has particular medical and nursing issues as compared with those babies born at term 

Research Fellowship – providing an opportunity for clinical neonatal nurses to expand their knowledge and interest in research.

Nursing Professional Development

We encourage nurses to upgrade their qualifications through post-graduate studies in neonatal nursing at various Universities. This is offered at Graduate Diploma, Masters and PhD levels. Information about Graduate Certificates in Neonatal Intensive Care can be viewed at:

Links to Speciality practice groups:

Find out more about the Grace Centre.