Decision Making in Advanced Practice

Subject 514-722 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Mixed distance education and on-campus delivery

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 hours on-campus lectures and tutorials plus weekly on-line participation.
Total Time Commitment: Students are expected to devote approximately 6-10 hours per week to this subject
Prerequisites: n/a
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Jill Stow
Subject Overview:

This subject is structured around three interconnected areas that relate to informed decision making for improving health outcomes and encouraging healthy behaviours: decision making by health care providers, decision making by health care recipients and knowledge transfer between providers and recipients in the form of health education. The subject introduces students to principles of clinical decision making and diagnostic reasoning that underpin advanced practice. It articulates with other advanced practice subjects by considering the basis for clinical judgments and fosters the development of reflective processes as a means of personal and professional growth. Health belief models, life cycle stages and other determinants of decisions relating to health and illness are examined. The contextual and developmental influences on decision making are explored and particular attention is paid to the influence of education on decision making processes for both health service providers and recipients. A variety of learning experiences are provided to assist students to understand and contextualise the relationships between teaching, learning, health decision making, life cycle stages, cultural diversity and values. Students apply this knowledge to develop health education materials and health promotion strategies relevant to their own area of specialty for patients across the lifespan.

Assessment: Student led on-line reflective exercise: 20% (between week 4 and week 12 of Semester)Oral presentation of 10 minutes equivalent to 1000 words: 30% (due mid semester)Written assignment of 3,000 words: 50% (due end of semester)Hurdle requirement: Completion of activities and participation in 80% of on-line discussion forums.
Prescribed Texts: n/a
Recommended Texts:

Recommended texts are identified during the first week of semester

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject students should have developed the ability to apply the generic skills of the Melbourne graduate and postgraduate to support advanced nursing practice by demonstrating:

  • The capacity to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature relating to decision making and apply this to reflect upon and enhance clinical judgments as an advanced practice nurse;
  • An awareness of the educative responsibility inherent to role extensions in advanced practice nursing;
  • The capacity to identify how health belief models, life cycle stages, educational preparation and other contextual determinants influence decision making for both health service providers and health care recipients;
  • An awareness and appreciation of social and cultural diversity in healthcare and the influence this has upon health decision making and knowledge transfer for specific health care recipients and specific areas of advanced practice nursing;
  • The capacity to identify the value of health information to the wider community and to incorporate knowledge of health decision making to develop flexible modes of transfer of this knowledge to specific health care recipients and specific areas of advanced practice nursing;
  • Provide leadership in health promotion for specific health care recipients and specific areas of advanced practice nursing to promote consumer participation in care delivery
  • The capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between teaching, learning and health decision making in advanced practice nursing in oral and written presentations;
  • The capacity and confidence to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team-member, while respecting individual differences.
Links to further information:

Special computer requirements: This subject has a distance education component, taught entirely over the Internet. Students must have access to appropriate computer facilities and the Internet. The minimum computer hardware and software specifications for the subject are consistent with the University's guidelines on the expected standard of computer equipment (


Pentium PC or equivalent 500MHZ

Windows 98

Sound card

16 bit video


10GB hard disk


Any word-processing program

A web-browser program, either Netscape (version 4.7 or later) or Internet Explorer (version 6.0 or later).

Special computer skills required (if applicable):

No special computer skills are required. Students are required to have skills consistent with the University's Statement of "Basic Expectations of Student Computer Skills" : which includes basic knowledge of computer operating systems, word-processing skills, email use, and the internet. Specifically students need to be able to write, edit and save an essay on the computer and be competent in the use of standard WWW browsers and should be able to use information searching techniques.

Resources provided to distance students (applicable only to distance education subjects)

Students will also have access to a range of online resources such as full-text academic journal articles, search engines and databases through the University library.

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