Foundations in Acute & Critical Care 2

Subject NURS90005 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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

On-campus and Field Practice

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours on-campus lectures and 6 hours online tutorials. Field practice component of a minimum of 300 hours
Total Time Commitment: In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 9 hours a week to this subject. Students can anticipate a time commitment of approximately 24 hours per week concurrent field practice.

NBV Registration (Unrestricted)

Students must be employed at an affiliated clinical agency and provide documentation of clinical support arrangements necessary to undertake the professional practice portfolio prior to enrolment.

A pass in the following subject prior to enrolment:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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 think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9401
F: +61 3 9347 4375

Subject Overview: This subject is designed to consolidate and extend the integration of theoretical and practical aspects of specialty nursing for the beginning acute and critical care nurse. It builds on the knowledge and skills learnt in Foundations in Acute & Critical Care 1 and expands the student's knowledge with regard to the range of patients, the complexity of disease processes, treatments (including pharmacology), symptom management, and subsequent nursing assessments, interventions and supporting technical skills relevant to individual critical care practice settings.

There is a continued emphasis on scientific principles and research evidence underpinning specialty nursing practice and further developing beginning skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to solve patient management problems encountered in specific critical care environments.

Students engage in field practice in specific critical care environments to address learning objectives that focus on relating assessment data to the underlying physiological and pathophysiological processes; differentiating the intended and unintended outcomes of therapeutic interventions; applying theoretical knowledge to technical skill development and evaluating the practice of caring for patients across the lifespan who are acutely and/or critically ill.

Objectives: Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their beginning specialty nursing practice through:
  • integration of the theoretical content covered within the subject to develop new knowledge that supports safe practice as a beginning specialty nurse in acute and critical care;
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and skills learnt in the subject to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of acute and critical care;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for participating in the delivery of care at the beginning level of acute and critical care nursing practice;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply knowledge learnt in the theoretical component of the subject to beginning level acute and critical care nursing practice.;
  • an understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to the specialist area.
Assessment: Theoretical Component 60%

1. Written assignment of 2000 words (25%) - due week 6

2. Closed book, 3 hour written examination (35%) - at the end of semester

Clinical Component 40%

3. A professional practice portfolio which must include evidence of clinical competency achievement and is equivalent to 3,000 words (40%) - due by the end of semester

Students must achieve a pass in both the theoretical and clinical component in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts: A list of recommended texts will be supplied to students on enrolment in the subject.
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 following generic skills of the Melbourne graduate and postgraduate coursework student:

  • a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written modes of communication;
  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
Links to further information:

This subject has a multi-media tutorial component delivered via the University's on-line Learning Management System (LMS). Students must have access to appropriate computer facilities and the Internet.

Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Critical Care)
Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Emergency)
Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Rural Critical Care)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Emergency Theory)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Critical Care)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Emergency)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Paediatric Critical Care)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Rural Critical Care)

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