Nursing as Practice

Subject NURS90055 (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:

July, 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 42 lectures/tutorials/seminars, 12 clinical laboratory sessions, 168 clinical practicum, TOTAL: 222 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Approximately 256 hours
Students are expected to devote approximately 12 hours a week to this subject and a further 24 hours per week for seven weeks during clinical practicum.

Prerequisites: A pass in the following subjects prior to enrolment:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 1
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: This subject requires students to actively and safely contribute to clinical activities. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Nursing Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Marie Gerdtz


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 is a capstone subject in which students will further consolidate and apply the knowledge they have acquired from Nursing Science 1, 2 & 3, Nursing Assessment and Care, Clients With Acute and Chronic Illness, Clients with Complex Health States and case-based learning scenarios which feature complex patient health problems.

In the clinical skills laboratory students will refine and consolidate their procedural skills utilising a self-directed learning approach. Emphasis will also be placed on performing such skills in a time-efficient manner.

In the clinical practicum, under the guidance of clinical educators and preceptors, students focus on the transition from nursing student to registered nurse with the goal of achieving readiness to practice as a beginning registered nurse.

The major focus for the clinical practicum component of this subject is to further build the student’s knowledge and skills of the assessment and management of patients experiencing specific health problems and to develop an understanding of the accountability requirements of the registered nurse. On completion of the subject it is expected that students is able to carry the expected load of a new graduate by caring for 4 patients independently with minimal supervision.


At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • understand the dimensions of the nursing role in the context of providing complex nursing care in a variety of settings;
  • understand key concepts in the assessment and care of complex patients;
  • further develop physical, psychosocial, contextual and learning needs and assessment skills;
  • further develop clinical reasoning, problem framing and solving skills;
  • contribute to planning care for patients incorporating the principles of cultural sensitivity and understanding and an evidence based approach;
  • communicate effectively with patients/families, peers and members of the health care team;
  • accurately and professionally document assessment findings and therapeutic interventions;
  • understand legal requirements for nursing interventions;
  • demonstrate competency in the calculation, preparation and administration of drugs;
  • further develop knowledge of pharmacological management pertinent to patient care;
  • apply the skills of information seeking, retrieval, evaluation critical thinking and problem solving to selected case scenarios.

Theoretical Component 80%
a) 2,000 PBL x 2 Case Studies 40%
b) 2 x LMS simulation exercises ~ 1500 words each 40%

Clinical Component 20%
a) Clinical Practicum Performance Assessment 20%

Hurdle Component
a) 15 minute drug calculation test

Students must pass the theoretical, clinical & hurdle components to achieve a pass in the subject

Prescribed Texts:

Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. Australian and New Zealand Edition (5th ed.). (2005)

Perrin, R. (2009). Pocket guide to APA style (3rd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin College.

Education Innovations. (2005). Nursing Calculations (Version 6.0.0). ( General Relativity Pty Ltd, CD-ROM 2005 release).

Bullock, S., Manias, E., & Galbraith, A. (2007). Fundamentals of pharmacology (5th ed.). Australia: Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education.

Crisp, J. & Taylor, C. (2009). Potter and Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing (3rd ed.). Chatswod, NSW: Elsevier Australia.

Lim, A. (ED). (2008). Australia New Zealand Nursing & Midwifery drug handwbook (4th ed.). Broadway, NSW: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Elder, R., Evans, K., & Nizette, D. (2009). Psychiatric and mental health nursing (2nd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Mosby

Brown, D., & Edwards, H. (2008). Lewis’ medical-surgical nursing (2nd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Mosby.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • the capacity for information seeking, retrieval and evaluation;
  • critical thinking and analytical skills;
  • an openness to new ideas;
  • cultural sensitivity;
  • planning and time management skills;
  • the ability to work effectively in a team;
  • the ability to communicate knowledge through classroom and web-based discussions and written material.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Nursing Science

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