Decision Making in Advanced Practice

Subject NURS70006 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, 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

2 day intensive and online

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 hours on-campus (2 day intensive) 24 hours online tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

Students are expected to devote approximately 15-18 hours per week to this subject.



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.


Dr Jill Stow


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 9035 4252
F: +61 3 8344 4188

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.


Following completion of this subject it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the factors influencing clinical decision making from the perspectives of health care providers and recipients;
  • Clearly articulate the principles of clinical decision making and diagnostic reasoning, as they relate to their area of nursing practice;
  • Use a health belief model to explore the complexity of factors affecting client/patient health and illness decision making;
  • Recognise the influence of error and bias when making decisions and discuss strategies to minimise these;
  • Discuss the concept of shared decision making and how it may be promoted in their area of clinical practice.
  • Student led tutorial activity = 2,000 words (20%) (Determined by Students)
  • Weekly on-line activities 6 x 250 word = 1800 words (20%) (weeks 3-9)
  • Assignment = 5000 words (60%) (week 12)

Total = 8,800 words

Prescribed Texts:


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:

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): Master of Advanced Nursing Practice

Download PDF version.