Foundations of Nursing

Subject NURS90066 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures/tutorials/seminars, 12 hours experiential/simulated learning sessions
Total Time Commitment:

In addition, students are expected to devote approximately 6 hours self-directed study per week to this subject throughout the semester

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 13MELB
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the historical foundations and broad frameworks which shape the scope and dimensions of nursing. It takes a lifespan approach to key areas of practice, including child and adolescent health, aged care and mental health. Regulatory, legal and ethical frameworks that guide professional practice are examined. International, national and local politico-legal and economic factors that impact on the healthcare system and the sustainable provision of health services within in-patient and community settings are explored. Population health, health promotion and health literacy are considered within the National Health Priorities. Principles of cultural diversity and safety are explored. Emphasis is also given to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Using experiential learning, students will develop general interaction and therapeutic communicaion skills that enable them to perform nursing assessments and engage in supportive interventions that demonstrate cultural competence and are appropriate to patient/client emotions, cues and educational needs. Students will gain an understanding of human development across the lifespan, theories of coping and adaptation, therapeutic relationships, and patient and carer perspectives. Throughout, students are encourged to explore and reflect upon their own values and beliefs about health and illness.


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

  • begin to appreciate the complex interaction between the multiple factors and current global and local contexts that influence nursing practice;
  • understand ethical and legal boundaries of nursing practice;
  • discuss the role of the registered nurse in terms of regulatory frameworks for practice;
  • understand environmental and socioeconomic issues that promote or impede the delivery of sustainable health care services;
  • explain some ways in which National Health Priorities are being addressed through health promotion and health literacy strategies;
  • identify common physical and mental health issues that occur among children and adolescents, older adults, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and vulnerable populations;
  • demonstrate beginning skills in professional communication, including an understanding of professional boundaries and self-awareness;
  • understand the relationship of developmental theories and concepts to health across the lifespan;
  • explore the concepts of health promotion, health literacy, early detection and early intervention in relation to health and illness;
  • understand the importance of cultural safety/sensitivity in negotiating healthcare strategies that achieve outcomes endorsed by the recipient of health care interventions;
  • discuss patient education within the context of global trends toward self-care for individuals with acute and chronic illness.
  • 1500 word written assignment - due Week 6 (30%)
  • 1 hour on-line timed quiz, equivalent to 1000 words - Exam period (30%)
  • 2000 word written asssignemtn (Case Study) - due Week 12 (40%)
Prescribed Texts:

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

Eckermann, A., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R.,& Johnson, S. (2006). Binan Goonj; bridging cultures in Aboriginal health (2nd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Edward, K., Munro, I., Robins, A., & Welch, A. (2011) Mental health nursing: Dimensions of

praxis. Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Forrester, K. & Griffiths, D. (2009). Essentials of law for health professionals (3 rd ed.). Sydney: Mosby.

Johnstone, M. J. (2008). Bioethics a nursing perspective. (5 th ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Australia.

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

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

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Nursing Science

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