Cancer and Palliative Care Nursing 1

Subject NURS90082 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in one of the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Cancer and Palliative Care). This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses. Please contact the School of Melbourne Custom Programs for more information.

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

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


Ms Catherine Pigott


The School of Melbourne Custom Programs

The University of Melbourne

T: +61 3 9810 3388


Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to promote development of foundational theoretical knowledge to support safe, patient centred practice as a beginning level specialty nurse in the clinical environment of Cancer & Palliative Care. Key content relates to understanding the pathophysiology of cancer and carcinogenesis, and the principles of cure, control, symptom management and palliation. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation will be described as core treatments and elements of a multi-modal approach. The physical and psychosocial impacts of diagnosis and treatment on patients and their family are explored, as are opportunities to develop knowledge and skills to enhance the experience of survivors. Essential skills to support people
affected by a life threatening illness, as well as the ethico-legal aspects of care will be explored. Emphasis is placed on health assessment; implementing and evaluating patient-centred care through the delivery of evidence based nursing interventions across the disease trajectory. Throughout the subject knowledge and skills in therapeutic communication are embedded. Interventions initiated by nurses at a beginning level of specialty practice will be described in terms of evidence available to underpin practice and the pre-requisite technical knowledge to support skill development.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge in specialist cancer and palliative care nursing by:
1. Integrating core principles covered in this subject and its pre-requisite, Applied Pathophysiology, to establish a foundational knowledge of the impact of treatment on the disease trajectory and management of the person affected by cancer.
2. Incorporating knowledge learnt in the subject to recognise and plan an evidence based intervention for patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of cancer or palliative care;
3. Demonstrating the capacity to problem-solve, think critically and promote rational inquiry when provided with a clinical scenario ;
4. Demonstrating skills in communication and reflective practice as it applies to the cancer and/or palliative context.
5. Identifying the role of resilience, effective communication and patient and family education on the outcomes of care.


Written assignment (1000 words) Week 5 - 20%
Written assignment (2000 words) Week 10 - 30%
4 Closed Book tests (Weeks 4, 7, 9, 12) - 50%

Prescribed Texts: None
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 graduate coursework student:
1. The capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in written modes of communication;
2. The capacity to manage competing demands on time.
3. The capacity to consider local, national and international community issues as they relate to health professionals;
4. Skills to identify and review evidence as it relates to problem solving in clinical practice

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Cancer and Palliative Care)

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