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Unit rationale, description and aim

Within the discipline of nursing, safe practice is paramount. Through critical reasoning, reflection and life long learning, unit NRSG138 introduces students to transitioning into the nursing discipline.

As the nursing profession is a discrete discipline, graduates entering this profession require a thorough understanding of the activities that they will be required to perform and the scope under which they will practice. The transition into nursing unit is required by students to embed fundamental knowledge around what it is to be a nurse, the professional governance and health care laws under which nurses practice, and the skills a nurse needs to perform their duties with a person-centered focus.

Safe and effective nursing care is based on acquiring sound evidence-based knowledge, and using that knowledge to promote, plan, implement and evaluate care to meet each person’s specific health needs. Fundamental to being a nurse is to care, and this unit explores professional values and what caring means within the context of Catholic Social Teaching. The Model of nursing and the Clinical Reasoning Cycle and the concept of reflective practice will provide platforms to discuss the professional issues presented in the unit.

NRSG138 is a theoretical unit and introduces students to the Australian health care system and working collaboratively inter and intradisciplinary. This is a first year, first semester introductory unit and is linked with the integrated practice unit NRSG139. 

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to contemporary nursing concepts, and to inform your   understanding of the character of nursing within the context of the Australian healthcare system. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe the historical and contemporary role of nursing and how this role is both articulated within the current Australian healthcare system and within the regulatory frameworks which govern health care practiceGC1, GC9, GC11
LO2Discuss the roles and responsibilities of the registered nurse and other members of the interprofessional health care team to promote practice which is safe and of quality across a range of settingsGC1, GC6, GC9, GC11
LO3Demonstrate a beginning understanding of professional values inherent in the discipline of nursingGC1, GC2, GC6, GC9, GC11, GC12
LO4Explain the contribution of competent, holistic evidence-based health care to clinical reasoning and decision-making in nursing practice across the lifespanGC1, GC9, GC11
LO5Apply the models of nursing in planning care for diverse populations across a range of settingsGC1, GC6, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO6Apply the models of nursing to identify health care priorities, and initiation of health management and person-centred nursing careGC1, GC7, GC9, GC11

NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Registered Nurse Standards for Practice developed in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5

1, 2, 4, 5, 6 

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.7

3, 5, 6

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.2, 3.3, 3.7

2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3

4, 5, 6

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4

3, 4, 5, 6 

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.


4, 5, 6


Topics will include:

  • History of nursing
  • The Australian health system
  • Structure of health care system and health care settings
  • Public and private provision of health care in Australia
  • Nursing and interprofessional teams
  • Case management, models and continuum of care
  • National health priorities
  • National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards
  • Managing risks and promoting safety
  • Professional governance and health care law
  • Ahpra
  • NMBA Professional Standards, Guidelines and Frameworks
  • The Australian legal system
  • Regulating authorities and the courts
  • Ethical practices of beneficence and non-maleficence
  • Duty of care and negligence
  • Contemporary nursing
  • Unique role and function of nurses and nursing
  • Introduction to the concept of caring
  • Person centered care
  • Concepts of caring
  • Introduction to models of nursing
  • Person-centredness
  • Professional and therapeutic communication
  • Introduction to health promotion & education
  • Lifelong learning and continuing professional development

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include lectures, tutorials, online activities and self-directed study. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills relevant to professional nursing practice. In addition, this unit fosters student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. It includes a combination of self-paced, online learning and real-time classes. Early and additional feedback on learning, and tailored support, are provided to facilitate students’ transition to university. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers.  


Students entering university need significant support to transition into a learning and teaching environment where they are required to drive their own learning. To guide students in their learning, feedback is required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the first year of the program, this theory unit includes opportunities to assist students to link nursing theory with practice. Online lectures are utilised to convey content and its central principles while tutorials provide an opportunity to consolidate students’ understanding of content through collaboration and discussion. Tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions which include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish group-work and community learning skills. Online materials are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, self-directed, self-motivated, off-campus study.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment items consistent with University assessment requirements and policy will be used to ensure students achieve the unit learning outcomes and attain the graduate attributes.

The online quiz is required to provide early formative feedback for the student as they are commencing their university studies around the role and responsibilities of the nurse. The written essay is designed to encourage the development of academic research and writing skills. Engagement with ACU study supports are built into the design of the assessment to promote student success. Using the feedback from this second assessment, students have the opportunity to further develop writing skills in assessment three. The third assessment enables students to demonstrate their understanding of key theories and concepts of nursing practice and develop academic research and writing skills. The scaffolding of the three assessment tasks is designed to promote acquisition of professional written communication skills which is a necessary skill for registered nurses

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this programme, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective nurse. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Online Quiz

Enables students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role and responsibilities of the nurse. 


LO1, LO2

Written Essay

Enables students to develop written communication skills required for all nursing interactions and demonstrate a developing understanding of the role and responsibilities of the nurse within the Australian Health Care Context.  


LO2, LO3

Case Study

Enables students to apply unit concepts to a case study.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

Representative texts and references

Daly, J., Speedy, S. & Jackson, D. (2017) Contexts of Nursing (5th Ed.). Elsevier

Fedoruk, M., & Hofmeyer, A. (2014). Becoming a nurse: Making the transition to practice (2nd Ed.). Oxford University Press.

Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2020). Jarvis’s physical examination and health assessment (3rd ed.). Elsevier

Holland, K., Jenkins, J., Solomon, J., & Whittam, S. (2019). Applying the Roper-Logan-Tierney Model in practice-E-Book. Elsevier. 

Levett-Jones, T. (2017). Clinical Reasoning: Learning to think like a nurse. Pearson.

O’Toole, G. (2020). Communication: Core Interpersonal Skills for Health Professionals. (4th ed.). Elsevier

Willis, E., Reynolds, L., & Rudge, T. (Eds). (2019). Understanding the Australian health care system (4th ed.). Elsevier Australia

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