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  • Semester 1Online Scheduled


NRSG267 Integrating Practice 4

Unit rationale, description and aim

To transition effectively from a student nurse to a registered nurse is a complex and multidimensional process. In order to function effectively in the workforce, graduate registered nurses must have an underpinning knowledge of professional expectations and understand how to employ specific skills at an expected level.

An integral skillset for registered nurses in practice is the application of effective clinical reasoning.The key issues addressed in this unit relate to knowledge and strategies in the areas of teamwork, clinical decision making, critical thinking, advocacy and responding to change in the healthcare environment. In addition, this unit will assist students with their ongoing development of theoretical knowledge underpinning provision of nursing care for the person, family and significant others who are experiencing acute deterioration of health. Key principles that underpin best practice will be demonstrated by the use of evidence-based case studies. The nurse’s role in the provision of care for the person experiencing an acute clinical deterioration will be explored. The content contained within this unit is instrumental in informing nursing students’ future clinical practice across a variety of settings.

Effective clinical reasoning is a hallmark of registered nurse practice in all clinical environments. Registered nurses use methodical and consistent thought processes to; consider the specific aspects of each presenting situation, determine what cues and further information is required, process the information to identify problems, establish goals and determine course of action, evaluate outcomes and reflect on new learning. To achieve effective clinical reasoning communication with patients, family and the members of the nursing and interdisciplinary health team is essential.

The aim of this unit is to extend and consolidate concepts from both theory and nursing practice units assist students to understand the full context of their professional role and successfully transition to being a registered nurse.

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 Description
LO1Demonstrate the acquisition and synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes required by a registered nurse in the context of care for individuals experiencing an acute deterioration of health
LO2Implement clinical reasoning and critical thinking to plan safe, evidence-based, culturally sensitive, person-centred nursing care for a person experiencing an acute deterioration of health, across the life span and in a range of settings
LO3Critically apply evidence-based practice to the principles of teamwork, delegation and self-management when planning, implementing and evaluating patient care and/or clinical responsibilities for a person experiencing an acute deterioration of health
LO4Apply ethical, legal, cultural and professional principles to the construct of role transition from student to registered nurse at a third year undergraduate level
LO5Appraise strategies to promote resilience and build capacity during the period of role transition from student to registered nurse
LO6Evaluate the role and responsibilities of being a registered nurse to practice safely and efficiently and contribute to opportunities to improve Australian healthcare practice

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, 1.6, 1.7

LO1, LO2, LO3

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7

LO3, LO4, LO6

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7

LO1, LO5, LO6

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

LO1, LO2, LO3

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.3

LO2, LO3

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.


LO2, LO3, LO6

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

LO2, LO3


Topics will include:

Managing approaches to nursing practice in the context of the deteriorating patient

  • Person- and family-centered care
  • Biopsychosocial, spiritual and cultural considerations for the individual
  • Therapeutic communication with person and significant others
  • Time management
  • Prioritisation of care

Review of underpinning pathophysiology of

  • Inflammatory processes
  • Respiratory function
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Mental Health
  • Stress diathesis

Recognition and clinical reasoning for the person with acute deterioration of:

  • Cardiac health
  • Respiratory health
  • Mental health
  • Escalation of care & Emergency Codes 
  • Interprofessional team
  • Patient and family escalation of concerns

Continuity of Care

  • Setting goals
  • Quality use of medicines
  • Discharge Planning
  • Documentation
  • Legal and ethical Issues

Student to graduate: developing a professional identity

  • Professional communication and collaboration in the interdisciplinary team
  • Systematic approaches to knowledge translation
  • Preparing for role transition
  • Resilience and building capacity in self
  • Engagement in the workforce: promoting wellbeing
  • Establishing and maintaining a professional identity
  • Reflective practice
  • Professional practice portfolios
  • Career progression
  • Mentorship and Networking
  • Delegation
  • Communication
  • Health and nursing informatics

Regulatory frameworks

  • National Standards for Quality and Safety
  • NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice, Codes & Guidelines
  • Organisational
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Organisational environment 



Case studies that explore the registered nurses management of the person with an acute deterioration of health across the lifespan will be explored.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will be provided as an online national unit. Modes of delivery in this unit include online lectures, virtual 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. 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 exiting university need significant life-long learning skills to deliver sound, ongoing, evidence-based graduate practice as a member of the professional workforce. To embed life-long learning skills students must demonstrate increasing reflective capacity to identify what is being done well and what requires additional work in progressing toward required learning outcomes. Located in the third year of the programme, this theory unit includes and an increased online component of self directed learning. Online lectures are utilised to convey content and central principles while virtual tutorials provide an opportunity to consolidate students’ understanding of content through collaboration and discussion. Tutorials deliver interactive and student driven learning sessions to extend the community of learners, increase self-reliance and critical reflection and debate. Online materials provide students with the opportunity to manage the significant component of directed, self-motivated study required for graduate practice and life-long learning skills.

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.

In third year students continue their transition towards independent learning. In this unit, there are three assessment items, therefore the importance of each item is higher in terms of achievement of unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes. The professional discourse engages third year students with the impending practice environment. They are required to critically reflect on how best to manage their transition into the health workforce and to consider available supports. The online discussion forum provides an opportunity for students to question what it is that assists the successful transition from student nurse to registered nurse. Using best evidence and critical reflection and appraisal, the students must consider the future graduate environment in which they will practice and the supports which will assist their transition.

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


This assessment will enable students to demonstrate underpinning knowledge of professional standards,  pathophysiology and medication administration.


LO1, LO2

Case Study

Enables students to apply learnings from unit content to demonstrate extended clinical reasoning to a case study.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4


This assessment enables students to critically analyse a scenario taken from practice, to appraise and evaluate the potential challenges for graduates transitioning to registered nurse practice in the context of Australian health care standards and professional nursing codes and standards.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

Representative texts and references

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). (2021). National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. (2nd ed).

Brown, D., Edwards, H., Buckley, S., Aitken, R. (2020). Lewis’s medical-surgical nursing. Assessment and management of clinical problems (5th. Ed). Elsevier.

Bullock, S. & Hales, M. (2019). Principles of pathophysiology (2nd ed.). Pearson.

Bullock, S., & Manias, E. (2017). Fundamentals of pharmacology. (8th ed.). Pearson. 

Chang, E., & Daly, J. (Eds.) (2020). Transitions in nursing: Preparing for professional practice (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (Eds.) (2017). Contexts of nursing (5th ed.). Elsevier Australia

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

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

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2019). Registered nurse standards for practice.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018).Code of conduct for nurses.

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