Credit points


Campus offering

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  • Term Mode
  • ACU Term 2Online Unscheduled
  • ACU Term 4Online Unscheduled

Unit rationale, description and aim

As healthcare environments becomes more complex and dynamic, it is important that multidisciplinary team members work in a collaborative and professional manner to safely care for patients with complex health issues. The person-centred care model prioritises involvement of a care team approach that includes health care professionals, the patient, and their immediate family. In order to ensure care provision and patient advocacy that is representative of the patient’s needs, it is important that nurses working in specialty areas have a range of knowledge and skills that are evidence-based and underpinned by ethical practice.

In this unit, students will explore the significance of inter-professional communication, teamwork and shared decision making in relation to the specialist nursing role. Underpinning the concept of person- centred family care is the need for specialist nurses to demonstrate knowledge and skills in critical appraisal, evaluation of evidence and culturally safe practices, to optimise care outcomes for all patients.

The aim of this unit is for students to analyse, evaluate and demonstrate knowledge and skills for safe person-centred family care that is relevant to their area of specialty practice.

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 significance of specialist nursing knowledge and skills, inter-professional communication and teamwork in specialty settingsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of shared clinical decision making within specialty settingsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO3Apply and evaluate specialist clinical knowledge and skills in relation to variations in the health status of patients within specialty settings, which reflects culturally safe practice and person-centred careGC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC9, GC11


Topics will include:

  • Ethical practice in the specialty setting:
  • Ethical decision making and practice
  • Consent
  • Health professionals’ practice standards
  • Health professionals’ codes of professional conduct
  • Health professionals’ codes of ethical conduct.
  • Role of the family in the specialty context
  • Needs of the family
  • Expectations of family
  • Family assessment
  • Concluding relationships
  • Family-centred health promotion
  • The role of the nurse in the specialty context:            
  • The roles performed by health professionals
  • The continuum of care requirements for persons receiving care
  • Cultural competence
  • Person and family centred care
  • Prioritising and planning care
  • Evaluating care
  • Physiology of the Immune System & Physiology of Cancer
  • The immune system
  • Pathophysiology and pathobiology of Cancer
  • Cell biology
  • Oncogenesis
  • Clinical Decision-Making in the specialty
  • Evaluation of evidence for practice
  • The impact of clinical decision making on health outcomes
  • 5 As of EBP
  • Principles of interprofessional communication:
  • Interprofessional relationships and collaboration
  • Information and communications technologies
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Evidence based approaches to care
  • Critical appraisal of evidence
  • Health promotion in the specialty
  • Concept of health
  • Global charters for health
  • Functional models of health promotion
  • Empowerment

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in online mode and uses an active and collaborative learning approach to support students to explore the relationship between patient outcomes and inter-professional teamwork, communication, decision making and person-centred care, in their specialty practice area. In constructing specialist nursing knowledge and skill, students will have the opportunity to analyse and critically evaluate care strategies for providing culturally safe, evidence-based and ethical nursing care within a healthcare setting.

The active and collaborative learning approach applied in this unit is flexible and inclusive. Students will engage in readings and reflections, e-Learning activities and have the opportunity to collaborate with peers in an online environment. This can involve, but is not limited to, online discussion forums, chat rooms, guided reading and webinar sessions. Students are required to complete online activities and assessments to demonstrate the application of knowledge.

Through an online learning platform, students will have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of delivering person-centred family care within dynamic healthcare environments and specialty practice areas. Online learning in this unit will be supported by the provision of opportunities for students to attend online webinar sessions that allow synchronous exchange of information and facilitate responses to queries generated by students in relation to unit content. For those unable to participate in synchronous webinar sessions, recordings will be available.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, a minimum combined total grade of all assessment tasks of 50% is required to pass this unit.

The assessment strategy used in this unit encourages the progressive development of specialist nursing knowledge and skills necessary for the student to be able to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary team to care for clients in the specialty health setting. In order to become an effective specialist nurse, the student must first develop comprehensive understanding of the specialist nursing role, inter-professional communication and teamwork. Shared decision-making is a key element of effective inter-professional teams, and this is further developed and assessed.

In real world practice, it is a requirement that the registered nurse has the ability to deliver high quality and culturally safe care and understand the theoretical underpinnings which direct these actions. This requirement exists because all registered nurses are accountable for their actions and poor choices may have severe adverse health consequences for patients and/or communities.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes


Enables students to engage with the core module content to analyse the specialist nursing role, inter-professional communication and teamwork.


LO1, LO2

Care Plan Report

Enables students to apply learned knowledge and demonstrate critical thinking skills, analysis and synthesis of evidence to develop and implement a comprehensive and holistic care plan for a patient that is reflective of culturally safe, person and family-centred care.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Within each learning module, students will find links to various chapters from the following texts. Most

of these books are available as eBooks accessible through the ACU library.

Arnold, E., & Boggs, K. U. (2019). Interpersonal relationships: professional communication skills for nurses (8th ed.). Saunders.

Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2019). Principles of biomedical ethics (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Bryant, B., & Knights, K. (2019). Pharmacology for health professionals (6th ed.). Elsevier.

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

Calleja, P., Theobald, K., & Harvey, T. (2020). Este’s Health assessment and physical examination (Australian and New Zealand 3rd ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Craft, J., Gordon, C. J., Huether, S. E., McCance, K. L., Brashers, V. L., & Rote, N. S. (2019). Understanding pathophysiology (3e, Australian and New Zealand edition). Elsevier.!/browse/book/3-s2.0-C20160032503

Greenhalgh, T. M., Bidwell, J., Crisp, E., Lambros, A., & Warland, J. (2019). Understanding research methods for evidence-based practice in health (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Del Mar, C. (2017). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (3rd ed.). Elsevier.

McCance, K. L., Huether, S.E., Brashers, V. L., & Rote, N. S. (Eds.), (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). Elsevier.

Taylor, K. (2019). Health care and Indigenous Australians: cultural safety in practice (3rd ed.). Macmillan International Higher Education: Red Globe Press.

Recommended specialty textbooks will be listed in Canvas.

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