Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Australian health system and the scope of nursing practice differ considerably from the rest of the world. This unit is designed for students from overseas who have been awarded significant advanced standing and/or are entering directly into the second year of the Bachelor of Nursing program. This unit will provide foundational knowledge and skills for sourcing, appraising and reflecting on literature and information sources used in the health care environment. Students will build on their clinical and communication skills to ensure safe and ethical practice, whilst recognising the importance of caring for people of different values, beliefs and cultures within the Australian health care system. The principles underpinning community engagement will also be explored.

The aim of this unit is to assist students to understand contemporary nursing practice in Australia and to prepare them for clinical practicum in Australian health care settings.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically reflect on nursing practice in Australia and the NMBA registered nurse standards for practice (GA5)

LO2 - Demonstrate foundational level skills in accessing, appreciating and applying evidence from a range of sources to inform health practice (GA4, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Demonstrate developing skills in assessment of physical, psychosocial, and cognitive health across the lifespan (GA1, GA9)

LO4 - Apply the clinical reasoning cycle to the care of individuals or groups utilising a sound knowledge of pathophysiology (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO5 - Demonstrate effective communication capabilities when undertaking patient care and/or clinical responsibilities (GA9, GA10)

LO6 - Practice principles of quality and safety, quality use of medicines and caring when undertaking patient care and/or performing clinical responsibilities (GA1)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

NMBA 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

1, 2, 3, 4, 6 

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9

3, 4, 5

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7

1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.2, 5.3

1, 2, 3, 4 

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.

6.1, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Topics will include:

  •  Australian health care system
  • Health care settings, services and providers
  •  Professional Nursing Standards
  • Codes of Practice
  • NMBA registered nurse standards for practice
  • The role of the nurse and scope of practice
  • 4 A’s of research (awareness, appreciation, application, ability) and their relevance to evidence-based-practice:
  • Awareness: Reflecting, analysing and problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Clinical judgement (technical and situation based judgement)
  • What is appropriate evidence
  • Appreciation: How to judge the appropriateness of evidence.
  • Types of knowledge, their development and application
  • The evidence hierarchies and using them to rank evidence
  • Application: using evidence in clinical practice.
  • How evidence is used in clinical practice
  • Ability
  • Assessment and nursing
  • Assessment toolbox
  • Awareness of pain
  • Introduction to assessment and nursing assessment
  • Nursing needs assessment
  • Roper, Logan and Tierney model
  • Science underpinning basic assessment
  • Thermoregulation
  • Urinalysis
  • Vital signs
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Introduction to critical thinking
  • Reflective thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Studying in Australia
  • Patient-nurse interactions
  • Assertive communication skills
  • Data collection and documentation
  • Understanding the needs of a culturally diverse population
  • Working collaboratively, multidisciplinary and multisectorially
  • Providing culturally appropriately care
  • Principles of community engagement in healthcare
  •  Infection control and hygiene
  • Hand washing
  • Sepsis
  • Standard and additional precautions
  •  Basic O2 delivery
  •  QUM
  • Medications (oral/sc/ophthalmic/topical)
  • Introduction to QUM including drug calculations (SC and IMI)
  •  Documentation
  • Legal requirements
  • Clinical documentation
  • Clinical safety
  • Safe nursing practice including personal safety
  • Maintaining a safe environment
  • Emergency code identification system (for all codes)
  • Medical emergencies and the role of the medical emergency team

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit requires students to undertake 150 hours of focused learning to achieve the unit learning outcomes. Learning associated with this unit incorporates face-to-face teaching activities (including, intensive practical laboratories, simulations and clinical placement), online activities (including lectures/resource sessions, discussion forums/tutorials), preparation and generation of assessment items and self-directed study over a 12 week period. 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 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 face-to-face teaching hours and a directed online component to introduce students to managing their study off-campus. Online lectures/resource sessions are utilised to convey content and its central principles while on-line discussion forums/tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions which include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish collaboration with peers and learn community skills. Online materials and forums are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, directed, self-motivated 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. Competence whilst on clinical placement will be assessed through the Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool (ANSAT).

In real world practice it is a requirement that the registered nurse have the ability to complete medication calculations with no errors. This requirement exists because errors in the calculations of drug dosages can have severe adverse health consequences for patients. The oral assessment ensures sound communication skills which are required for all interactions as a health care professional; it assesses an understanding of the Australian health care system and professional nursing standards – information which directs future practice as a health care professional. This unit includes a mandatory pass on the Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool (ANSAT) assessment of your clinical placement because in nursing, your professional competence is a necessary job requirement. Passing the skills portfolio to a passing standard is also mandatory. The skills portfolio will help with your employment as well as your continuing professional development which is an ongoing requirement for registration as a Registered Nurse. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Online Quiz

Enables students to demonstrate developing knowledge in unit content 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Oral Assessment

Enables students to demonstrate sound communication skills and their knowledge of the Australian healthcare system. 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9


Professional placement experience



LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Written Examination

Enables students to demonstrate their learning of unit content.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Brown, D., Edwards, H., Seaton, L., & Buckley, T. (2015). Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems (4th ed.).Chatswood, N.S.W.: Mosby/Elsevier Australia.

Brotto, V., & Rafferty, K. (2016). Clinical dosage calculations for Australia and New Zealand (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning.

Crisp, J., Taylor, C., Douglas, C., & Rebeiro, G. (2016). Potter & Perry’s fundamentals of nursing (5th ed.). Sydney, N.S.W.: Mosby/ Elsevier Australia. 

Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2016). Jarvis’s physical examination and health assessment (2nd Australian and New Zealand ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W.: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Holland, K., Jenkins, J., Solomon, J., & Whittam, S. (2008). Applying the Roper-Logan-Tierney Model in practice, London: Churchill Livingston. (2017 edition will replace this).

Levett-Jones, T. (2013) Clinical reasoning: Learning to think like a nurse, Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Rebeiro, G., Jack, L., Scully, N., & Wilson, D. (2016). Fundamentals of nursing clinical skills workbook (3rd ed.). Sydney, N.S.W.: Mosby/ Elsevier Australia.

Willis, E., Reynolds, L., & Keleher, H. (Eds). (2012). Understanding the Australian health care system (2nd ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W :Elsevier Australia.

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