Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

In the nursing profession, it is a requirement that the nurse is able to link theory with practice and perform clinical duties which are underpinned by a theoretical understanding. To perform these skills well, the nurse must be able to reflect critically on their practice and appraise their performance to identify best practice moving forward. This unit is required by students to assist them to use theory to drive their clinical practice and to understand how practice is guided by a continual process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation - skills critical for the nurse to deliver best practice.

This unit provides opportunities for students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in lectures, laboratories and simulation. Foundational concepts such as critical thinking, clinical reasoning and clinical judgement will be introduced and practice skills will be developed and extended through scenario based learning in the laboratory.

The aim of this first 'Integrating Practice' unit is to provide the foundations on which clinical assessments are based, and model the way in which students will contextualize their theoretical knowledge through clinical 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.

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

LO1 - explain the difference between critical thinking, clinical reasoning and clinical judgement

LO2 - demonstrate developing skills in assessment of physical, psychosocial, and cognitive health across the lifespan (GA1, GA3, GA9)

LO3 - conduct nursing health assessment interviews at a beginning level (GA8)

LO4 - reflect on their learning to evaluate effective learning and self-care strategies for themselves and others (GA4, GA10)

LO5 - perform peer evaluation using effective communication skills (GA10) 

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

LO1, LO4, LO5 

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

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

LO2, LO3, LO5 

Maintains the capability for practice.

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

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

LO2, LO3, LO5

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1,5.2, 5.3

LO2, LO3, LO5

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.

6.1, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6

LO2, LO3, LO5

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

LO2, LO4, LO5


Topics will include:

  •  Person-centred practice
  • Introduction to person-centeredness and values
  • Applying the principles of person-centred thinking and person-centred planning
  • Actioning choice, privacy, individuality, independence and inclusion
  •  Professional & therapeutic communication
  • Therapeutic communication
  • Respectful professional communication
  • Professional boundaries & therapeutic use self-disclosure
  • Active Listening & Responding Skills - providing empathy, open & closed questioning, use of touch, use of silence
  • Introduction to health interviewing (introduction phase & working/middle phase & termination phase)
  • Initial Assessment Interview
  • Admission interview in a range of health care contexts
  • Documentation - principles of documentation, clinical files/electronic records/statutory requirements
  • Assessment, Provision, Coordination and Evaluation of Nursing Care
  • Developing an Assessment Toolbox - principles of Assessment
  • Introduction and application of the Roper, Logan and Tierney Model of Nursing and Levett Jones Clinical Reasoning Cycle
  • Developing an Assessment Toolbox - principles of Assessment
  • Introduction to assessment and nursing assessment
  • Physical Assessment techniques
  • Science underpinning basic assessment
  • Pain
  • Vital Signs
  • Thermoregulation
  • Introduction to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Hygiene
  • Elimination
  • Infection control
  • Hand washing
  • Standard and additional precautions
  • Introduction to screening assessments
  • Pressure area risk assessment
  • Falls Risk
  • Investigations and Diagnostics (e.g. Urinalysis, X-rays, Blood tests, specimens)
  •  Diversity and cultural competence
  • Introduction to diversity in healthcare
  • Introduction to cultural competence and safety
  •  Professional capabilities
  • Development of professional agency
  • Introduction to Peer review (giving and receiving constructive feedback)
  • Professional accountability and health care law (confidentiality/privacy/ scope of practice/social media/boundaries/respect)
  • Self-assessment and Reflective Practice
  • Developing resilience
  • Introduction to reflective practice
  • Models
  • Journalling
  • Portfolios
  •  Clinical leadership
  • Role of the beginning practitioner

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include lectures, laboratories, simulation, 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 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. Clinical simulation assists students to link theory with its application. Located in the first year of the course, this clinical unit includes significant face-to-face teaching hours to assist students in linking theory with practice. Lectures are utilised to convey content and central principles while laboratories and simulations deliver interactive learning sessions.

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 the nursing profession, it is a requirement that you are able to perform a patient assessment. This requirement exists because interventions in patient care are directed by the findings of patient assessments. This unit includes a reflection on the ANSAT Assessment of your clinical performance on subsequent Integrating Practice units will be undertaken with the ANSAT tool because in nursing, your professional competence is a necessary job requirement.

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 OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Clinical Skills Portfolio

Enables students to showcase their learning experiences in a professional manner


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA8, GA9


Enables students to undertake reflection, a critical skill to direct future practice, through self review and appraisal


LO1, LO4

GA4, GA10

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, communication skills and safe and effective implementation of foundational nursing skills and knowledge.


LO2, LO3, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Alfaro-LeFevre, R. (2017). Critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment: a practical approach (6th ed.). Sydney: Elsevier,

Bulman, C. & Schultz, S. (2013). Reflective Practice in Nursing (5th ed.). Chichester, Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Calleja, P., Estes, M., Theobald, K., & Harvey, T. (2020). Estes health assessment & physical examination (Third Australian and New Zealand ed., Health nursing series). South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: 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.

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

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

Tollefson, J., & Hillman, E. (2019). Clinical psychomotor skills (5-point bondy) : Assessment tools for nurses (7th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Australia.

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