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NRSG140 Integrating Practice 2 AND NRSG258 Principles of Nursing Surgical AND NRSG263 Principles of Nursing Mental Health

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 enables students to draw on their previous learning in all subjects and integrate theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the course to date. Foundational nursing practice skills will be developed and extended through scenario based learning in the laboratory. Students will consolidate their theoretical knowledge through clinical experience comprising 160 hours.

The aim of this fourth 'Integrating Practice' unit is to build on students' previous and current learning to further 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 - apply the clinical reasoning cycle to the care of individuals or groups utilising a sound knowledge of pathophysiology; (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO2 - practice principles of quality and safety, quality use of medicines and caring when undertaking patient care and/or performing clinical responsibilities; (GA1, GA2)

LO3 - practice ethical, legal, cultural and professional principles when undertaking patient care and/or performing clinical responsibilities; (GA3)

LO4 - demonstrate effective communication capabilities (oral, electronic and written) when undertaking patient care and/or clinical responsibilities; (GA9, GA10)

LO5 - apply the principles of teamwork and self-management when planning, implementing and evaluating patient care and/or clinical responsibilities; (GA7)

LO6 - reflect on their learning within a professional portfolio to evaluate effective learning and self-care strategies for themselves and others. (GA4, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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, LO5, LO6

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

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

LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6 

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.

LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5 

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

LO1, LO4, LO5, LO6


Topics will include:

  • Person-centred practice
  • Application of person-centered practice in the provision of care:
  • Providing specific interventions that support people experiencing long term chronic health problems
  • Professional & therapeutic communication
  • Admission Assessment Interview & referral and discharge summaries
  • Clinical handover – ISBAR (e.g. critical communication and recognition of communicating complex needs)
  • Communicating with people who are experiencing alterations in emotions and cognition (communicating and advocating with people who cannot express their needs (e.g. person with psychosis/major depression/stroke)
  • Therapeutic communication - exploring the use of transference and countertransference
  • Communicating with other health disciplines
  • The nurse role within multidisciplinary teams Identification of specific discipline skills and generic discipline skills
  • Writing referral and discharge summaries
  • Nursing assessment
  • Applying the principles of nursing assessment (focused) e.g. medical, ageing, cardiac, renal, GI, respiratory, neurological
  • Conducting a 12 lead ECG - Basic understanding and recognition of sinus rhythm
  • Venipuncture
  • Blood Glucose Levels
  • Provision, coordination & evaluation of care
  • Managing and care of a patient with Acute Respiratory Distress
  • Oxygen therapy - Venturi, NRB mask
  • Managing (assessment and care of) an UWSD
  • Chest physio (deep breathing/incentive spirometry)
  • Managing faecal and urinary incontinence including use of devices
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Discharge planning
  • Quality use of medicines
  • Drug calculations (Oral, Parental & Infusion Rates) - formative
  • Managing medication Oral, S/C, IMI, IV, PCAs
  • Focus on Bronchodilators, hypoglycaemics, insulin, long acting antipsychotics (Depots) and anti-inflammatories (steroid and non-steroid)
  • Blood administration
  • Health promotion & education
  • Identify health promotion needs and supports e.g. Diabetes, Stroke, Dementia
  • Education for individuals and their supports
  • Diversity & cultural competence
  • Identifying cultural and religious groups and extending knowledge on cultural/religious beliefs and practices
  • Professional capabilities
  • Debriefing following critical incidents
  • Resilience
  • Reflecting on practice
  • Health care law: addressing adverse events
  • Clinical leadership
  • Quality and Safety
  • Clinical Risk Management
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Applying Critical Thinking in advanced practice
  • Applying Clinical Reasoning in advanced practice

Reflecting on practice - clinical decision making/ judgement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include lectures, laboratories, simulations, clinical placement, 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 undertaking a tertiary qualification need skills to assist them in managing their individual learning. Feedback and effective self-reflection are required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Practicum assists students to link theory with its application. Located in the second year of the programme, this clinical unit includes face-to-face teaching to assist students in linking theory with practice and a self-directed component of learning to build life-long learning skills. Lectures are utilised to convey content and central principles while laboratories and simulation deliver interactive learning sessions which assist students to apply theory to clinical practice, build self-reflection skills while also providing an opportunity to build community learning skills. The supervised clinical placement provides a safe environment where students can provide assisted person-centred care essential for successful graduate practice. 


Components of this unit may also be offered on or off campus in intensive mode for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the Discipline Curriculum Implementation Committee. 

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 with 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. This unit includes a mandatory pass on the ANSAT assessment of your clinical placement because in nursing, your professional competence is a necessary job requirement. Achieving pass as a standard for the skills portfolio 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. To pass this unit, all three hurdle tasks need to be completed successfully.


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.


Offshore intensive assessment of this unit will be transparently equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the relevant Course Implementation Committee.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Drug Calculations Examination

Enables students to demonstrate capability in drug calculations and skills for safe practice.



GA1, GA2

Clinical Skills Portfolio

Enables students to showcase their learning experiences in a professional manner.



GA4, GA10

Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool (ANSAT)

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


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

This reference list was finalised in 2016 for internal curriculum approval; it will be revised prior to unit delivery to ensure the most current representative text and reference list for students.

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, N.S.W.: Pearson.

McCabe, C., & Timmons, F. (2013) Communication skills for nursing practice (2nd ed.). London: Palgrave McMillan.

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

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