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NRSG267 Integrating Practice 4

Unit rationale, description and aim

Leadership skills are essential in any occupation. In nursing, they are vital to drive change leading to more efficient and safe care which has a positive effect on patient outcomes. This unit is required by students to enable them to graduate as a safe and effective nurse who understands the full context of their professional role.

In this unit, student will examine the attributes of leadership and explore theoretical models of leadership. Students will have an opportunity to apply leadership skills within a team context to negotiate, or resolve conflict, manage resources, advocate for change or develop a proposal for practice innovation. This unit will assist students in making the transition to professional nursing and help them to understand the context of their future practice.

The aim of this unit is to support and challenge final year students to comprehend the clinical leadership expectations and opportunities in their professional role, with reference to leadership in their discipline, the multidisciplinary team and the wider health care environment.

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 - analyse critically the major theoretical foundations of leadership and teamwork skills in nursing; (GA4)

LO2 - discuss critically clinical leadership expectations and opportunities for the Registered Nurse within their discipline, in the multidisciplinary team, the health care context and sectorial partnerships; (GA5)

LO3 - apply communication theory, conflict resolution and negotiation skills to challenging interactions and situations in nursing practice to achieve an optimal outcome; (GA9)

LO4 - demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of efficient and effective use of health care resources when planning and implementing optimal care; (GA4, GA5)

LO5 - synthesise evidence to support proposals for innovation and change to enhance service delivery and improve health outcomes. (GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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

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

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, LO2, LO4

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7

LO2, LO3, LO5

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

LO3, LO4, LO5

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.3

LO3, LO4, LO5

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.

LO3, LO4, LO5

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

LO3, LO4, LO5


Topics will include:

  • Difference between Leadership and Management
  • Leadership approaches and their application to nursing
  • Transactional Leadership
  • Contingent Reward, Management by exception
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Idealised Influence, Inspirational, Intellectual Stimulation, Individualised Consideration
  • Congruent leadership
  • Values-based Leadership
  • Other Leadership Theories (eg Big Bang, Trait Theory, Situational Leadership, Authentic Leadership)
  • What is clinical leadership?
  • Leading & Managing Self / Leading and Managing Others
  • Teamwork
  • Autonomy and Accountability
  • Empowerment and Oppression
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Conflict management
  • 4As of research /Evidence Based Practice to support change
  • Awareness
  • Accessing
  • Appreciation
  • Application
  • Innovation and change
  • Understanding organisational change (change management and culture)
  • Quality and safety and National Standards 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include lectures, workshops, 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 some face-to-face teaching hours and an increased online component of learning. Lectures are utilised to convey content and central principles while tutorials deliver interactive and student-driven learning sessions to extend the community of learners, and increase their self-reliance, critical reflection and debate. Online materials provide students with the opportunity to undertake directed, self-motivated study and continue to transition to independent study and life-long learning.

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.


Third year sees students continue their transition towards independent learning. In this unit, there are three assessment items, linking the theoretical content and practical application of clinical leadership with the achievement of unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes. The written assignment engages final semester students with models which underpin leadership styles they will encounter in graduate practice used by shift leaders, managers and discipline leads. The reflection (via an audio visual device) activity combines personal technologies with an opportunity to reflect on current and contemporaneous clinical leadership practice and the online forum provides an opportunity for students to question what it is that makes a leader, who a leader is, what might come through leadership and where opportunities are lost through absent or poor leadership. Using current understandings of leadership theory, the students must critically reflect and structure arguments around an aspect of the future graduate environment in which they will practice.


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

Written Assignment

Enables students to articulate an understanding of leadership styles and their application to the various levels of nursing and healthcare leadership. 


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA4, GA8, GA9

Reflection Assignment (via an oral technology-based format) that will enable students to articulate their understanding of Clinical Leadership in practice by recording themselves describing a reflection about their own or a witnessed clinical leadership event. 


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Online Forum

Through three online discussion forums, this assessment enables students to showcase sound written communication skills and to consider leadership in nursing and health care, and the expectations and opportunities in their professional role. 


LO2, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (2014). Leadership & nursing: A contemporary perspective (2nd ed.). Marrickville, N.S.W.: Churchill Livingstone. 

Huber, D.L. (2014). Leadership & nursing care management (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Stanley, D. (2017). Clinical leadership in Nursing and Healthcare: Values into Action. Oxford, Wiley Blackwell. 

Stanley, D. (2019). Values-Based Leadership in Healthcare.: Congruent Leadership Explored. London, SAGE.

Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2014). Leading and managing in nursing (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Yukl, G.A. (2013). Leadership in organisations (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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