Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


NRSG633 Clinical Nursing

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The healthcare consumer experience and journey is a focus, not only in acute care, but across the continuum of care. This is reflected in quality assurance programs and accreditation across Australia. This unit is required by students to assist their understanding of the care journey of the healthcare consumer with a complex health issue, as well as their understanding of specialist knowledge and skills to ensure that care is delivered in a safe, respectful and person-centred way.

This unit focuses on and extends the specialist nursing role and the significance of that role in inter-professional communication and teamwork. The students will be required to analyse and evaluate evidence-based and ethical specialist practice and shared clinical decision making.

The aim of this unit is for students to analyse, evaluate and demonstrate specialist clinical nursing knowledge and clinical competence skills for safe person- and family-centred care relevant to the area of specialist 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 - Analyse evidence-based specialist nursing knowledge and skill in the specialist clinical setting; (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Evaluate and demonstrate application of ethically accountable practice and shared clinical decision making within the specialist clinical setting; (GA1, GA3)

LO3 - Demonstrate the application of person and family-centred care which reflects cultural safety practices in the specialist clinical setting. (GA5, GA7, 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 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics will include:

  • Evidence-based practice (EBP):
  • 5A’s of the EBP process
  •  Holistic health assessment of persons with complex health conditions:
  • integration of anatomy, physiology, development and pathophysiology
  • analysis of assessment data
  • determination of the significance of assessment data
  • Ethical practice:
  • health professionals’ practice standards
  • health professionals’ codes of professional conduct
  • health professionals’ codes of ethical conduct.
  • Planning person- and family-centred care
  • prioritising and planning care
  • evaluating care
  •  Person- and family-centred care
  • needs of family members
  • role of the family
  • expectations of family
  • family-centred health promotion
  •  Cultural Competence
  • knowledge and skills that support caring for people across different languages and cultures

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning strategies utilised in this unit will support students in meeting the aim and achieving the learning outcomes relevant to this unit as well as to the broader course learning outcomes.

Through an online learning platform, students will have the opportunity to focus on their clinical nursing specialty practice to further synthesise inter-professional teamwork, communication, clinical decision making and person-centred care requirements. In constructing specialist nursing knowledge and skill, students will evaluate care strategies that they will be able to apply in the specialist clinical nursing setting. Modes of delivery in this unit include online readings and group activities through the online learning platform (LEO) and self-directed learning. The learning and teaching strategy used in this unit assists students in linking specialist clinical nursing theory to specialist clinical nursing practice and in developing shared meanings through online experiential reflections and discussions. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are expected to submit two graded assessment tasks and pass a hurdle task. In addition, students must achieve a cumulative grade of at least 50% across all assessments. In order to reward students for engagement and performance, a final graded result will be awarded.

The assessment strategy in this unit encourages depth of learning and provides the students the opportunity to develop their capacity to interpret, translate, apply, and evaluate evidence-based nursing care related to the healthcare consumer requiring complex care. Students are expected to work collaboratively and this is the focus of the first assessment which also explores specialist nursing knowledge and skills. Reflection is recognized as an attribute of an expert clinician and students further develop this skill which also focuses on ethical issues that arise in the specialist clinical setting. 

Critical thinking, specialist decision making and problem solving as well as demonstration of specialist clinical knowledge and skills are assessed in the clinical hurdles and the final assessment piece. In real world practice, it is a requirement that the registered nurse has the ability to deliver clinical care and understand the theoretical underpinnings which direct the care. This requirement exists because all nurses are accountable for their actions and poor choices may have severe adverse health consequences for healthcare consumers and/or communities. This unit includes specialty competencies (included in a professional portfolio) which must be passed for students to demonstrate sound knowledge required to support safe clinical practice. 

Assessments in this unit encourage understanding of the complexity of professional roles and uses tools the students can include in their professional practice.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Group ePoster and peer review

Enables the students to present an electronic poster exploring a specialty EBP issue. Students are then required to peer review a set number of each other posters. 


LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9,GA10

Written Essay: Self-evaluation

Enables the students to engage with the core module content to evaluate specialty ethical practice.


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA9,GA10

Hurdle: Professional Portfolio - Clinical nursing competency assessment and reflective journal

Enables students to demonstrate clinical competence in specialty nursing and their ability to reflect on practice improvement.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

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 (5th ed.). Elsevier.

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

Estes, M. E. Z., Calleja, P., Theobald, K., & Harvey, T. (2016). Health assessment and physical examination (Australian and New Zealand 2nd ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

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 (7th ed.). Elsevier. 

Patton, K., & Thibodeau, G. (2019). Anatomy & physiology (10th ed.). Elsevier/Mosby.

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 LEO.

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