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NRSG373 Integrating Practice 5

Unit rationale, description and aim

Transitioning effectively from a student nurse to a registered nurse is a complex and multidimensional process. To function effectively in the graduate workforce, registered nurses must develop an underpinning knowledge of professional expectations and understand how to employ specific skills at a graduate level.

The key issues addressed in this unit relate to knowledge and strategies in the areas of leadership, teamwork, clinical decision making, critical thinking, advocacy and responding to change in the healthcare environment. In addition, this unit supports and challenges students to comprehend the clinical leadership expectations and opportunities in their professional role, with reference to leadership in nursing, practice development, the interprofessional team and the wider health care environment.  

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. Students will have an opportunity to apply leadership skills within a team context to negotiate, or resolve conflict, manage resources, and advocate for change. 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 capstone unit is to extend and consolidate concepts from both theory and nursing practice units to develop students’ understanding of the full context of the registered nurses professional role and to assist transition to being a registered nurse. 

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Appraise strategies to support the transition from student to registered nurseGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO2Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to efficiently and effectively use health care resources when planning and implementing optimal careGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO3Examine clinical leadership expectations and opportunities for the registered nurse within their discipline, practice development, the interprofessional team, and wider Australian health care contextGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO4Analyse and apply leadership attributes to challenging interactions and situations in nursing practice to achieve optimal outcomesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO5Synthesise evidence to support proposals for innovation and change utilising communication and relevant technologies within the organisational environment to enhance service delivery and improve health outcomesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12

NMBA Registered Nurse 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, LO3, LO4, LO5

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7

LO2, LO3, LO4

Maintains the capability for practice.

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Comprehensively conducts assessments.

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

LO2, LO5

Develops a plan for nursing practice.

5.1, 5.3

LO2, LO4, LO5

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.


LO2, LO5

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

7.1, 7.2, 7.3

LO4, LO5


Topics will include:

  • Student to graduate - managing the transition from student to graduate nurse
  • Becoming part of an interprofessional team
  • Preparing for role transition
  • Resilience and building capacity in self
  • Promoting wellbeing
  • Mentorship
  • Leading & managing self
  • Leading and managing others (teamwork) 
  • Knowledge, skills, and attitudes for professional practice
  • Managing approaches to nursing practice
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Resource management
  • Prioritisation of care
  • Reflective practice
  • Leadership and management – similarities and differences
  • Clinical leadership
  • Delegation
  • Leadership Attributes: autonomy and accountability  
  • Empowerment of self and others 
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Conflict management 
  • Leading in a digital age
  • Establishing and maintaining a professional identity
  • Continuing professional development
  • Practice development
  • Professional practice portfolios
  • Networking
  • Career progression

Roles & responsibilities of a registered nurse

  • Regulatory frameworks for nursing
  • Australian health practitioner regulation agency (Ahpra)
  • National Board: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)
  • Registered Nurse Standards for Practice, Codes & Guidelines
  • National Standards for Quality and Safety
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Organisational environment
  • Leadership approaches and their application to nursing  
  • Transformational leadership 
  • Transactional leadership 
  • Congruent leadership 
  • Other leadership theories 
  • Clinical leadership
  • Making decisions
  • Empowerment
  • Conflict management
  • Accountability
  • Innovation and change 
  • Change theories
  • Understanding organisational change - barriers and enablers
  • Information source, literacies and other relevant technologies
  • Health and nursing informatics

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include online 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

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.

Students in third year continue their transition towards independent learning. In this unit, there are two assessment items, linking the theoretical content and practical application of clinical leadership with the achievement of unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes.

The Written Assessment provides an opportunity to discuss current and contemporaneous issues that impact on graduate nurses as they transition to contemporary practice and both experience and assume responsibilities of clinical leadership.

The Professional Discourse is an opportunity for students to explore current professional issues, 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 Outcomes

Written Assignment 

Enables students to articulate an understanding of potential challenges for new nursing graduates and their application to the various levels of nursing and healthcare leadership. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Professional Discourse

This assessment enables students to demonstrate sound written communication skills and synthesis of concepts, through contribution, reflection and response to discussions about professional and leadership issues in nursing and health care.


LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2017). National safely and quality health service (NSQHS) Standards (2nd edition). Retrieved from and (PDF version)

Chang, E., & Daly, J. (Eds.) (2020). Transitions in nursing: Preparing for professional practice. (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Dolan, B., & Overend, A. (2019). A nurse’s survival guide to leadership and management on the ward. (3rd ed.). Elsevier.

McCormack, B., Manley, K., & Titchen, A. (Eds.). (2013). Practice development in nursing and healthcare. John Wiley & Sons.

[Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2016). Registered nurse standards for practice. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018). Code of conduct for nurses.

Stanley, D. (2019). Values-based leadership in healthcare : Congruent leadership explored . SAGE. 

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