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Clients with Complex Health States (NURS90053)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeNURS90053
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject integrates the knowledge and skills gained in Nursing Science 1 & 2, Nursing Assessment & Care, and Clients with Acute & Chronic Illness. Students will develop skills that focus on processes of nursing care necessary for patients experiencing complex health problems. The aim of this subject is to consolidate, reinforce and expand previously learnt skills in assessment, data collection, problem identification and the selection of relevant nursing interventions. The role of nurses in collaborating with allied disciplines to deliver health care to clients with complex health issues will be discussed. Care of the patient with invasive lines and attachments, complex pain issues and multiple medications will be explored.

In the simulated learning laboratory students will practice the procedural skills necessary for care of complex patients including venepuncture, blood transfusion, central venous catheters, management of the artificial airway and underwater seal drainage. Students will develop skills in the identification and interpretation of abnormal arrhythmias and cardiac monitoring.

During the professional experience placement, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical mentors, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning objectives of this subject.

The major focus for the professional experience practicum component of this subject is integration of the principles for holistic nursing, clinical decision making and more complex and advanced nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the collection of health assessment data, identify actual and potential patient problems, plan care with the selection of appropriate nursing interventions, implement interventions and evaluate the outcome of nursing care accordingly for 3 to 4 patients.

Intended learning outcomes

At the completion of this subject the should be able to:

  • identify ethical and legal principles of end of life support and enduring powers of attorney as they apply to nurse patient interactions;
  • demonstrate competence in completing a physical, psychosocial and cultural assessment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) and other populations across the lifespan;
  • assess the health education needs of individuals/families/carers in the acute and community setting;
  • identify and utilize strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship;
  • incorporate the principles of cultural safety and understanding when developing and implementing care;
  • incorporate the principles of evidence-based practice and apply an evidence based approach to the delivery of nursing care;
  • apply clinical reasoning and problem solving skills to care for patients with complex disease processes;
  • accurately and professionally document data collected by applying health assessment principles;
  • plan, develop, implement, evaluate and revise evidence based comprehensive nursing care plans for patients with acute, chronic and complex illnesses including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other vulnerable populations across the lifespan;
  • utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship, refine patient assessment by using a comprehensive nursing framework and utilise assessment data
  • demonstrate skills in prioritising care and time management;
  • apply the principles to plan, implement and evaluate health teaching programs;
  • in a professional and culturally safe and appropriate manner communicate verbally and in writing with the patient, their families and other members of the health care team;
  • demonstrate the capacity to work effectively as a member of an inter-professional team in the delivery of health care;
  • understand resource use and sustainability issues that require management within the healthcare system.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • the capacity for information seeking, retrieval and evaluation;
  • critical thinking and analytical skills;
  • an openness to new ideas;
  • cultural awareness;
  • planning and time management skills;
  • the ability to work effectively in a team;
  • the ability to communicate knowledge through classroom and web-based discussions and written material.

Eligibility and requirements


A pass in the following subjects prior to enrolment:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
NURS90066 Foundations of Nursing
Semester 1
NURS90129 Nursing Science 1
Semester 1
NURS90125 Nursing Science 2
Semester 2
NURS90130 Nursing Assessment & Care
Semester 1
NURS90131 Clients with Acute and Chronic Illness
Semester 2

(or the pre-2019 version of these subjects: NURS50003 Nursing Science 1, NURS50006 Nursing Science 2, NURS50004 Nursing Assessment & Care, and NURS50007 Clients with Acute and Chronic Illness)



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in clinical activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Nursing Course Coordinator and Student Equity and Disability Support.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

Theoretical Component

1. 2000 word Assignment (20%) (Due week 8) 2. 3 hour exam (50%) (Exam period) (Hurdle) Professional Experience Component a) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) (15 minute psychomotor examination conducted in simulated learning laboratory). (Undertaken prior to the Professional Experience Placement) (Pass/Fail) b) Professional Experience Placement Appraisal (PEP) (Final week of Professional Experience Placement) (Pass/Fail) c) Professional Experience Practice Analysis (2000 words) (30%) (Due week following completion of Professional Experience) (Must pass component) Hurdle Components 1. Attendance at all Simulated Learning Laboratory sessions during the semester to be able to attend the PEPPA. 2. OSCE (Must pass component for attendance at PEP). 3. Attendance at all Professional Experience Placement days is compulsory. (100%) 4. A pass mark in the final Examination. 5. Pass Theoretical Component 6. Pass Professional Experience Component

Students must pass the theoretical, professional experience and hurdle components to achieve a pass in the subject. Students must pass the three (3) hour written examination, must achieve an aggregate of 50% in each of the theory and professional experience components and complete all hurdles to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorThomas Mathew
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours42 lectures/tutorials/seminars, 12 simulated learning laboratory sessions, 160 professional experience placement practicum
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Ackley, B, J., & Ladwig, G. B. (2014). Nursing Diagnosis, an evidence based guide to planning care (10th ed.). St Louis: Mosby (eBook available through Unimelb)

    Brown, D., Edwards, H., Seaton, L., Buckley, T., Lewis, S. L., Dirksen, S. R., . . . Bucher, L. (Eds.). (2015). Lewis' medical-surgical nursing. Assessment and management of clinical problems (4th ed.). Sydney: Mosby Elsevier.

    Bullock, S., & Manias, E., (2017). Fundamentals of Pharmacology (8th ed.). Australia: Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education.

    Crisp, J., Taylor, C., Douglas, C., & Rebeiro, G. (Eds.). (2013). Potter and Perry's fundamentals of nursing / Australian adaptation (4th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W: Elsevier Australia

    Intellilearn (2015) MedSafe www.medsafe.com.au (Medication / Drug calculation)

    Tollefson, J. (2019). Clinical psychomotor skills: Assessment skills for nurses (7th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

    Recommended texts and other resources

    Lapham, R. & Agar, H. (2009). Drug calculations for nurses: a step-by-step approach. (3rd ed.). London: Hodder Arnold.

    Reid-Searl, K., Dwyer, T., Ryan, J., & Moxham, L. (2008). Student Nurse: Clinical survival guide. Australia: Pearson Education.

    Weber, J., & Kelly, J. (2011). Health Assessment in Nursing (First Australian and New Zealand Edition). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

    Perrin, R. (2015). Pocket guide to APA style (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin College.

    Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. (7th ed.). (2011). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 1 October 2019