About this course
The Master of Nursing Science has been approved by Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMAC).
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has developed the core registration standards that can be found on their website here. Students are strongly encouraged to review the NMBA standards and ensure that they meet the criteria for NMBA registration
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this course, graduates will be able to:
- Apply advanced knowledge of clinical principles and processes to perform evidence-based practice that integrates holistic patient assessment, management, planning, delivery and evaluation of care.
- Apply registered nurse standards, ethical and legal frameworks to deliver care and advocate for patients, carers and families by practicing cultural humility and giving patients dignity, respect and compassion
- Examine the influence of environmental and global challenges on social determinants of health and evaluate the interactions with the roles and responsibilities of Registered Nurses in improving health outcomes in local and global contexts
- Develop partnership with First Nations people, appreciating the profound impact of colonisation and structural inequalities on health outcomes, to deliver health care that is culturally safe
- Practice high-level personal autonomy, responsibility and critical self-reflection, maintaining their own physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing to better meet the needs of patients.
- Deliver, monitor and evaluate the processes and outcomes of evidence-based nursing care using integrated bio-psycho-social knowledge of the human body and mind to improve safety and quality of care
- Generate new disciplinary knowledge through research, evaluation practices and implementation science and communicate research findings to a variety of audiences using coherent and sustained arguments that are robust to critique
- Design, analyse, evaluate and implement health literacy interventions to facilitate optimal health outcomes and wellbeing for those receiving care
- Evaluate and integrate new knowledge derived from the digital transformation of clinical care into one's practice to provide evidence-based care and support the digital literacy of patients, clients, carers and citizens.
At the completion of the Master of Nursing Science graduates are expected to have gained knowledge and skills in each of the following domains:
Critical Thinking and problem-solving skills
- Generate curiosity as to the cause and effect of health and illness, and an ability to use clinical evidence and assessment to develop and implement nursing interventions
- Analyse the determinants of health for an individual and a population, and evaluate the impact of such determinants for particular individuals
- Identify the inter-relationship between biological, social and psychological factors in an individual's experience of health and illness.
Attitudes towards knowledge
- Identify ethical principles including autonomy, confidentiality and justice as they apply to the nurse-patient interaction, the information obtained, and apply these in their own interactions with patients
- Aalue diversity of opinion within health care
- Capacity for information seeking, evaluation and retrieval
- Analyse the information required to solve health-related problems
- Evaluate the depth and breadth of knowledge within own nursing practice and recognise knowledge of other members of health care team to inform and support nursing activities
- Identify appropriate use of the information gathered, with respect for the privacy of the individual
- Demonstrate physical examination and clinical nursing skills and identify appropriate use of these skills to gather information and implement nursing care.
- Value diversity in health beliefs, lifestyles, ethnic and cultural background
- Demonstrate a non-judgmental approach to their interactions within the health care system, with other health professionals and patients
- Demonstrate the capacity to adjust nursing interventions to ensure safe and effective care for people of diverse backgrounds.
- Identify personal communication skills that can be developed to enhance the quality of nurse-patient and inter-professional relationships
- Generate methods to provide information to patients in language which they can understand
- Develop a patient-centred approach to communication, with respect for human dignity and human rights
- Develop communication skills sufficient to describe a patient's presentation, symptom profile and physical signs to a colleague
- Demonstrate skills in health teaching and patient education that enhance patient and family self-management.
Planning and time management
- Develop skills in conducting a health assessment and implementing nursing interventions under particular time constraints
- Teamwork skills
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of health care teams, analyse knowledge skills and attitudes that enhance such teams
- Analyse their own contribution to a team.
The Master of Nursing Science draws on the University of Melbourne’s reputation for excellence in teaching and research to inspire and enable students to become outstanding nurses ready to excel as world-class leaders in their chosen field. Desired graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course. The 67 attributes, listed in full below, have been collated into six domains. A key objective of the Master of Nursing Science program is to prepare its graduates for excellence in professional practice through the development of a reflective and compassionate relationship in the following six domains:
In building their relationship with self, students will develop:
- An understanding of the principles of empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, altruism, resilience and lifelong curiosity; the ability to demonstrate them and a recognition of their importance in health care
- An understanding of the principles of reflective practice, the ability to apply them, and a recognition of their importance in health care
- An understanding of the principles of self-awareness, the ability to recognise when clinical problems exceed their knowledge and skill, and a willingness to seek help
- The ability to identify and address their own learning needs
- The ability to respond constructively to appraisal, performance review or assessment
- The ability to manage uncertainty
- The ability to apply effective time management and organisational skills
- The ability to recognise and manage emotion in themselves and others
- The ability to maintain their own physical, emotional, social and spiritual health and a recognition of the importance of professional support in this process
- A recognition of their own personal, spiritual, cultural or religious beliefs and an awareness that these beliefs must not prevent the provision of adequate and appropriate care to the patient.
In building their relationship with knowledge, students will develop:
- An understanding of the scientific method relevant to biological, behavioural and social science
- An understanding of research methods and their applications
- An understanding of normal structure, function and development of the human body and mind at all stages of life
- An understanding of the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body's homeostasis
- An understanding of normal life processes including conception, development, birth, ageing and death
- An understanding of the factors that might disturb normal structure, function and development
- An understanding of the aetiology, pathology, symptoms and signs, natural history and prognosis of important physical and mental illnesses in all stages of life
- An understanding of the management (pharmacological, physical, nutritional, behavioural and psychological) of important health conditions
- The ability to access new knowledge from all sources, to analyse and interpret it in a critical manner, and to apply it appropriately to their provision of health care
- The ability to learn from patients, health professionals and the community in a broad range of settings
- An appreciation of the responsibility to contribute towards the generation of new knowledge.
In building their relationship with patients, students will develop:
- An understanding of and respect for the rights of patients including patient choice, dignity and privacy
- The ability to communicate with patients from diverse backgrounds including the ability to listen to, respond to, inform and understand the patient's perspective
- The ability to advocate appropriately on behalf of the patient
- An understanding of factors affecting human relationships and the psychological, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of patients
- An understanding of principles of rehabilitation in the amelioration of suffering from acute or chronic disability
- An understanding of the principles of the care of the dying and a commitment to ease pain and suffering in all patients
- An understanding of chronic illness and disability and its impact on the patient, their carers and communities
- The ability to construct with the patient an accurate, thorough, organised, medical and nursing history and to perform an accurate physical and mental state assessment
- The ability to integrate and interpret clinical findings and apply rigorous reasoning to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis or differential diagnosis
- The ability to recognise serious illness
- The ability to select and interpret the most appropriate and cost effective diagnostic procedures
- The ability to formulate an evidence-based and cost effective management plan in collaboration with the patient
- The ability to perform relevant nursing procedures effectively and safely, with due regard for the patient's comfort including important emergency and life-saving procedures
- A recognition that it is not always in the interests of the patient to do everything that is technically possible to make a precise diagnosis or to attempt to modify the course of an illness.
In building their relationship with the nursing profession, students will be expected to develop:
- An understanding of the continuum of nursing training and the diverse roles and expertise of nurses
- An understanding of the potential conflicts of interest that may confront nurses and other health professionals
- An understanding of and ability to apply the principles of ethics in the provision of health care and research
- An understanding of organisational governance, the ability to be an active participant in professional organisations, and an appreciation of the benefits of this participation
- An understanding of the principles of mentorship and the ability to apply them with colleagues
- The ability to give effective feedback to colleagues to help them improve their practice and performance
- An understanding of educational theory and practice and the ability to teach
- An appreciation of the responsibility to maintain standards of nursing practice at the highest level throughout a professional career.
Systems of Health Care
In building their relationship with systems of health care, students will develop:
- An understanding of the roles, responsibilities and expertise of all health professionals, and how they work in teams to deliver health care
- A respect for the roles and expertise of other health care professionals and the ability to communicate effectively with them
- An understanding of the principles of team work and the ability to work effectively in a team, including as a leader
- An appreciation of the responsibility to contribute to the education of all health professionals
- An understanding of the principles of quality and safety in health care systems
- The ability to work effectively as a nurse within a quality and safety framework including the ability to recognise, respond to and learn from adverse events and nursing errors
- An understanding of the principles of effective record keeping and the ability to maintain high quality medical and nursing records
- An understanding of the principles of continuity and coordination of health care
- An understanding of the structure of the Australian health care system and health care systems globally
- An understanding of the principles of efficient and equitable allocation and use of finite resources in health care systems, locally and globally
- An understanding of the role of political systems in shaping health care systems locally, nationally and internationally.
In building their relationship with society, students will develop:
- An understanding of the interactions between humans and their social and physical environment
- An understanding of the determinants of a well society and the economic, political, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development and persistence of health and illness
- An understanding of the principles of health promotion including primary and secondary prevention
- An understanding of the health of Indigenous Australians including their history, cultural development and the impact of colonisation and the ongoing health disparities of Indigenous people in this country and globally
- An understanding of the burden of disease in differing populations and geographic locations
- An understanding of the differing requirements of health care systems in a culturally diverse society
- The ability to respect community values, including an appreciation of a diversity of backgrounds and cultural values
- An understanding of the principles of health literacy and a willingness and ability to contribute to the health education of the community
- The ability to consider local, regional, national and global ramifications of health care issues
- The ability and a willingness to contribute to the community
- A commitment to contribute to the resolution of health inequities locally and globally
- An understanding of the relationship between environmental issues and the health of local communities and society
- A commitment to practise nursing in an environmentally responsible way.
Last updated: 12 November 2022