Nurse Practitioner

Unit of study descriptions

Errata
Item Change Section Date
1 NURS5079 Capstone (Professional Practice). The prerequisites should be NURS5087 and 48 credit points. There are no corequisites. Unit of Study table 11/12/2014
NURS5012 Assessment and Clinical Judgement

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus Assessment: essay (40%) and online activities (10%) and report (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The ability to undertake a focused and comprehensive patient assessment is fundamental to nursing practice. Conducting patient assessment allows nurses to gather the requisite information to make sound clinical judgements. Thus, with an emphasis on the systematic collection of reliable and valid assessment data, this unit of study examines the knowledge, capabilities and clinical skills required to undertake comprehensive health assessment, inclusive of physical, mental health, social, ethnic and cultural dimensions in complex clinical situations. Underpinning any patient assessment is a detailed understanding of normal physiological processes and the ways in which illness and injury alters these processes.
NURS5061 Expanding Clinical Nursing Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (40%) learning contract (60%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Nurses working in senior clinical positions assist in providing care to groups of patients and their families, both directly and indirectly. In doing so nurses must incorporate individual need with the requirements of the department/unit, hospital and local health district. The provision of coordinated patient care is supported by organisational structures at the hospital and area health service level, which are guided by the NSW Ministry of Health and organisations such as the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission. Nursing practice is also informed by relevant nursing professional bodies and associations. This unit will assist students to envisage possibilities for their own expanding practice within the existing professional and legislative frameworks. As part of expanding the individual nurse¿s repertoire, students will be encouraged to broaden their specialty knowledge and nursing practice and will have the opportunity to further develop specialist knowledge and practice related to a specific practice topic.
NURS5069 Research in Nursing and Health Care

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: online activities (30%) critical review (30%) and research plan (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study will examine and critique established and emerging ways of researching nursing and health care through discussion of the philosophical and theoretical origins of the research traditions and knowledge generation in nursing research. Conceptualisation of research questions, selection of research designs, governance of research and research utilisation in the clinical setting will be explored. Opportunities will be provided to engage in the research process with reference to clinically related situations.
NURS5071 Contemporary Health Leadership

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (50%) and assignment (30%) and reflection (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The need for leadership across all clinical disciplines has been shown to be integral to safe practice and strong staff morale. Providing a clear and unambiguous framework for practice and fostering skills in moral stewardship is known to enable personal growth and strong clinical care. This unit explores a range of issues for clinicians including their legal and ethical obligations, concepts of accountability and collegiality, and strategies to increase resilience and emotional intelligence. It aims to equip students to take initiative, create supportive and sustaining clinical environments, have the courage of their convictions, and to celebrate curiosity.
The Australian health care system has experienced significant clinical, structural and socio-political transformations over the last two decades (collectively referred to as reform). The need for stronger and more effective leadership has never been more evident, particularly at the clinical interface. The chronic recruitment and retention issues and the changed nature of the nursing workforce and health workforce generally, vis-à-vis different levels of carers with diverse skill mix, have constructed a healthcare environment in which experienced (advanced) clinicians are positioned at the core of leadership development. While the concept of leadership is not new, the provision of leadership in the clinical arena is now a central component of clinical practice for all health professionals, regardless of experience, education or position.
As we increasingly experience a globalised world, we recognise that leadership is not the same in all contexts. This unit is structured on an innovative case-based approach. Through using case studies along with the theoretical constructs / perspectives, students are encouraged to critique the achievements and failures of real-time leadership scenarios (and the leaders). This approach to student learning moves away from the traditional `constructivistic approach¿ to management education, which is both subjective and prescriptive (Darmer 2000). The case study method facilitates examination of real leadership scenarios through which students can gain greater insight into the challenges that confront leaders in complex environments and how these challenges impact decision-making processes.
As a postgraduate unit of study, this unit pursues critical analysis of the context in which leadership occurs. In the process of completing this unit, students cover a broad range of topics and explore the literature from a number of disciplines including management, sociology and nursing. While this unit of study is broad, it is designed to allow students to gain a more detailed understanding of the multiple and often conflicting contexts in which health leadership is now situated.
NURS5072 Expanding Cancer & Haematology Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (40%) and learning contract and presentation (60%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Nurses working in clinical positions assist in providing care to groups of patients and their families, both directly and indirectly. In doing so nurses must incorporate individual need with the requirements of the department/unit, hospital and local health district. The provision of coordinated patient care is supported by organisational structures at the hospital and local health district level, which are guided by the NSW Ministry of Health and institutions such as the Clinical Excellence Commission and the Agency for Clinical Innovation. Nursing practice is also informed by relevant nursing professional bodies and associations.
The unit consists of content relating to the advanced practice role: the impact of scope creep on scope of practice; quality and safety; ethical and legal considerations; communication strategies in complex clinical situations, health promotion and professional aspects of practice such as issues from a local, national and international perspective. Students will also explore clinical practice areas of interest under the supervision of an experienced academic to further develop both clinical and intellectual engagement and skill development within their specialty area of practice. Cancer is the single largest cause of premature death and represents nearly one-fifth of the total burden of disease in Australia. There is increasing recognition that specialist cancer services improve outcomes and benefit both survival and optimal recovery for people affected by cancer.
NURS5074 Expanding Practice in the ICU and ED

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (40%) and class presentation (15%) and learning contract (45%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Nurses working in leadership positions within emergency departments and intensive care units are pivotal in coordinating care for patients and their families. In doing so nurses must consider the needs of the individual along with the requirements of the specialist unit, hospital and local health district. The provision of coordinated care to critically ill or injured patients is supported by organisational structures at the hospital and local health district level, and these are guided by organisations such as the NSW Ministry of Health Intensive Care and Emergency Department Planning Services, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission.
Professional bodies such as the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN) and the College of Emergency Nurses Australasia (CENA) also inform practice. In this unit of study students will explore ways in which government and professional bodies provide information that supports decision-making regarding the provision of care to critically ill and injured patients. Additionally, students will be encouraged to expand their clinical and theoretical repertoire by developing an in-depth understanding of a specific practice issue in intensive care or emergency nursing practice.
NURS5075 Expanding Practice in Mental Health

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: assignment and workplace assessment and essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The focus of this unit of study is to extend students¿ ability to engage in advanced mental health nursing practice. Theoretical and philosophical approaches to a range of therapeutic strategies will be examined, and the nature of effective and ineffective interpersonal relationships critically explored.
Through application of evidence-based knowledge, students will explore individual, family, and group therapeutic strategies including psycho-education, relaxation strategies, group training, problem-solving skills, social skills training, and solution focused approaches. Students will be provided with structured learning experiences to extend their practice in a number of these areas.
NURS5076 Pathophysiological Phenomena in Nursing

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: case study analysis (50%) and assignment (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
With many changes in health care and advances in nursing practice scope over the last decade, nurses require advanced skills and knowledge related to undertaking systematic observations about events or conditions that influence patient signs and symptoms. Advanced practice nurses (such as nurse practitioners), and nurses working at an advanced practice level need the ability to conduct a comprehensive patient assessment, to formalise questions that serve as the basis for further investigation, capability to initiate such investigations and capability to act on findings.
This unit of study focuses on pathophysiological concepts and processes related to human responses to disease and illness. Using a conceptual approach, students will be provided with the opportunity to apply research findings to gain a deeper understanding of patient assessment findings. The conceptual approach assists students to focus on clinical problems encountered across common disease categories and populations, become more systematic in making observations about events or conditions that influence patient signs and symptoms and formalise questions that serve as the basis for further investigation. The application of these processes and concepts provides a knowledge base for registered nurses to improve clinical judgements and decision-making in the management of patients with complex changes in health status.
NURS5077 Quality Use of Medicines in Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Prerequisites: NURS5088 Assessment: online modules and case study activities (50%) and assignment (50%) and satisfactory clinical performance Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
With reference to one of the central objectives of Australia¿s National Medicines Policy, the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM), students will focus on developing skills related to selecting management options wisely considering the risk and benefit to the consumer, choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary and using medicines safely and effectively. Students will explore the regulatory framework associated with medication management and focus on clinical pharmacological therapies relevant to their specialist area of practice as an advanced practitioner.
Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) is one of the central objectives of Australia¿s National Medicines Policy and serves as a conceptual and practice framework for this unit of study.
Quality Use of Medicines is defined as:
¿ considering and selecting the best management options for each individual wisely by considering both non-drug and drug options
¿ choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary so that the best available option is selected by taking into account the individual, the clinical condition, the risks and benefits, dosage and length of treatment required, any co-existing conditions, other therapies the individual may be taking, monitoring considerations, costs for the individual, the community and the health system as a whole, and
¿ ensuring medicines are used safely and effectively to get the best possible results by monitoring outcomes, minimising misuse, over-use and under-use and improving people's ability to solve problems related to medication.
NURS5079 Capstone (Professional Practice)

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 8 study days Prerequisites: NURS5087 and 48 credit points Corequisites: NURS5071 and NURS5077. Assessment: learning contract (40%) and portfolio (60%) and satisfactory clinical performance Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study will assist students to extend their specialty-focused development of advanced and extended nursing practice through development of a professional portfolio. This unit of study will provide a framework within which students will have the opportunity to locate previous work, both academic and clinical that supports their capability to fulfil the role of the nurse practitioner in managing patients/clients within current policy and political contexts. The unit provides direction and mentorship in assisting students to develop their professional portfolio based on the Nursing and Midwifery Australia Nurse Practitioner Standards for Practice, and it will therefore be suitable for demonstrating their capability to practise as a nurse practitioner.
NURS5087 Developing Nurse Practitioner Capability

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive, up to 8 study days Prerequisites: Completion of prescribed 36 credit points Assessment: presentation (25%) and written report (25%) and learning contract (50%) and satisfactory clinical performance Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The unit provides direction and mentorship in assisting students develop their knowledge and skills in relation to the NMBA Nurse Practitioner Standards for Practice and which will therefore be suitable for demonstrating their future capability to practice as a nurse practitioner. Selected current clinical and professionally related topics including: clinical judgement and decision making in advanced practice, risk benefit and risk management, judicious referrals, interdisciplinary practice, health promotion and counselling skills and the ethical and legal considerations of practice as a future nurse practitioner, will be explored both within the classroom and during a specified period of partnered clinical practice with an approved clinical supervisor (senior clinician whose work relates to the student¿s clinical focus).
NURS5088 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: assignment (15%) and case study (10%) and medication review (25%) and written examination (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study aims to empower the advanced practice nurse through an in depth knowledge and understanding of medications in relation to their origin, chemical structure, preparation, administration, their actions on physiological and pathophysiological processes and their metabolism and excretion. Students will apply this knowledge and understanding to complex case studies and will investigate strategies to optimise medication management and minimise drug related problems.
The unit consists of five modules in which students will explore the general principles of drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and research the therapeutic use of commonly prescribed medications in reputable online drug information data bases. They will then review complex case studies and investigate strategies to optimise medication management and minimise drug related problems.
NURS5089 Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: clinical assessment (60%) online assessment (40%) and satisfactory clinical performance Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study is a core unit for students completing the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) and aims to prepare students to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct an advanced assessment and make an appropriate diagnosis as part of advanced and extended nursing practice. Diagnostic reasoning is the hallmark of an expert nurse practitioner. The ability to gather and judge the value of perceptual and clinical information to inform choices and provide benefit to patients with minimal risk of harm is at the heart of advanced practice nursing. Nurse practitioners are required to make effective practice decisions and use informed judgement, frequently in the context of uncertainty and for patients with complex health problems.
Viewed from both the concept of information processing (Information Processing Model) and skilled know-how (Hermeneutical Model), this unit focuses on the examination of health-assessment techniques and the processes of clinical judgement to develop diagnostic reasoning behaviours. Additionally, the Quality Use of Radiological Investigations (QURI) will be explored focusing on capability, risk versus benefit, ordering and interpretation of commonly used radiological investigations (chest and limb X-rays).