Course Outline

NUR331 Contexts of Practice: Complex Care

Course Coordinator:April Martin ( School:School of Health - Nursing

2023Session 6

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Caboolture

UniSC Fraser Coast

UniSC Gympie


Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Complex health problems occur in people across the lifespan. They include acute and chronic complex health alterations that require evidence based and multi-disciplinary care in one or more settings with a focus on the National Health priority areas. For these you will examine pathophysiological processes, consider nursing assessment, person-centred care planning and management which restores and supports optimal health underpinned by the Social Justice framework. You will utilise the NSQHS standards to focus on clinical guidelines and procedures used in organisations

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online asynchronous learning and teaching materials. 5hrs Week 1 8 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On Campus tutorial 3hrs Week 1 8 times
Information session – Lecturer and peer to peer collaborations, and lecturer and peer zoom drop ins. 2hrs Week 1 8 times

Course Topics

Assessment and management of people with complex respiratory conditions

Cardiac assessment and surgical intervention. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.

Assessment and management of people with complex abdominal conditions.

Renal assessment and Kidney injuries. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.

Neurological assessment and management of neurological emergencies.

Assessment and management of Sepsis and Shock.

Recognition & response to patient deterioration using ADDS & MET systems, NSQHS standards.

Medication safety, NSQHS standards. 

Effective teamwork in healthcare.




What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1 Interpret and use evidence to inform decision making in the assessment, care planning and management of people with complex health alterations related to the National Health Priority areas. Creative and critical thinker
1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
2 Prioritise person-centred nursing care in decision making for people with complex health alterations in ways which will promote, support or restore health. Knowledgeable
1.3, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.7
3 Synthesise and apply pathophysiological processes to complex health issues. Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
4 Apply the NSQHS standards and practice guidelines, to plan safe and quality person-centred care for people with complex health care alterations. Ethical
1.4, 1.7, 2.7, 2.8, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.5
5 Apply principles Social Justice to the planning of effective, responsive person-centred care for people with complex health alterations. Ethical
1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.7
6 Apply principles and practices of academic writing and referencing. Ethical


* Competencies by Professional Body

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1.1 The RN accesses, analyses, and uses the best available evidence, that includes research findings for safe quality practice
1.2 The RN develops practice through reflection on experiences, knowledge, actions, feelings and beliefs to identify how these shape practice
1.3 The RN 1.3 respects all cultures and experiences, which includes responding to the role of family and community that underpin the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of other cultures
1.4 The RN complies with legislation, common law, policies, guidelines and other standards or requirements relevant to the context of practice when making decisions
1.5 The RN uses ethical frameworks when making decisions
1.6 The RN maintains accurate, comprehensive and timely documentation of assessments, planning, decision- making, actions and evaluations
1.7 The RN contributes to quality improvement and relevant research
2.3 The RN recognises that people are the experts in the experience of their life
2.4 The RN provides support and directs people to resources to optimise health related decisions
2.5 The RN advocates on behalf of people in a manner that respects the person’s autonomy and legal capacity
2.7 The RN actively fosters a culture of safety and learning that includes engaging with health professionals and others, to share knowledge and practice that supports person-centred care
2.8 The RN participates in and/or leads collaborative practice
3.2 The RN provides the information and education required to enhance people’s control over health
3.3 The RN uses a lifelong learning approach for continuing professional development of self and others
3.7 The RN identifies and promotes the integral role of nursing practice and the profession in influencing better health outcomes for people
4.1 The RN conducts assessments that are holistic as well as culturally appropriate
4.2 The RN uses a range of assessment techniques to systematically collect relevant and accurate information and data to inform practice
4.3 The RN works in partnership to determine factors that affect, or potentially affect, the health and well being of people and populations to determine priorities for action and/or for referral
4.4 The RN assesses the resources available to inform planning
5.1 The RN uses assessment data and best available evidence to develop a plan
5.2 The RN collaboratively constructs nursing practice plans until contingencies, options priorities, goals, actions, outcomes and timeframes are agreed with the relevant persons
5.3 The RN documents, evaluates and modifies plans accordingly to facilitate the agreed outcomes
5.4 The RN plans and negotiates how practice will be evaluated and the time frame of engagement
6.1 The RN provides comprehensive safe, quality practice to achieve agreed goals and outcomes that are responsive to the nursing needs of people
6.2 The RN practises within their scope of practice
6.5 The RN practises in accordance with relevant nursing and health guidelines, standards, regulations and legislation
7.1 The RN evaluates and monitors progress towards the expected goals and outcomes
7.2 The RN revises the plan based on the evaluation
7.3 The RN determines, documents and communicates further priorities, goals and outcomes with the relevant persons

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


NUR241 and NUR231 and enrolled in Program SC391 or SC392


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Practice quiz questions will be offered in Weeks one to six. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral and Written Piece Individual 50%
1000 words in a poster format
10 minute annotation.
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Written Piece Individual 50%
2500 words
Week 8 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Case Study Presentation
Using this poster presentation with narration, the goal of this assessment is to present the pathophysiology of a case study, in addition patient assessment and nursing care, social justice aspects of care, including applicable NMBA standards.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
Individual Poster with verbal annotation.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of pathophysiology to the case to identify the complex care needs.
Application of an advanced assessment to a complex patient and consider investigations for the case.
Use of evidence to inform the complex management and RN responsibilities for the care of a complex patient.
Application of principles of equity, self-determination, rights and access to support patients with disadvantage.
Analysis of the safety and quality of care provided to a complex patient, and RN actions required to adhere to NMBA practice standards and NSQHS standards.
Application of the principles and practices of reflective and academic writing and referencing in the style appropriate to the discipline.
Ethical use of Intellectual property
All - Assessment Task 2:Case study
The goal is to present a response to a complex patient scenario including: a system-based patient assessment. the pathophysiology of the dysfunctional organ systems, the priority management, the supports to address disadvantage, and a critique of the safety and quality of care provided.
Product: Written Piece
Individual written submission.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of an advanced assessment to a complex patient and consider investigations for the case.
Use of evidence to inform the complex management and RN responsibilities for the care of a complex patient.
Application of pathophysiology to the case to identify the complex care needs
Application of principles of equity, self-determination, rights and access to support patients with disadvantage.
Analysis of the safety and quality of care provided to a complex patient, and RN actions required to adhere to NMBA practice standards and NSQHS standards.
Application of the principles and practices of reflective and academic writing and referencing in the style appropriate to the discipline
Ethical use of intellectual property.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Diane Brown,Helen Edwards,Thomas Buckley,Robyn L. Aitken 2019 Lewis's Medical-Surgical Nursing 5th ed. n/a
Required Judy Craft,Christopher Gordon,Sue E. Huether, RN, PhD,Kathryn L. McCance, RN, PhD,Valentina L. Brashers, MD 2018 Understanding Pathophysiology Anz 3e Elsevier Health Sciences

Specific requirements

As some tutorials for this course will be conducted at the SCHI for Sippy Downs students it will be necessary for students to complete the SCHI requirements before commencing classes.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890