Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit deals with the historical foundations and broad frameworks which shape the scope and dimensions of nursing. The regulatory, legal and ethical frameworks that guide professional practice are covered. Healthcare systems are explored from an international, national and local, politico-legal and economic perspective and include examination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues. Factors impacting on the healthcare system, advocacy, consumer engagement and the provision of health services within a range of care settings are considered. Population health, community health, health promotion and responses to health and illness are considered within the context of the Australian National Health Priorities. Principles of cultural diversity and cultural safety are explored and linked to issues of what it means to care, to the nurse–patient or therapeutic relationship and role boundary issues. The subject of effective therapeutic communication is addressed and throughout the unit. Students are also supported and encouraged to explore and reflect upon their own values and beliefs about health, illness and what it means to be a nurse.

6 points

Students are able to (1) examine the multi-faceted healthcare system in Australia and how nurses practice in a variety of settings; (2) outline the development of contemporary nursing practice from an international, national and local perspective; (3) explore the Australian healthcare system including the impact of health economics and various care delivery methods/approaches; (4) explore factors that impact upon the nurse–patient relationship, role boundary issues; (5) identify and appraise ethical dilemmas and legal concepts that underpin the practice of nursing and health care that arise in health care and strategies for resolving these; (6) identify the student's own and others cultural beliefs, attitudes and values regarding health and illness; and (7) develop an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of clinical decision making and critical thinking.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assignments and (2) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Adjunct Associate Professor David Stanley
Unit rules
NURS5841 Nursing Practice 1 (Adult Health), PHCY5801 Pharmacotherapy for Nurses, NURS5815 Pathophysiology for Nurses
Contact hours
39 hours—lecturers/tutorials/focused in-class learning: 2 hours per week (for 13 weeks)
tutorials: 1 hour per week (for 13 weeks)
self-directed learning: online

Berman, A., Snyder, S.J. et al. Kozier and Erb’s Fundamentals of Nursing, 2nd Australian edn:
Pearson 2014

Crisp, J., and Taylor, C., eds Potter and Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing, 3rd edn: Australian Adaptation: Mosby 2009

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.