Course Title: Examining Nursing Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Examining Nursing Practice

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Tony Bush

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257248

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.6.05

Course Coordinator Availability: Schedule posted on office door

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Capabilities developed in this course have strong linkages with all post registration nursing programs ranging from a Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) to a Master of Nursing, because these programs encourage the advancement of reflective practice capabilities in a range of settings where nurses are learning from experiencing and researching clinical practice. This course has specific linkages with the following courses because of the evidence based practice capabilities in each course.

  • Research in Nursing and Midwifery
  • Philosophic Inquiry

Course Description

This course is intended to assist nurses in developing their ability to critically reflect on and investigate a nursing issue relevant to their practice. Students will choose a topic for research that emerges from engaging in reflective practice, and collaborate with critical peers and key stakeholders to inform and develop their topic. Examples of research topics for investigation may include professional issues, relationships, processes, nursing concepts or problems of everyday practice. Students can elect to focus on any clinical practice topic that reflects the domain of nursing. Students will have the opportunity to expand and deepen their nursing knowledge of a practice topic, while identifying, using and evaluating relevant material in the process of conducting a systematic literature review. The course values the role of critical peers in the learning process and is informed by practice development processes that integrate reflective practice, quality improvement, evidence based practice and innovation in practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The dimensions of capability developed in the course are:

  • 2. Analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge and application to practice
  • 3. Advanced knowledge in specialized area
  • 5. Apply an evidence-based approach to advanced practice
  • 8. Engaging in reflective practice and professional development of self and others

At the completion of the course you should be able to:

  • Use journaling as a tool to engage in critical reflective practice at a personal level and as a critical peer.
  • Critically analyse a focused nursing issue from researching personal nursing practice
  • Integrate theory, research and practice for a select research topic or practice problem.
  • Develop information literacy skills required to synthesise existing information for new understandings on a chosen topic.
  • Conduct a systematic, relevant literature review on a focused clinical practice issue, identified in the course of journaling.
  •  Evaluate personal learning needs for evidence based practice and for conducting a scholarly, organised literature review.
  • Integrate principles and processes for evidence-based practice throughout course learning.

The underpinning knowledge and skill developed in the course includes:

  • Theoretical frameworks: the nature of nursing knowledge, patterns of knowing and reflexive practice
  • Evidence based practice, practice based professional development and quality assurance processes
  • The discourse of reflective practice: principles, practice and the tools for personal engagement in researching practice
  • Knowledge and skill development for conducting a systematic literature review on a chosen topic from
  • Information literacy skills that assist students in meeting the course objectives and that contribute to advancing oral and written communication skills.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Journaling will be used as a tool to facilitate student’s researching their nursing practice. A framework for reflection will be used to enable students to use class time to advance analysis of their practice scenarios and develop their skills as a critical peer to inform discussions. A range of readings and library activities will be provided to enhance skill development for conducting a systematic literature review once research topics are identified. Reading preparation is expected for all classes to enable students to lead and engage in critical and scholarly discussion. Self directed learning is encouraged so that students can establish a broad knowledge base for the topic of their choosing while developing skills to access new resources in the process. The course has an online learning component, which provides students with essential course information, a semester schedule of the topic outline, assessment details and marking guidelines, a mechanism for communication, and additional learning opportunities that include internet, electronic data base and web exploration.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in student staff consultancy meetings and in course evaluation activities to enhance quality processes in the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be directed to a range of readings, texts and web sites that will support learning.  Workshops will also be organised to facilitate skill development in the course for  advanced use of data bases and development of a personal library /referencing system using endnote. Students will require CD’s for library workshops.There is no prescribed text. Students will be exposed to a range of supportive texts and reading resources.

Overview of Assessment

There are two forms of assessment that will contribute to the final grade.

1. Oral Presentation
Students can expect to present a topic that emerges from researching their practice , to their peers and invited guests.   The oral assessment is a requirement prior to submission of the written assignment so that students have the opportunity for feedback and for clarification of any issues relating to submission of their final assignment. It is expected that each student will consult with the course coordinator on the topic of their choosing prior to oral presentation. The oral presentation is designed to assist students in organising and researching the ideas for their written paper. Students should use the marking guidelines to direct their presentation.

2. Written
The final assignment should integrate the learning from the oral presentation and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the courseto produce a written assignment.  The paper should demonstrate academic writing consistant with thesis preparation and encorporate key concepts for a systematic, relevant literature review of a clinical research topic. Students are welcome to have their drafts reviewed well in advance of submission.