Course Title: Foundations for Nursing Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Foundations for 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 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2018


Hamilton Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010


Sale Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Ian McGrath

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7455

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.003

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will introduce you to the theoretical and practical skills associated with foundational nursing practice. You will be expected to link research and theory to nursing practice and to critically reflect on your own practice. You will consider the appropriate nursing care for a variety of clinical situations and be able to demonstrate a variety of foundational clinical skills.

This course provides the basis for future clinical practice and quality patient care in your selected professional nursing career choice. You will learn a number of clinical skills and their underpinning theoretical rationale.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP032 Bachelor of Nursing Program in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Australia, Registered Nurse Standards for Practice:

  • PLO 1: Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice
  • PLO 2: Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships
  • PLO 3: Maintains the capability for practice
  • PLO 4: Comprehensively conducts assessments
  • PLO 5: Develops a plan for nursing practice
  • PLO 6: Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
  • PLO 7: Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2016) Registered nurse standards for practice. Melbourne, Australia.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Review the role of nursing practice  in the applied clinical setting and identify the frameworks for nursing care and clinical decision making
  2. Introduce and elaborate key concepts related to foundational nursing knowledge and skills
  3. Conduct a comprehensive and systematic nursing assessment
  4. Plan nursing care in consultation with individuals / groups, significant others and the interdisciplinary healthcare team
  5. Identify the features of comprehensive, safe and effective evidence based nursing care to achieve identified individual / group outcomes
  6. Discuss and employ the principles of Occupational Health and Safety for patients and staff in the clinical practice setting

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will use a range of learning activities including lectures, discussions and self-directed learning. Throughout the course you will be able to work both independently and in groups to aid development of your theoretical knowledge and its application to clinical practice.

Learning activities may include modalities such as lectures, podcasts and Lectopia/Echo 360, and RMIT's online Learning Management System (LMS) discussion board. Learning activities will also include a simulated health care setting for clinical skill practice and consolidation.

Lectures: Lectures and lecture notes are the principal mode of content delivery and will present you with the key concepts and information relevant to the understanding of foundational nursing practice. You will be expected to participate in classroom discussions and to contribute to the learning experiences of your student colleagues.

Self-Directed Learning: Self-directed learning activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent learning skills to support your commitment to lifelong learning as a nursing professional and a university graduate. The self-directed learning activities will support your knowledge of the material covered in the formal learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge.

Assessment associated with this course requires you to demonstrate a sound theoretical knowledge base as a rationale for competent safe nursing practice grounded in relevant legislative guidelines. The assessments will comprise both formative and summative review and incorporate a variety of assessment modes.

The content provided in this course will develop over the semester and you will be expected to identify how this knowledge relates to previous learning undertaken.

Teacher Guided Hours: 48 per semesterwhich will consist of face to face lectures, laboratories and online materials

Learner Directed Hours: 72 per semester self-directed study and time used to prepare for assessment tasks. It is expected that students practice the clinical skills learned in this semester.  

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Where possible all selected material will be digitally available to you. Lecture material may be delivered using a variety of flexible learning modes such as Lectopia, echo360, RMIT's online Learning Management System (LMS) or workshops. These modes will be utilised at the discretion of your lecturer. RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems accessed via your myRMIT site. 

A library subject guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

A hurdle requirement is necessary in order to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1: Hand Hygiene Competency  (HURDLE)

You are to demonstrate the ability to effectively reduce the risk of infection by hand washing / performing hand hygiene and using Debug. As this skill is related to patient safety, failure to complete this assessment will result in a fail grade for this course. You are to present a completed ‘Hand Hygiene Australia’ competency certificate during the laboratory session of Week 3 to complete this assessment task.
Hand Hygiene Australia:

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 6

Assessment 2: Case Study Assignment

Weighting 30% 

The case study assignment will be based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on Infection Control and Hand Hygiene in health care, you will be required to identify how infections spread and what specific actions you would take to reduce the spread of infection .

This assessment task supports CLOs  1, 5 & 6

Assessment 3: Performance Assessment and Skills Laboratory Attendance (HURDLE)

Weighting 20%

The Performance Assessment (PA) will be conducted at the end of semester, Week 13 and a mark out of 20 will be allocated. The marking guide will be based on the ANMAC competencies for each clinical skill. Students are expected to address all three domains of learning – cognitive, affective and psychomotor – when being tested.

If the student does not gain a pass for the performance assessment, he or she will be offered only one further opportunity to demonstrate a safe level of practice prior to the end of semester Course Assessment Committee meeting.

If the student performs the skill safely at a second attempt the total marks for this attempt will not exceed 15 marks.  If the student fails to present safe practice at this final attempt, he or she will not gain a pass for the course overall. 

Students are required to attend all skills laboratory sessions. 80% attendance at skills laboratory sessions is compulsory for students.

This assessment task supports CLO 1

Assessment 4: Final Examination

Weighting 50%

• A two-hour closed book examination will be held during the examination period. 
• The examination will consist of short answer questions worth 30 marks and multiple-choice questions worth 20 marks. 

This assessment task supports CLOs  1, 2, 4 & 6