Course Title: Chronic Care for Nurses

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Chronic Care for Nurses

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 2 2009


Hamilton Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008


Sale Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008

Course Coordinator: Dr Tony Bush

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257248

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.6.05

Course Coordinator Availability: See information on door.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Chronic Care for Nurses is a one-semester course that will encourage students to integrate the latest demographics, practice principles and collaborative models of care. The increasing numbers of people with chronic illnesses and disabilities  has meant that nurses require new skills and knowledge in order to meet the complexities and challenges of managing their care. The Course acknowledges the varied roles of the interdisciplinary teams involved in chronic care, illustrates the importance of a holistic approach and emphasises quality of life being considered in all aspects of care for major and common chronic illness and disability. Concepts essential for underpinning best practice in self-management of chronic illness and disability are included such as spirituality, individual education strategies, valuing the patient’s expertise, resources, culture, minimising socially stigmatising processes and social isolation. Attention to these concepts recognises the important shift nurses and other health professionals are making towards working in partnership with individuals, their family and caeres. Key areas:

  • Principles of chronic ilness and disability
  • The role of the interdisciplinary team
  • Specific conditions commonly encountered in chronic care

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

  • Ability to use theoretical frameworks to increase knowledge base       
  • Ability to use a range of data gathering techniques with individual / groups, family / significant other, health care team, records and reports to prepare a nursing history that addresses physiological, psychological, spiritual, socioeconomic and cultural factors
  • Ability to undertake ongoing assessment and analysis relevant to chronic care nursing Ability to identify actual and potential health problems in collaboration with other rehabilitation health care professionals
  • Ability to identify actual and potential health problems within the framework of chronic care
  • Ability to identify short and long term goals for achievement that are measurable with criteria for evaluation and are congruent with patient’s values and beliefs
  • Ability to provide reasoned arguments in support of judgements in relation to issues
  • Ability to disseminate, in written and oral forms, the processes and results of scholarly enquiry
  • Ability to seek, locate and critically evaluate relevant literature / information resources effectively

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. illustrate theoretical concepts and principles that influence chronic care nursing practice;
  2. evaluate the roles and functions of the chronic care team and individuals within the team, inclusive of client and family;
  3. develop a plan of care including a holistic health assessment 
  4. describe knowledge of therapeutic use and side effects of drugs commonly prescribed for chronic care patients;
  5. evaluate pain management strategies for chronic care patients;
  6. analyse variables which affect. analyse  individual responses to loss and grief; 
  7. identify viable community resources for the client and family;
  8. apply the principles of teaching and learning to the care of a person with a chronic illness or disability;
  9. describe the health care that is specific to the following areas of chronic care:
    - neurological
    - - spinal
    - cardiac
    - mental illness;
  10. specify strategies for nurses’ self care in challenging chronic care contexts.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities that will promote and consolidate the areas outlined in the objectives will include lectures, tutorials, on-line learning, classroom seminars, open discussion, reflective practice and structured self-directed learning. Within this structure students will be expected to develop critical analysis skills that can be applied to practical rehabilitation problems. Emphasis will be placed on the case study method of learning. The conceptual framework underpinning this course reflects a constructivist approach, focusing on the student as a self-motivated learner. To achieve this end the learning objectives provides guidance for students to focus their studies on case-related rehabilitation literature. Students will also be encouraged to participate in active dialogue by working together in small groups, especially for the production of case studies.

Overview of Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts:
Chang & Johnson (eds) 2008 Cronic Illness and Disability Principles for nursing practice. Australia. Elsevier.

Recommended Texts:
Davis, P. Kneale, J. D. 2005. Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing. New York: Churchill Livingstone..
Giger, J. N. 2003. Transcultural Nursing: Assessment and Intervention 4TH ed St Louis Missouri: Mosby.
Hoeman, S. 2008. Rehabilitation Nursing: Process and Application 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Guyton, A.C. 2005. Textbook of Medical Physiology.11th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
Johnstone, M. J. 2004. Bioethics: A Nursing Perspective. 4rd ed. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.
O’Shea, R.A. 2005. Principles and Practice of Trauma Nursing. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Ponsford, J. 2004. Cognitive and Behavioural Rehabilitation: from neurobiology to clinical practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Overview of Assessment

There are two components:

1. The examination component will:

  • Provide an opportunity for formative assessment
  • Inform students of their understanding of basic concepts
  • Provide an opportunity for feedback on progress

2. The case study component will:

  • Demonstrate students’ abilities to apply knowledge and theory from concepts studied in the course
  • Provide opportunity for students to formulate, design and develop holistic plans
  • Integrate plans from previous courses to interlink with rehabilitation theory and practice.


  • Take Home Short Answer Examination, (approximately 680 word) 40%.
  • Case study (approximately 2000 words) 60%

Both the examination and the case study are to be submitted in hard-copy format. Bundoora students return all written work to the assignment box (Nursing Laboratory) Building 201. 7.27. (Sale / Hamilton students to submit via Michelle Shanahan / Kerry McMullan, or local administrative staff.)

Take Home Examination
The Examination consists of general questions, subdivided into a; b; c,  Each section will be allocated specific marks with word limits.

Assessment Criteria Case Study
You are required to select a provided case study of a patient with a chronic illness or disability, and provide an overview of the health care for that patient.

The case study presentation should reflect a diversity of issues eg:

  • brief review of the chronic medical problem
  • brief review of the medical management of the patient
  • detailed review of the nursing care involved with the care of this patient

outline of the various health disciplines’ involvement in managing the chronic illness 

role of the patient in the management of the illness/disability