Course Title: Acute Care Nursing 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Acute Care Nursing 1

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 2017,
Sem 1 2018


Sale Campus


150H Health Sciences


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


Hamilton Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Lin Zhao

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7079

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.010

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)

Course Description

This course will build on the knowledge and skills you have gained in your foundational nursing courses. Nursing and associated care for patients with a variety of specific disease processes is considered using the framework and direction of the Australian National Health Priority Areas. You will utilise your bioscience knowledge to consolidate your knowledge base of the pathophysiological processes taking place in a patient. The ability to prescribe and undertake a variety of nursing interventions which contribute to the clinical care of a patient are also addressed. Your capacity for critical reflection on your clinical practice and use of current research to provide a rationale for your nursing practice will be enhanced.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will contribute to Program Learning Outcomes for BP032 (Bachelor of Nursing) and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse through the following learning outcomes:

Professional Practice

2: Practices within a professional and ethical nursing framework

Critical Thinking and Analysis

3: Practices within an evidence based framework

Provision and Coordination of Care

6: Plans nursing care in consultation with individuals / groups, significant others and the interdisciplinary health care team

7: Provides comprehensive, safe and effective evidence based nursing care to achieve identified individual / group outcomes

8: Evaluates progress towards expected individual / group health outcomes in consultation with individuals / groups, significant others and interdisciplinary team

(Reference : Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse)

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

  1. Identify alterations in health as experienced by the acutely ill patient from the pathophysiological perspective.
  2. Build on your existing nursing knowledge and skill base to include the care requirements for the acutely ill patient.
  3. Describe the pathophysiological process that underpins specific disease states.
  4. Discuss the management of patients experiencing an acute health alteration.
  5. Employ health assessment in the planning and care of the acutely ill patient.
  6. List and elaborate the knowledge and nursing skills required to appropriately care for the acutely ill patient.
  7. Recognise the nursing support of the patient and significant others required throughout the acute episode of care.

Assessment of your nursing skill acquisition will be undertaken in the simulated clinical laboratory setting using skill demonstration, viva voce and hurdle assessment.

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, discussion board forums and practice laboratories.

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

Self-Directed Learning: You are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities to develop and consolidate knowledge throughout this learning experience. The 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.

Teacher Guided Hours: 60 per semester - comprising 4 hours of lectures and 1 hour of supervised laboratory session per week

Learner Directed Hours: 180 per semester - comprised of independent learning, completion of readings, e- study guide materials and skills practice in the clinical nursing laboratories.


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 material chosen will be digitally available to you. Lecture material may be delivered using a variety of flexible learning modes such as Lectopia/Echo 360, Discussion Board, workshops and the simulated laboratory learning environment. 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 (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council) that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Performance Assessment, Drug Calculations Competency and Skills Laboratory Attendance (HURDLE)

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6

Skills Laboratory Attendance

You are required to attend all skills laboratory sessions and a class roll will be kept. You will need to provide a statutory declaration or a medical certificate to the course coordinator, for any non-attendance at skills laboratory sessions. You are expected to complete the pre-reading, questions, exercises or worksheets related to each session. These will not be collected or assessed, however the content will form the focus of discussion and class participation in the skills laboratories and will be examinable. Failure to attend all lab session without evidence will result in a NH fail

The Performance Assessment (PA) will be conducted at the end of semester, and a mark out of 20 will be allocated. The marking guide will be based on the ANMC competency for each clinical skill. You must satisfactorily complete the drug / IV calculation during the performance assessment

You are expected to address all three domains of learning – cognitive, affective and psychomotor – when being tested. If you do not gain a pass for the performance assessment in Swot Vac week, you 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 you pass your second attempt, you will be awarded half of the maximum number of marks allocated to this skill. If you fail to present safe practice on your second attempt, you will not gain a pass and receive a NH grade for the course overall.

Drug Calculations Competency
A formal drug calculations test will be held during class time. The test will comprise 10 questions, of which the student is required to answer all questions correctly. Each student who fails to answer all questions correctly will be required to re-sit the test (specific arrangements will be made for re-sits).  If you fail to answer all questions correctly in the resit, you will not gain a pass and will receive a NH grade for the course overall.   

N.B. The practical (Performance Assessment and Drug Calculation Competency) components of assessment which are critical to patient safety are required to be passed by the student in order for the student to achieve a pass grade in this course (Hurdle Requirement)

Assessment Task 2: Case Study Assignment

Weighting 30%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 3: Examination

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6