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


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)

This course will contribute to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse through the following learning outcomes:

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

Assessment Tasks

There will be three (3) components to the assessment.

Task 1: Performance Assessment, Drug Calculations Competency and Skills Laboratory Attendance (20%)

CLOs 1,2,4,5,6,8

Skills Laboratory Attendance

You are required to attend all skills laboratory sessions. 80% attendance at skills laboratory sessions is compulsory for students 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 80% 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). Students who do not correctly answer all questions on the formal test will also be required to provide evidence of attendance at the Study and Learning Centre Maths support prior to performance assessment.

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)

Task 2: Case Study Assignment (30%) CLOs 1,2,3,4,6,7

The case study assignment will be based on topics related to provided case studies. Completion of this assignment will provide you with the opportunity to revise and expand lecture content through further reading and research. The word count for this written assignment will be 1500- 2000 words. You will be expected to use journal articles, textbooks and appropriate web sites. All referencing is to be formatted using the APA referencing style.

You should submit an electronic copy of the completed case study assignment through the Turnitin link provided. You need to check your assignment Turnitin report which is available 24 hours after submission (multiple submissions are allowed up until the due date and time) to ensure that your plagiarism report is no more than 10-15%. Submission guidelines and the marking rubric will be provided on the course Blackboard site.

Task 3: Examination (50%) CLO’s 1-4, 6, 8

The two hour exam will consist of multiple choice questions (60%) and short answer questions (40%) drawn from all content covered in face-to-face teaching and study guides and case studies covered in simulation sessions and skills laboratory sessions. All coursework is examinable. Short answer questions will focus on higher order thinking skills. Practice questions will be available throughout the semester via online practice quizzes, as well as questions included in e-Study Guide materials related to each topic.

Please see assessment guides posted on the course blackboard site which contains all marking matrices for written assessments

Other Relevant Information

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

This course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced, at:

Work submitted within 10 calendar days of the due date will be penalised by a deduction of 10% per day of the score obtained for that assessment item (e.g. a score of 32 for a piece of work graded out of 40 will attract a penalty of 3.2 marks for every day it is late, therefore two days late would result in a final score of 32 - 6.4 = 25.6). Work submitted beyond 10 days of the due date will not be assessed. Application for extensions must be made prior to the due date and the appropriate form used.