Course Title: Maternal and Child Health Clinical Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Maternal and Child Health Clinical Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Leanne Sheeran

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7445

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.007

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)

Required concurrent study (Co-requisites)

Assumed Knowledge


You must also hold current registration with AHPRA as both a registered nurse and a registered midwife.

Work Integrated Learning:

Students enrolled in this course will be required to undertake placement as part of the assessment of the course.  A number of requirements must be met by students to ensure eligibility for placement.  Further details on each of these are available in Part B of the Course Guide and on MyRMIT.

  • National Police check
  • Working with Children Check
  • Immunisation Declaration Form

There is no flexibility with these requirements.  It is your responsibility to ensure THESE REQUIREMENTS ARE COMPLETED.  Any student who has not provided this information will not be able to attend placement and will receive a fail grade for the placement course.


Course Description

This clinical course provides you with opportunity to further develop and consolidate your learning across maternal and child health nursing practice. It comprises 180 hours of clinical experience, predominantly based in MCH Centres where you will practise conducting individual consultations, home visits and group sessions, supported by a clinical MCH nurse preceptor. You will consolidate and refine your clinical skills in physical assessment for children aged birth to 6 years, perform psychosocial screening with new mothers and facilitate community linkages. You will also apply your skills in developmental screening using tools such as PEDS and Brigance, interpret outcomes and plan care or referrals as appropriate. Throughout this experience you will enhance your skills working in partnership with parents and achieve the competencies required for MCH practice as outlined in the Victorian Standardised MCH Nursing Clinical Assessment Tool.

This course includes 3 professional practice workshops (3 x3 hours) exploring issues such as developmental screening, job readiness, professional practice; and 3 clinical supervision/debriefing sessions (3 x 1 hour) spread over the semester.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability you should contact the Program Coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services for further advice. Students need to be able to meet the inherent requirements of the program.

At any time prior to or during your placement if there are concerns raised related to your fitness to practice the clinical coordinator can request that you gain full medical clearance to continue your placement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes in the following way:

  • PLO 1:  Critically examine the principles of primary health care to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion activities within child, family and community health practice.
  • PLO 2:  Apply reflective thinking and critical analysis to maternal and child health (MCH) nursing and demonstrate a sound understanding of the legislation, ethical codes and professional guidelines that direct professional practice.
  • PLO 3:  Critically evaluate contemporary research findings and integrate these to provide comprehensive, safe and effective evidence based health care for children, families and the community.
  • PLO 4:  Demonstrate advanced clinical maternal and child health nursing skills including infant and child physical and developmental assessment, maternal and family health assessment and competent use of screening tools.
  • PLO 5:  Conduct individual and family consultations and group sessions in a planned, systematic, professional and timely manner, providing feedback to families and engaging them in decision making regarding their own care
  • PLO 6:  Communicate effectively with children, families and groups to engage and support clients, working in partnership with families and interdisciplinary health teams to promote, assess and support maternal, child and family health and wellbeing.

At the conclusion of this course you should be able to meet the competency standards for Victorian MCH Nurses (VAMCHN, 2010).  These are reflected in the following Course Learning Outcomes:

  1. Comply with professional guidelines, ethics and legislation applicable to MCH nursing practice.
  2. Critically apply specialist MCH knowledge to assess, discuss and manage a range of child and family health issues, and recognise when further assessment or intervention is required and refer appropriately.
  3. Draw on primary health approaches to advance child and family health and wellbeing through health promotion, health assessment, and the promotion of breastfeeding, nutrition and early parenting strategies.
  4. Integrate a sound knowledge of psychosocial issues that impact children and families and the appropriate assessment, support and referral strategies.
  5. Demonstrate high level effective communication skills to engage and work in partnership with individual children, families,, groups,  health professionals and community organisations.


Overview of Learning Activities

NURS2183 is a Work Integrated Learning course that will be conducted in the community. You will be required to undertake 180 hours of supervised Maternal and Child Health nursing practice in a designated clinical setting. In Maternal and Child Health Centres you will undertake your placement under the direct supervision of a Maternal and Child Health Nurse. As support and preparation for this WIL experience there will be 3 Professional Practice workshops and 3 Clinical Debriefing/Supervision sessions held across the semester. . You are expected to actively participate in the care of children and families during your WIL experience.

 In line with your professional responsibility for active life-long learning you are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities during this time to develop and consolidate knowledge obtained during the WIL experience.

The activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to apply your maternal and child health clinical skills and knowledge in a supported supervised clinical setting and to recognise and work within your scope of nursing practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this clinical experience include workshops, clinical supervision/debriefing sessions outlined above and the Victorian Standardised Clinical Assessment Tool where you can progressively document your learning experiences. You will also be supported by the Course Coordinator, your Clinical Preceptor, Blackboard discussion boards and on line resources.

Your clinical placement is organised by RMIT University and is designed to link with the specific learning undertaken during this period of your studies.

For the most current information related to all clinical placements please contact the Course Coordinator.

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).

Maternal and Child Health Clinical Placement has a non-graded assessment (Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory) that relates to clinical safety and professional competence in MCH Clinical Nursing Practice.

• This hurdle requirement comprises satisfactory completion of a minimum of 180 hours of MCH clinical placement.
• Formative assessment will require students to complete an on line reflective journal with a minimum of 5 entries at specified points across the semester.
• Participation in professional workshops and clinical debriefing/supervision will support learning.
• Students will also complete a mid-placement and end of placement review of their clinical progress with their MCH preceptor which will be submitted to the university. Students not meeting the standards for practice mid placement will be commenced on a learning contract to support and focus their learning.
• Both clinical progress reviews will assess students across all domains of practice and clinical competencies as presented in the Victorian Standardised Clinical Assessment Tool (VicCAT) and as determined by the RMIT University MCH Clinical Coordinator and the Clinical MCH Nurse Preceptor.
• The VicCAT is a standardised state wide clinical assessment tool based on the Victorian Association of Maternal and Child Health Nurses (VAMCHN) MCH competencies which are also reflected in the Course Learning Objectives.
• Satisfactory completion of this course and clinical placement will be verified by the Clinical Course Coordinator and demonstrated by the student’s completion of their VicCAT tool.
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5