Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Rebecca Vanderheide (Clayton), TBA (Gippsland)


This unit is the first of three units that examines nursing practice from a socio-political framework. In providing an understanding of fundamental concepts of nursing as a discipline, this unit introduces students to the disparate locations of nursing practice globally and allows for in-depth exploration of health care settings in the Australian health care milieu. Students will study health care through a social model of health and will situate nursing care within this model. A history of nursing and the various opportunities and barriers that have influenced the development of nursing as a profession will be explored and debated. The Australian legal system as its relationship to the health care environment will be examined and students will be required to explore the complex legal relationships that nurses have with patients, families and other health care professionals. In addition, professional and ethical codes will be introduced, explored and posited as a basis for professional nursing practice.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. outline the evolution of contemporary nursing practice from both an international and Australian perspective;
  2. describe the multi-faceted health care system in Australia and how nurses practice in these settings;
  3. debate the socio-political influences on the development of nursing as a profession;
  4. identify and appraise ethical dilemmas that arise in health care and strategies for resolving these;
  5. describe the pertinent legal concepts and mechanisms that underpin the practice of nursing;
  6. utilize and incorporate legal and professional standards in the various practice environments.


Essay (40%)
Simulation learning (10%)
Exam (40%)
Online activity (10%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Pierre Baume

Contact hours

The weekly on campus workload requirement for the unit will be:
Lectures (4 hours)
Tutorials (`1 hours)
Online learning activities (2 hours)
In addition, students will be required to undertake 214 hours of self-directed learning over the semester. These activities will include guided reading and development of formative and summative assessments.