NUR5011 - Contemporary nursing in context 1 - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Chief examiner(s)

Roz Williamson (Sem 1)
ALison Hansen (Sem 2)


Roz Williamson (Sem 1)
ALison Hansen (Sem 2)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must be enrolled in one of the following course codes: 3966, M6016


This unit is the first of three units that examine 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 diverse roles of nurses, and allows for in-depth exploration of health care settings in the Australian health care milieu.

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. Professional standards and ethical codes will be explored and posited as a basis for professional nursing. The Australian legal system and its relationship to the health care environment will be examined.

Students will be required to explore and apply the complex legal and ethical relationships that nurses may encounter with patients, families and other health care professionals. In addition students will examine the appropriateness of a range of strategies designed to address work related bullying and aggression


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

  1. Explore the evolution of contemporary nursing practice from an international and Australian perspective
  2. Describe the Australian healthcare system and how nurses practice in these settings
  3. Discuss common and statute laws relevant to professional practice
  4. Evaluate the legal concepts and mechanisms that underpin the practice of nursing
  5. Utilise legal and professional standards in the various practice related scenarios
  6. Analyse the legal implications of actions taken in nursing practice
  7. Discuss and apply ethical theories relevant to nursing practice
  8. Identify and appraise ethical dilemmas that arise in health care and resolution strategies
  9. Explore ethical and legal aspects of end of life decision making
  10. Identify and assess the effectiveness of strategies to address bullying and to de-escalate violence and aggression in the workplace.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 3 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Active Learning Engagement (2000 words) (10%)
  • Values Exchange Online Activity (3000 words) (20%)
  • Case study (4,000 words) (35%)
  • Exam (3 hours) (35%)

Workload requirements

10-11 hours/week includes pre-learning activities, lectures, workshops, and post-learning activities

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Nursing and midwifery