This unit (HNB2001) explores person-centred care of patients bridging the lifespan from infant to the older adult. The unit will examine acute and chronic disorders integrating the pathophysiological processes, progression and complications to enhance understanding of the associated nursing care. Students will be introduced to treatment options inclusive of pharmacotherapeutics and quality use of medicines management, highlighting the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of relevant medications utilised for acute exacerbations and chronic management, alongside relevant nursing care practices specific to medication interventions. Students will enhance their understanding of cultural competence when nursing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, other cultures and people of diversity, across health contexts. Through the use of clinical nursing laboratories and simulations, students will be guided through contemporary nursing practices, including: bridging the theory–practice gap through the use of teamwork; patient scenarios; digital health with emphasis on critical thinking; and, clinical reasoning. This approach will assist the student in understanding appropriate nursing care and management, the importance of collaborative and patient centred communication, ethical and legal implications and the evidence underpinning best practice.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HNB1205 - Foundations in Nursing 2

HNB1003 - Professional Experience Placement 1 Nursing

HMB1002 - Fundamentals of Midwifery and Nursing (applicable for HBMA students ONLY)

HMB1003 - Midwifery and Nursing Professional Practice Experience (applicable for HBMA students ONLY)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate and apply critical thinking and clinical reasoning related to evidence-based nursing practice in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the treatment and management of acute and chronic conditions from the infant to the older adult;  
  2. Critically reflect on the nursing standards, nursing code of conduct, code of ethics and legal considerations with the inclusion of digital health encompassing the care of the patient with acute and chronic conditions.  
  3. Evaluate the pathophysiological concepts, processes, progression and complications associated with acute and chronic conditions of the cardiac, respiratory, endocrine and renal systems, linking pharmacological treatment options to inform person-centred care;  
  4. Advocate the importance of cultural awareness within nursing practice, the engagement of the patient in decision making and the role of the interprofessional healthcare team;  
  5. Exhibit competency in drug calculation and principles of safe medication administration within scope of practice; and  
  6. Exemplify professionalism through team collaboration, documentation, clinical handover and therapeutic communication in the safe delivery of person-centred care within their current scope of practice.  


Assessments will be integrated throughout the 4-week block, allowing adequate time for preparation and student feedback. The Medsafe drug calculation assessment is not a hurdle but will be used to assist students in gaining proficiency in drug calculations in preparation for requisite medication knowledge in future units. Group work will be utilised in assessment Part A: Case Study, whereby students will apply clinical reasoning to a patient scenario. This assessment further develops the links between pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, nursing standards and cultural competence. In Part B of the assessment task, students will analyse and reflect on professional practice, integrate previous knowledge and evidence-based care to problem solve and make clinical decisions in a contemporary nursing case study. Students will exhibit and critique their own practice in the OSCA assessment.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Medsafe Drug Calculation 10%
Assignment Part A: Case Study – Clinical Reasoning Cycle (Group work) 20%
Assignment Part B: Written Assessment (1500 words) 40%
Other OSCA (10%) (Reflection equivalent to 1000 words - 20%) 30%
To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must attend 85% of all practical laboratories and clinical simulation for essential skill development as per ANMAC expectations and submit all assessment items. Any absences and non-submissions must be supported with documentation to the unit convenor. To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must submit all assessment items, and achieve an aggregate score of 50%. Students have 2 attempts at the Medsafe drug calculation assessment. Weighting will be awarded based on the student's final attempt within the program. Attendance requirements for nursing labs and simulations are integral to safe nursing practice and prepare students for PEP.

Required reading

Smeltzer & Bare's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing 4th ed.
Farrell, M. (2017)
Wolters Kluwer

McKenna's Drug Handbook for Nursing and Midwifery Australia and New Zealand
McKenna, L. & Mirkov, S (2019)
Wolters Kluwer

Clinical Psychomotor Skills: Assessment tools for nurses 7th ed.
Tollefson, J. and Hamilton, E. (2019)
Ed. Cengage

Additional readings will be available on VU Collaborate.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.