Nursing and Complex Care

Unit code: HNB3141 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
VU Sunshine Clinical School
HNB3102 - Nursing Professional Practice 2 (applicable for HBMA students ONLY)
HNB3227 - Mental Health and Nursing (applicable for HBMA students ONLY)
HNB2008 - Contemporary Nursing C (applicable for HBNB students ONLY)
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit builds on knowledge and skills gained from Contemporary Nursing A & B, Nursing and Mental Health A & B, and Professional Experience Placement 2 & 3. Students will investigate the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics that inform evidence-based nursing care and management. The healthcare requirements of culturally diverse communities with acute and chronic illnesses with complex healthcare needs are addressed. The elements of holistic problem-solving using higher order critical thinking skills and reflection in decision-making processes to provide person-centred care across the lifespan will be integrated.
Digital health, comprehensive health assessment and care planning to assess and deliver appropriate nursing care through effective teamwork, collaboration and clinical handover will be explored.
The students will integrate patient scenarios in the clinical nursing labs and simulations to demonstrate professionalism and their ability to link theory to evidence-based practice for recognising, and responding to, a clinically deteriorating patient. Through the development of professional attributes, values, ongoing self- assessment, self-determination, and preparedness for self-directed and life-long learning, the student will be work ready for their clinical practice.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Integrate and corroborate evidence-based knowledge and legal and ethical considerations when making clinical decisions in relation to person-centred care scenarios across the lifespan with a range of deteriorating complex illnesses/conditions;
  2. Integrate previous knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics and quality use of medicines and the acquisition of clinical skills in nursing laboratories and simulation;
  3. Exemplify an intraprofessional and interprofessional person-centred communication approach in comprehensive evidence-based assessment, and nursing interventions through simulated scenarios;
  4. Exemplify safe practice when preparing and administrating medications for people across the lifespan with complex illnesses/conditions in a range of settings; and
  5. Exemplify the use of remote and in person digital health approaches in communications to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, other cultures and people of diversity when delivering complex nursing interventions.


For Melbourne campuses

The assessment tasks link the learning outcomes and graduate capabilities. In the first assessment students will perform medication calculations for case studies. In the second assessment task students will work together in a group in relation to a case study and then present this information followed by an individual written piece. In the third assessment task students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in an OSCA.

Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 20%
Case study: Medication Calculation (2 modules – approx. 2 hours)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 60%
Part A individual written assignment (1200 words, 35%)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 20%
Part B Group presentation (12 minutes, 25%) OSCA (skill testing – 15 minutes)

Required reading

Students are strongly encouraged to have access to the following texts. Farrell, M. (2017). Smeltzer & Bare's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing Vol 1. (4th ed.) . Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Tollefson, J. & Hillman, E. (2021). Clinical psychomotor skills: assessment tools for nurses. (8th ed.). Cengage

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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