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NUR1099 Professional Nursing for Older People

Semester 2, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery

Contents on this page


Examiner: Natasha Reedy
Moderator: Vicki-Ellen Horner


Pre-requisite: NUR1140 or NUR2000 and NUR1120 or NUR1200

Other requisites

Only Students in Plan 16768 (External Education) can enrol in the External offer of this course.


The present demographic trend indicates that a significant proportion of people requiring nursing care in all health care settings are likely to be over 65 years of age, therefore Registered Nurses of the future require appropriate educational preparation for nursing older people. Students with an understanding and appreciation of the complexities of old age in different nursing care contexts establish and build a solid foundation for enhancing their capacity as a Registered Nurse to effectively provide care for older people from differing cultural and social backgrounds. Clinical expertise is an essential component of nursing practice and needs to be developed in a safe, supportive environment which a facilitated clinical placement in a residential aged-care facility offers. Although residential care of the older person is only one of the settings where client-centred care of older people is offered, it provides a good opportunity for students to develop and improve both interpersonal and clinical skills that promote and maintain the health and well-being of people.


This course provides the foundation knowledge for nurses caring for older people in conjunction with providing students' first clinical experience placement. Students will engage in situated learning opportunities for the development and application of practice skills such as observation, assessment, psychomotor skill acquisition and professional communication, documentation and reflection.

The theoretical component of this course emphasises the core values underpinning nursing older people which are to respect personhood at all times and to support the rights of older people to quality care in all settings. After a foundation of understanding global ageing and the ageing process, the students will be expected to critically reflect upon ageism and how this may potentially impact on one's behaviour. Challenges common to old age and the specific nursing care interventions in relation to the challenges will be explored. Contemporary care structures and how Registered Nurses can manage the care continuum will be examined. Underpinning this professional knowledge base will be positive messages related to ageing. Students in this course will have the opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills attained in prior and concurrent theory and clinical simulation courses. Students will participate in an 80 hour facilitated clinical placement in a residential aged care setting and be assessed at the interim and end stages using an assessment tool consistent with the ANMC National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and respect of the rights of the older person to enable the older person to maintain control over their environment, manner of living and health care.
  2. Plan and deliver nursing care that incorporates respect and understanding of the older person's holistic needs from a person-centred approach, under supervision of a clinical facilitator (Registered Nurse).
  3. Demonstrate safe and therapeutic care when planning and providing nursing care for the older person in the professional experience placement.
  4. Identify and demonstrate therapeutic and professional communication skills in the interpersonal relationships with client and family members, facilitator, peers and the course examiner.
  5. Demonstrate achievement of a satisfactory standard, as evidenced on the clinical evaluation tool, of completion of 80 hours of clinical experience as partial fulfilment of regulating licensing body requirements.
  6. Identify physiological, pathophysiological, psychological, cultural and social determinants of healthy and unhealthy aging, and propose resources for maintaining and promoting the well-being of older Australians.
  7. Identify language, attitudes, and institutions which demonstrate the positive aspects of aging, and cultural or societal prejudices towards older people.
  8. Demonstrate appropriate professional written communication to discuss and analyse the importance of evidenced based nursing practice in the care of the older person.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Common Challenges of Ageing (pathophysiology of ageing, cognitive impairment; mobility; comfort /pain; loss; isolation and loneliness; sleep; loss of independence/personhood) 20.00
2. Global Ageing (ageism; cultural diversity), the ageing process (theories of human development; holism; healthy ageing); 15.00
3. Legal, professional and ethical issues (professional codes of conduct and ethics) and positive messages related to ageing as part of life (the older person's contributions to society) 15.00
4. Professional clinical care (biophysical and psychological) for older people; skills of safety, risk assessment, cultural awareness, therapeutic communication and health awareness and promotion. 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Johnson, A. & Chang, E 2013, Caring for older people in Australia: Principles for nursing practice, John Wiley & Sons Aust, Milton.
  • USQ Publications Current, Clinical Guide A, Course NUR1099, USQ Publications, Toowoomba.
    (Available on StudyDesk.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Australian Government, Department of Health & Ageing 2010 2010, Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Community Care, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed July 2013,
  • Australian Government, Department of Health & Ageing 2010, Charter of Residents Rights and Responsibilities, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed July 2013,
  • Dempsey, J, French, J, Hillege, S, & Wilson, V (eds) 2009, Fundamentals of Nursing & Midwifery: A Person Centred Approach to Care, Australian and New Zealand Edition edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Broadway, NSW.
  • LeMone, P, Burke, K, Dwyer, T, Levett-Jones, T, Moxham, L, Reid-Searl & Raymond, D (eds.) 2011, Medical-Surgical Nursing: critical thinking in client care, First Australian Edition, vols 1-3 edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.
  • Levett-Jones, T & Bourgeois, S 2011, The Clinical Placement, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood, NSW.
  • Nay, R & Garratt, S 2009, Nursing older people: issues and innovations, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2010, Codes and Guidelines, viewed 12 May 2011,
    (The above AHPRA Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA) link site provides direct access to the following documents: *Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct *Competency Standards *Professional Practice Guidelines *Decision Making Framework *Professional Boundaries.)
  • O'Connor, M., Lee, S., & Aranda, S 2012, Palliative care nursing: A guide to practice, 3rd edn, Ausmed Publications, Melbourne.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Clinical Experience - Directed 80.00
Lectures and Tutorials 16.00
Private Study 64.00
Residential Schools 1.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Clinical Evaluation 1 1 21 Jul 2014 (see note 1)
Clinical Time Sheet 1 1 21 Jul 2014 (see note 2)
Interim Clinical Report 1 1 21 Jul 2014 (see note 3)
Assignment 1 40 40 20 Aug 2014 (see note 4)
Assignment 2 57 57 18 Sep 2014 (see note 5)

  1. Please note that the assessment is due 1 week after completion of the clinical placement. All clinical assessment documentation must be submitted via EASE.
  2. Please note that the assessment is due 1 week after completion of the clinical placement. All clinical assessment documentation must be submitted via EASE.
  3. Please note that the assessment is due after 5 shifts (40 hours) of the clinical placement. All clinical assessment documentation must be submitted via EASE.
  4. Please note that the assessment is due by 11.59pm on the date stated above and must be submitted via EASE.
  5. Please note that the assessment is due by 11.59pm on the date stated above and must be submitted via EASE.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to: a) attend 100% of the clinical placement period (80) hours within the assigned weeks or assigned shifts which have been allocated through the SONIA placement system. b) Attend all shifts as allocated at the beginning of the clinical placement by the facilitator / course examiner (these may involve day shifts and evening shifts weekends and public holidays ). c) Changes to rostered shifts will only be considered for extremely extenuating circumstances and require the written permission of the examiner of the course. d) Attend and participate in all activities scheduled for them as part of this practicum either on campus or at the clinical venue including orientation, briefing sessions, debriefing sessions, tutorials and in-services. Be informed of course related activities and administration. e) Access and obtain all material provided to complete course objectives and activities.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each assessment item, students must obtain 100% (a mark of 1) for all clinical assessments.
    To complete the Final Clinical Evaluation satisfactorily, Students must achieve each of the competencies to the minimum standard identified in the course Clinical Guide.
    To complete the Interim Clinical Report satisfactorily, students must obtain the signature of the preceptor/mentor on the clinical Interim Evaluation after 5 shifts (40 hours).
    To complete the Clinical Timesheet satisfactorily, students must complete attendance of 80 hours of placement in the allocated time and submit a completed timesheet.
    For assignments 1 & 2, student need to obtain at least 50% of the available marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a pass in this course, students must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks for Assignments 1 and 2. In addition students are also required to submit the Interim Clinical Report, the Final Clinical Evaluation and the Clinical Timesheet and achieve 100% for each of these assessments (mark of 1)

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks /grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no supplementary clinical time. The objectives for clinical practice must be satisfactorily completed within the allocated time or a failed grade will result.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no supplementary clinical time. The objectives for clinical practice must be satisfactorily completed within the allocated time or a failed grade will result.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  2. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment as advised either via Studydesk or EASE on USQ Connect.

  3. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment only in extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the information for Assignment Extensions <//>

  4. The School will NOT accept submission of clinical assessment by facsimile. The School will only accept the Clinical Evaluation, Clinical Timesheet and Interim assessments that have been presented in the format dictated by the EASE system.

  5. Students need to be conversant with and will require access to e-mail and internet access to USQ Connect for this course.

  6. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  7. Americal Psychologic Association (APA) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

  8. Assignment 2 must be submitted by electronic submission using EASE . Refer to your Course Study Guide and course website for submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

  9. Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, the examiner in agreement with the moderator will consider recommending to the Board of Examiners the undertaking of supplementary assessment by the student, if the student has submitted the interim clinical evaluation, passed the final clinical evaluation & timesheet and undertaken all of the required assessment items for the course.

Other requirements

  1. Students need to be conversant with and will require access to e-mail and internet access to USQ Connect for this course.

  2. Students of clinical courses must submit the following documents to the Clinical Office by the date given for the SONIA clinical placement allocations for the current semester's clinical placement or clinical practice will not be offered. These documents include: a) - Current CPR Certification b) If attending a Queensland Health Facility, cCompletion of the Queensland Health Orientation Deed Polls (inclusive of placement, confidentiality and privacy documents), Queensland Health Student Checklist are required c) submission of proof of Hepatitis B immunisation; d) signed and dated USQ student checklist declaration; and e) Suitability for Working with Children Card (Blue Card); f) National and or Federal Criminal History Police Check and in some facilities Disability Services Qld Card . Failure to adhere to submission of all required documentation by the due date will result in the student unable to attend a clinical placement and a failed grade in the course.

  3. Clinical Uniform as per University requirements. Please refer to the Clinical School on the BNUR site <>

  4. Mandatory Reporting with AHPRA It is the student's responsibility to notify the course examiner if they have a health impairment, which may result in conditions being placed upon their student registration with AHPRA. Education providers, such as USQ are required by law to report certain notifiable conduct (see and students must be aware of their responsibilities under this legislation. Administrative action may occur if a student fails to notify the course examiner of an APHRA notification made in relation to their practice.