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NUR3499 Clinical E: The Beginning Practitioner

Semester 2, 2011 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery

Contents on this page


Examiner: Melissa Taylor
Moderator: Trudy Yuginovich


Pre-requisite: (NUR2200 and NUR2400 and NUR2500 and NSC2500 and NUR2499 and Co-requisite: NUR3200) or (NUR2200 and NUR2400 and NUR2500 and NSC2500 and NUR2499 and NUR3200) and Students must be in the final semester of study and enrolled in Program BNUR


Nursing is a practice profession and as such the inclusion of a sequence of professional clinical experience is fundamental to ensure that the graduand is a safe and competent beginning practitioner. Contemporary nursing requires a sound foundation of theoretical principles applied to the clinical environment. This clinical course consolidates the knowledge and skills that students have gathered throughout the Bachelor of Nursing (Pre-registration) Program and applies these foundations into clinical practice, using a preceptor/mentor model of supervision.


This clinical course allows for a final review and refinement of experiential skills and application of theoretical knowledge prior to entering the profession as a novice Registered Nurse. This course focuses on the performance required for safe and competent practice as a Registered Nurse. Students are placed in structured situations which will facilitate accomplishment of pre-determined clinical objectives to demonstrate competency in holistic, culturally appropriate and effective care to ensure transition as a novice Registered Nurse. This course builds on an understanding of professional ethics, safety/ environmental responsibilities, and direct patient care from prior or concurrent theoretical learning courses to develop critical thinking and analysis through evidence-based practice. This course facilitates practice in the establishment, maintenance and conclusion of therapeutic relationships, and the conduct of comprehensive and systematic nursing assessment, care planning and appropriate interventions. It enables students to further explore the quality improvement processes within healthcare. The student's performance is evaluated using a clinical tool which directly assesses the competencies set by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. conduct clinical practice which can be professionally and ethically justified, and in compliance with legislation, risk management principles and common law; (ANMC Competency 1,2 and 10)
  2. demonstrate a commitment to professional development of self and others through attendance and participation in in-service sessions, reflection, collaboration, networking, debriefs, handovers etc; (ANMC Competency 4),
  3. demonstrate a commitment to, and application of, "best practice" using an Evidence Based Practice and quality framework (ANMC Competency 3,4 and 10)
  4. integrate and apply theoretical knowledge of the collaborative role of nursing by proposing and demonstrating safe and effective nursing interventions for patients/clients in written form) and in demonstrated practice during clinical placement(ANMC Competency 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10),
  5. demonstrate the ability to critically analyse events and intervene appropriately to plan, implement and evaluate safe and appropriate nursing care for clients experiencing compromised health by using systematic data collection and effective clinical reasoning strategies and, incorporating evidenced-based practice; (ANMC Competency 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10)
  6. demonstrate appropriate professional communication in written and oral form, through shift handovers, written assignment, written documentation, referrals, telephone and face to face communication with clients, families, nursing staff, preceptor/mentor and other health professionals; (ANMC Competency 8, 9, 10)


Description Weighting(%)
1. 20 days of clinical placement + 1 day debriefing and reflective practice 75.00
2. Client Teaching 5.00
3. Professional Communication and documentation 5.00
4. Patient Safety/Quality Improvement 5.00
5. Professional Boundaries 5.00
6. Medications: Knowledge, Skills, Safety 5.00

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. (

  • Tiziani, A 2009, Havard's Nursing Guide to Drugs, 8th edn, Harcourt, Sydney.
  • Tollefson, J 2010, Clinical psychomotor skills: assessment tools for nursing students, 4th edn, Social Science Press, Melbourne.
  • USQ Publication 2011, Clinical Evaluation Tool, Course NUR3499, USQ Publication, Toowoomba.
    (Available on StudyDesk.)
  • USQ Publication 2011, Instuctional Guide NUR3499, USQ Publication, 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.
  • ANMC 2006, National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse,
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council 2008, Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia, Dickson, ACT, http: standards/code of professional conduct.
  • Beverage, D (ed) 2008, Assessment Made Incredibly Easy, 4th edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Ambler PA.
  • Brown, D & Edwards, H 2007, Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Marrickville.
  • Crisp, J & Taylor, C (eds) 2009, Potter & Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing, Australian Adaptation, 3rd edn, Elsevier, Marrickville.
  • Elder, R, Evans, K & Nizette, D 2005, Psychiatric and mental health nursing, Elsevier, Marrrickville.
  • Levett-Jones, T & Bourgeois 2007, The Clinical Placement: an essential guide for nursing students, Elsevier Australia, Marrickville, NSW.
  • Queensland Parliamentary Counsel 2008, Nursing Act 1992, Brisbane, Queensland.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Clinical Experience - Directed 160.00
Clinical Prebriefing 8.00
Private Study 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
CLINICAL DEBRIEFING 1 5 19 Jul 2011 (see note 1)
CLINICAL EVALUATION & TIMESHT 1 80 19 Jul 2011 All U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U6,U7,U8,U9,U10 3,3,3,3,3,3 (see note 2)
CLINICAL WORKBOOK 1 5 19 Jul 2011 (see note 3)
INTERIM CLINICAL REPORT 1 10 19 Jul 2011 All U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U8 3,3,3,3,3,3 (see note 4)

  1. Date to be advised by examiner.
  2. Date to be advised by examiner.
  3. Date to be advised by examiner.
  4. As this date is the beginning of the two different block dates, please see the course guide for the exact dates for handing in of assessment items for each block.

Graduate qualities and skills

ANMC Competencies Advanced (Level 3)
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Advanced (Level 3)
Problem solving (U2)Advanced (Level 3)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Advanced (Level 3)
Written and oral communication (U4)Advanced (Level 3)
Interpersonal skills (U5)Advanced (Level 3)
Management, planning and organisational skills (U8)Advanced (Level 3)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to: a) attend and participate in 100% of the clinical placement period (160) hours within the assigned weeks which have been allocated through the SONIA placement system. b) Attend all shifts as allocated/rostered at the beginning of the clinical placement by the preceptor or mentor (these may involve day shifts, evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts and public holidays). c) Changes to rostered shifts will only be considered for extremely extenuating circumstances. d) Attend and participate in all activities scheduled for them as part of this practicum either on campus or at the clinical venue including completion of pre clinical mandatory requirements, orientation, briefing sessions, debriefing sessions, tutorials and inservices. 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 of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must attempt all items and obtain a mark of (1) for each item and a) submit the interim clinical report, b) obtain a satisfactory grade on the clinical workbook by completing all elements within the workbook as per criteria published c) obtain a pass on the clinical debriefing submitted via Study desk as per published guidelines d) satisfactorily complete the "Clinical Evaluation Tool' as demonstrated by a competency level (C) on EACH competency and a timesheet completed to the 160 required hours. The examiner and the preceptor/mentor will determine a final grade when ratings of less than a (C) are achieved.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a mark of zero (0) may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a passing grade, students must demonstrate, that they have achieved the required minimum standards in relation to the objectives of the course by satisfactorily submitting a) the interim clinical report b) a clinical debriefing on study desk c)the clinical workbook d) the clinical evaluation tool and student timesheet. Note that a conceded pass is not available in this course due to accreditation requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of (2) and (4) above. Satisfactory completion will result in a Pass grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no Examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred o supplementary examinations. 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 despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date if requested by the Examiner.

  3. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment only in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  5. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

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

  7. 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.

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

Other requirements

  1. Students of clinical courses must submit the following documents, to the Faculty Office by the due date given for the current semester's Sonia allocations or a clinical placement will not be offered. These documents include: a) Current CPR Certification b) Completion of the Queensland Health Orientation Deed Polls, c) submission of the Hepatitis B titre declaration and titre results, d) signed and dated USQ declaration on Page 3 of the Clinical Placement Handbook; and e) Suitability for Working with Children Card (Blue Card) f) a current Police Certificate and g) Student placement checklist. 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 may result in a failed grade in the course