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NUR1099 Professional Nursing for Older People

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Natasha Reedy
Moderator: Vicki-Ellen Horner


Pre-requisite: NUR1140 or NUR2000 and NUR1120 or NUR1200


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 emphases 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 either residential, high care or dementia care settings 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 Old Age (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. (

  • Nay, R & Garratt, S 2009, Nursing older people: issues and innovations, 3rd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.
  • Queensland Health 2010, Essential Requirements for Clinical Placement, viewed 19 May 2011,
  • USQ Publications Current, Clinical Evaluation Tool, Course NUR1099, USQ Publications, Toowoomba.
    (Available on StudyDesk.)
  • USQ Publications Current, Instructional Guide 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.
  • Beverage, D (ed) 2008, Assessment Made Incredibly Easy, 4th edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Ambler PA.
  • Brown, D & Edwards, H 2010, Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, Revised 2nd edn, Elsevier, Marrickville.
  • 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.
  • Levett-Jones, T & Bourgeois, S 2011, The Clinical Placement, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood, NSW.
  • 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.)
  • Stagnitti, K, Schoo, A & Welch, D 2010, Clinical Fieldwork and Placement, Oxford University Press, Sydney.
  • Tollefson, J 2010, Clinical Psychomotor Skills: Assessment Tools for Nursing Students, 3rd edn, Social Science Press, Melbourne.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Clinical Experience - Directed 80.00
Lectures and Tutorials 12.00
Private Study 68.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Clinical Eval & Timesheet 1 1 16 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
Interim Clinical Report 1 1 16 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
On Line Quiz 20 28 15 Aug 2012
Assignment 100 70 13 Sep 2012

  1. Due date and submission of the Clinical Evaluation Tool and Time Sheet is two ( 2) weeks from the day of completion of the clinical placement.
  2. Due date of the Interim Evaluation Tool will be at the completion of 2 weeks of placement or 10 clinical shifts

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 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, evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts 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 of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must a) submit the interim clinical report, b) attend satisfactorily complete the "Clinical Evaluation Tool' as demonstrated by a competency level (S) on EACH competency and a timesheet completed to the 80 required hours of clinical practice c) for the quiz and assignment students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each piece of assessment. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit the clinical evaluation & timesheet or the Interim Clinical Report without (prior) approval of the examiner then a mark of zero (0) may be recorded If students submit the quiz or assignment after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  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 a) satisfactorily submitting the interim clinical report and receiving the mark of (1) allocated for this, b) passing the clinical evaluation tool and student timesheet to receive the mark of (1) allocated for this, and c) achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  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 via EASE on USQ Connect.

  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. Clinical evaluations must be submitted in original copy with the signatures visable. Photocopies of clinical evaluations are not accepted.

  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.

  9. The assignment 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).

  10. 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 clinical evaluation & timesheet and undertaken all of the required assessment items for the course.

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 cannot 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 declaration on Page 3 of the Clinical Placement Handbook; and e) Suitability for Working with Children Card (Blue Card) f) Police check 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.

  2. Clinical Uniform as per University requirements