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NUR2500 Nursing 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: Coralie Graham
Moderator: Rhonda Dawson


Pre-requisite: NUR2100 or (NUR2020 and NUR2030)

Other requisites

Recommended Prior Study: NUR1020, (NSC2000 or NSC2180)


The world's population is ageing and -there is a requirement for nursing to respond to the specific health care needs of the older person. Nurses are the predominant group of health care professionals caring for this group of people, particularly in the acute hospital, community settings and residential aged care facilities. As the present demographic trend, driven by the ageing of the 'Baby Boomer Generation' indicates, a significant proportion of people requiring nursing care in all health care settings are likely to be over 65 years of age, therefore it is essential for nurses of the future to receive appropriate educational preparation for nursing older people.


This course provides the theoretical basis for nurses caring for older people. The emphasis will be on 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 to manage the care continuum will be examined. Students will apply the knowledge gained from NUR2100 and other prior courses to the physical and mental disorders and diseases which commonly manifest in the older person. Added to this professional knowledge base will be the positive messages related to ageing as part of the normal life cycle and an exploration of legal, professional and ethical issues. Nurses 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 to effectively provide care for older people.


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 evidence-based nursing care relevant to the pathophysiology of ageing in a variety of settings;
  3. plan and deliver nursing care that incorporates respect and understanding of the older person's holistic needs from a person centred approach, whilst planning and delivering evidence-based nursing care relevant to older people in a variety of settings;
  4. Demonstrate aspects of clinical reasoning when addressing specific case studies on nursing the older person:
  5. apply his/her knowledge of safe and therapeutic care when planning and providing nursing care for the older person;
  6. identify and respect the natural networks of the older person and involve them in that person's care;
  7. communicate and network with multidisciplinary teams of health professionals skilled in aged care when planning, delivering and assessing care of the older person;
  8. act as an advocate for the positive aspects of ageing;
  9. understand the complexity of gerontological nursing and be aware of its importance as a clinical specialty.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Common Challenges of Old Age (pathophysiology of ageing, frailty; co-morbidities; acute and chronic illness; symptom presentation differences; misdiagnosis/ differentiating illnesses; cognitive impairment; mobility; pain; polypharmacy; loss; isolation and loneliness; sleep; loss of independence/personhood) and Specific Nursing Interventions related to the Common Challenges of Old Age (fostering independence; health education and promotion; early intervention programs; comprehensive health assessment; managing disruptive behaviours; palliative care; nutrition and hydration; working with networks; effective clinical reasoning). 70.00
2. Global Ageing (investigating ageism; cultural diversity), The Ageing Process (theories of ageing; holism; healthy ageing); 15.00
3. Legal, professional and ethical issues (professional codes of conduct and ethics; advanced health directives; balancing duty of care and duty of risk; issues of restraint and elder abuse; end of life planning and decision-making) and positive messages related to ageing as part of life (the older person's contributions to society eg voluntary and paid work; lifelong adult learning; contributions to family functioning and structure; productive living). 15.00

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. (

  • Brown, D & Edwards, H 2007, Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: assessment and management of clinical problems, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Sydney.
  • Crisp, J & Taylor, C (eds) 2005, Potter & Perry's fundamentals of nursing, 2nd edn, Mosby, Sydney.
    (Australian Adaptation.)
  • Nay, R & Garratt, S 2009, Nursing older people: issues and innovations, 3rd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.
  • Tiziani, A 2009, Havard's nursing guide to drugs, 8th edn, Elsevier, Sydney.

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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Others 26.00
Private Study 110.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 100 40 13 Sep 2012 (see note 1)
PTA OF 2HR RESTRICTED EXAM CMA 40 30 End S2 (see note 2)
PTB OF 2HR RESTRICTED EXAM S/A 40 30 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Due date to be advised by the examiner.
  2. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must submit and attempt all assessment pieces and achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (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 assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks available for the assignment will 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 receiving a passing grade a student must 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 weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Exams in this course are restricted: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred or Supplementary exams will be held in the next semester exam period.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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

  5. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  6. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonable 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.