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NUR3200 Managing Complex Care

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

Contents on this page


Examiner: Shane King
Moderator: Victoria Parker


Pre-requisite: (NUR2200 and NUR2400 and NUR2500 and NUR2300 and NSC2500 and any Two of the following Clinical Courses: NUR2499 or NUR2599 or NUR3099) or (NUR2100 and NUR2200 and NUR2300 and NSC2500 and Co-requisite: NUR2499 and NUR2400 and NUR2500)


Concepts, skills and case studies from other courses throughout the program have been conglomerated and moulded to create this final course. It draws together the threads of theoretical and practical knowledge students have acquired and prepares them to manage complex care. The aim to merge the knowledge gained from other courses into more complex case studies is to encourage the students to reflect on what has already been taught, draw on their past experiences to guide them through critical thought processes to make sound clinical decisions. Students must recognise that responsibilities of the newly registered nurse includes having the confidence to plan a day of care for a number of patients, manage time efficiently, prioritise cares, recognise problems, decide how problems can be managed timely and effectively, delegate duties, acknowledge scope of practice and perform the necessary interventions to ensure the best possible outcomes.


Managing a range of complex tasks simultaneously and independently is a shift of responsibility from student nurse to registered nurse and therefore sound decision making is one of the major functions of the nurses role and crucial to a patient's outcome. In order for the new registered nurse to be prepared and confident to manage and decide on patient care we must educate our students to engage in critical thinking when something is out of the ordinary, manage time and prioritise patients needs when faced with multiple tasks. As well as this registered nurses must recognise the need for and initiate interventions for patients whose condition changes unexpectedly. Through exploring theoretical case management of a variety of patient/client situations this course will assist the students transform knowledge and skills both into their clinical laboratory settings, written assessments and on their final clinical placement before entering the health profession as registered nurse. Managing complex care will produce a professional and accountable registered nurse.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Convert facts and principles gained from other clinical courses into the delivery of care for patients with more complex medical and surgical disease processes;
  2. Describe the nursing interventions for patients seeking health care during an acute or unexpected stage of their illness;
  3. Display proficient use of laboratory equipment provided in the simulation of a number of patients;
  4. Display professional communication in oral and written form;
  5. Organise the case management for a number of patients from presented clinical scenarios and relate theory to practise;
  6. Work within a team to provide quality and safe nursing skills for a number of patients, within an allocated time frame. Outline priorities, solve problems and select appropriate care interventions for desirable patient outcomes;
  7. Recall and define more complex clinical aspects of a patientís suffering cardiovascular, respiratory or major surgical disease process;
  8. Explain the nature of working within a multidisciplinary health care team in relation to the contribution and maintenance of high quality care provision collectively achieving desirable patient outcomes;
  9. Demonstrate safe and responsible use of medications, including preparation, calculation of doses, administration and knowledge of expected patient outcomes;
  10. Participate in activities assigned and display professional, respectful and culturally sensitive behaviour consistent with a commitment to provide quality health care to members of the public.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Laboratory Practice:
The role of the registered nurse commencing independent practice in the health care industry involves performing multiple routine tasks and some that will require purposeful thinking. In this course, clinical case studies related to tutorial topics, will be provided in the laboratories that require the ability to make rapid and sound decisions and perform many practised skills at a competent level.
Systems assessment, time management and priority planning for medical and/or surgical patients requiring a range of complex skills, most already taught within the program including the preparation and administration of medications.
Professional communication, documentation and timely reporting of the patient with complex and acute medical or surgical health needs results in sound professional decision making and problem solving in the clinical environment.
2. Tutorial work:
In order for the registered nurse to be prepared and confident to manage and decide on patient care we must educate our students in the more complex clinical aspects of a patientís condition. Through exploring theoretical case management of a variety of more common diseases and conditions, not yet covered in the program, this course will assist the students transform (already learnt) knowledge and engage in critical thinking and decide on interventions for patients whose condition changes unexpectedly.
Tutorial topics include:
Cardiovascular: ECG monitoring & arrhythmias, inflammatory and structural heart disorders, vascular disorders. Haemodynamic monitoring and central venous devices.
Respiratory: Arterial blood gas analysis related to diseases of the respiratory system.
Surgery: Major head and neck, including care of tracheostomies. Major gastrointestinal, including epidurals for pain relief and total parental nutrition.
3. Medication Concepts:
Registered Nurses are responsible for the preparation and administration of medications. This fundamental duty is taught to students very early in the program and medication concepts are reintroduced in most subsequent courses. Legal responsibilities, calculating doses, responsibilities to the patients and the many mechanisms of drug administrations are constantly reinforced and assessed throughout this course, both in tutorials and laboratories.

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. (

  • NUR3200 Course Material will be available on USQ 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.
  • Brown, D & Edwards, H 2007, Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Marrickville.
  • Chang, E & Daly, J 2007, Transitions in Nursing. Preparing for Professional Practice, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Marrrickville, N.S.W.
  • Clarke, D, and Ketchell, A,(Ed) 2011, Nursing the acutely ill adult: priorities in assessment and management, Pelgrave-Macmillan, Hampshire England.
  • Crisp, J & Taylor, C (Eds) 2005, Potter & Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing (Australian Adaptation), 2nd edn, Elsevier, Australia.
  • Elliott, D, Aitken, L & Chaboyer, W 2007, ACCNís Critical Care Nursing, Elsevier, Marrickville.
  • Ellis, JR & Hartley, CL 2005, Managing and coordinating nursing care, 4th edn, Lipincott, Wiliams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Ellis, KM 2007, EKG Plain and Simple, Pearson-Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
  • Jarvis, C 2004, The Pocket Companion for Physical Examination and Health Assessment, 4th edn, Saunders, Sydney.
  • Kidd, PS & Wagner, KD 2006, High Acuity Nursing: Preparing for Practice in Today's Health Care Setting, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJ.
  • Morton, PG, Fontaine, D, Hudak, C & Gallo, BM 2005, Critical care nursing: A holistic approach, 8th edn, J B Lippincott, Philadelphia.
  • Tiziani, A 2009, Harard's Nursing Guide to Drugs, 8th edn, Harcourt, Sydney.
  • Tollefson, J 2010, Psychomotor Skills: Assessment Tools for Nursing Students, 4th edn, Social Science Press, Tuggerah, NSW.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 3.50
Laboratory or Practical Classes 18.00
Private Study 125.00
Tutorials 12.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
MEDICATION CONCEPT TEST 60 30 17 Sep 2012 (see note 1)
PRAC SYS ASSESS IN LABORATORY 50 50 26 Oct 2012 (see note 2)
2HR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 80 20 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Week 4 by 12/8/11 and Week 8 by 9/9/11
  2. Assessments performed in week 15.
  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 and laboratories) 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. To ensure that students can satisfy the competencies of the course and of the program in relation to clinical decision making skills, students must attend and actively participate in all laboratories and tutorials.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (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 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 receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. 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 the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Tests in this course are restricted: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during test as for 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); calculators which cannot hole textual information or be programmed (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during 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:
    As this course is necessary for graduation and registration, the time frame for any deferred work will be in week two of the following semester.
    Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, or equivalent in the grading scale, 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 undertaken all of the required summative assessment for the course.

  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 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.

  2. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to sit for a piece of assessment at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade may be awarded IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up)

  3. 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.

  4. Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, or equivalent in the grading scale, 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 undertaken all of the required summative assessment for the course.

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.