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NUR8510 The Reflective Practitioner and Theorist

Semester 3, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery

Contents on this page


Examiner: Victoria Parker
Moderator: Cheryl Perrin


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MMHN or MNRS or PDEV or SING


Professional nurses and midwives need to engage in continuous reflection on developments within their own practice and to be continually exploring theoretical explanations of its basis. They must be able to contribute to national and international efforts to understand the nature of their field and to work toward changing health care services for the better.


This course will prepare the student to contribute to the development of nursing knowledge through a study of personal clinical practice and relevant theory. First the student will examine their own clinical practice and come to a deeper understanding of their own informed theories of practice through observation and critical reflection. Then the student will critically evaluate nursing theory and meta theory. Finally, the student will look for evidence of a nursing theory consistent with their own practice. This will involve enhancing skills in reflection, analysis, synthesis and critique. The philosophical stance of the course derives from critical social theory and as such is concerned with improving practice through emancipatory processes.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Examine the philosophical underpinnings of critical social theory as a framework for reflective practice;
  2. Explore praxis, conscious awareness, discourse and reflection;
  3. Identify the features of reflective practice;
  4. Observe and reflect on own area of practice;
  5. Justify how reflective practice contributes to the contribution of critical scholarship and research;
  6. Critically analyse and evaluate the value of models/theories in developing knowledge and practice;
  7. Identify evidence of a model/theory consistent with own personal conceptualisation of nursing;
  8. Contribute to the links between theory and practice and evaluate the theory-practice nexus;
  9. Analyse own experiences of observation and reflection via a theoretical model;
  10. Develop a structure/framework for constructing own model/theory of nursing;
  11. Demonstrate linkages between own model/theory and existing theory;
  12. Formulate original assumptions for further theory development;
  13. Justify how reflective practice contributes to the continuation of critical scholarship and research;
  14. Contribute to the influences of social, professional and political levels of nursing in positive ways;
  15. Develop advanced skills in analysis, evaluation, critique and argument.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Module 1: Reflective Practice - critical social theory, critical thinking, reflective practice, becoming a reflective practitioner, planning for field work, phases of activity: preparatory, experimental, field notes [reflective journal keeping], personal conceptualisation of nursing with analysis, critique and evaluation of own experiences. 20.00
2. Module 2 & 3: Analysis,critique and evaluation of nursing models/theories - development of nursing models and theories, their analysis evaluation, comparison of own conceptualisation of nursing and existing models/theories. Developing a nursing model for practice - reflection on action, critical reflexivity, nursing model construction, outcomes of reflections. 80.00

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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
  • Andrews, M & Boyle, J 2003, Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care, 4th edn, Lippincott, Philadelphia.
  • Bulman, C & Schultz, S (eds) 2008, Reflective Practice in Nursing, 4th edn, Blackwell Publishing, Boston.
  • Greenwood, J (ed) 2000, Nursing theory in Australia: development and application, 2nd edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.
  • Marriner-Tomey, A & Alligood, MR (ed) 2006, Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 6th edn, Mosby Elsevier, St Louis.
  • McCormack, B. and McCance, T 2010, Person-Centred Processes, in Person-Centred Nursing: Theory and Practice, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
  • Meleis, A 2007, Theoretical Nursing: Development and Progress, 4th edn, JB Lippincott, Philadelphia.
  • Walker, LO & Coalson Avant, K 2010, Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing, 5th edn, Appleton & Lange, Norwalk.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 120.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 20 10 Dec 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 80 08 Feb 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility 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 complete an assignment satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

  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 available marks 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 obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this 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. 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. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  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. //

Evaluation and benchmarking

Students will be encouraged to complete the online student evaluation for this course. Student evaluations will be complied to evaluate the student experience, relevance of the course content and the effectiveness of course delivery