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NS5901 - Extended Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning for Nurse Practitioners 1

[Offered in odd-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2015
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: College of Healthcare Sciences

This subject aims to provide Nurse Practitioner students with the requisite knowledge and skills to complete system-specific and comprehensive health histories and physical examinations with an emphasis on clinical decision-making and diagnostic reasoning skills necessary to provide competent and safe patient/client care. As such, it expands the nurse's knowledge of cognitive processes and psychomotor skills needed for comprehensive assessment of patients/clients across the lifespan required for an advanced and extended scope of practice. Techniques and processes of performing a physical, mental, developmental and nutritional assessment, obtaining a health history, performing and interpreting selected laboratory diagnostic procedures, ordering and interpreting radiology and recording findings are core components of the subject. The student NP will work closely with their clinical supervisor with this subject in the workplace in presenting cases and being assessed with their practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • develop knowledge, skills and professional attributes required for safe and effective practice as a Nurse Practitioner, by: comparing and contrasting selected frameworks for diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making, pertaining to selected acute and chronic conditions;
  • assimilate developmental, bio-psycho-social and cultural perspectives with experiential and practical knowledge for the conduct of comprehensive health assessments for both well and ill individuals, across the lifespan, by: employing communication processes that incorporate the diverse needs of individuals, when obtaining and integrating the data from a comprehensive health history;
  • performing a comprehensive and accurate physical examination of an individual, including appropriate cultural, psychosocial, cognitive, genetic and developmental elements;
  • demonstrating sound critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making skills in relation to clinical symptomatology, health assessment findings, pathophysiology, and diagnostic tests in forming appropriate differential diagnoses and diagnostic plans in clinical settings;
  • synthesizing case-based knowledge in a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate approach to both focussed and health maintenance assessments;
  • communicating findings of the health history, the physical examination and diagnostic techniques using accurate, concise and legally appropriate recording and reporting.


Study Period 1, External
Census Date 26-Mar-2015
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor John Smithson.
Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCU
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); tutorial attendance and participation (%); mini clinical examinations: one for each body system (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) (%); assignments (40%); clinical supervisor verification (cv required) (%).
Restrictions: An enrolment quota applies to this offering.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.