Master of Nursing Science
- CRICOS Code: 061211F
What will I study?
The Master of Nursing Science comprises 200 credit points over 5 semesters of full time study, including a seven-week summer semester. All subjects are compulsory. All classes are on campus and supported with online learning materials. Several subjects have associated clinical practice or procedural skills and laboratory requirements.
The MNSc has a high number of contact hours. In addition to attending classes and clinical placements, you will be required to undertake personal study, write assignments, prepare for examinations and review your clinical practice. Many students need to balance study commitments with personal commitments; however, you are strongly advised not to undertake employment during semester time. At most, one shift per week is recommended. It is not advisable to undertake night shifts prior to clinical placement days to ensure patient safety.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Indigenous Health and Nursing 6.25 pts
This subject aims to introduce students to the history and culture of the Australian Indigenous peoples in the context of a common global Indigenous experience of colonisation. Students undertaking this subject will develop an increased awareness of colonisation and how it influences nursing practice and impacts upon the health and wellbeing of the Indigenous peoples of Australia. When engaging with this subject, students will develop knowledge and skills to be able to apply principles of cultural safety and cultural competence to professional nursing practice.
Further, it is envisaged that students will develop lifelong culturally responsive capacity and capability to work with and for Indigenous Australian Peoples of Australia.
This subject was developed in accordance with ANMAC Accreditation Standards and the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Indigenous Curriculum Framework.
Please note that the subject theoretical content is delivered intensively in week one of semester one and that the lecture attendance is compulsory.
- Foundations of Nursing 6.25 pts
This subject introduces students to the historical foundations and broad frameworks which shape the scope and dimensions of nursing. It takes a lifespan approach to key areas of practice, including child and adolescent health, aged care and mental health. Regulatory, legal and ethical frameworks that guide professional practice are examined. International, national and local politico-legal and economic factors that impact on the healthcare system and the sustainable provision of health services within in-patient and community settings are explored. Population health, health promotion and health literacy are considered within the National Health Priorities. Principles of cultural diversity and safety are explored. Emphasis is also given to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Using experiential learning, students will develop general interaction and therapeutic communication skills that enable them to perform nursing assessments and engage in supportive interventions that demonstrate cultural competence and are appropriate to patient/client emotions, cues and educational needs. Students will gain an understanding of human development across the lifespan, theories of coping and adaptation, therapeutic relationships, and patient and carer perspectives. Throughout, students are encouraged to explore and reflect upon their own values and beliefs about health and illness.
Please note that this subject is delivered in week one of semester one, on intensive basis.
- Nursing Science 1 12.5 pts
This subject examines the normal physiological function of body systems and students are introduced to pathophysiology through discussion of the processes of degeneration, disease and injury across the lifespan. The characteristics and behaviour of micro-organisms and their relationship to infectious diseases and the immune response will also be explored. Selected drugs and their actions within the body will be introduced to students.
- Nursing Assessment & Care 25 pts
In this subject students will develop knowledge and clinical skills to enable them to perform comprehensive health assessment across the lifespan using a culturally sensitive nursing framework. Students will gain an understanding of nurses’ roles and responsibilities in a variety of settings in which nursing takes place including; general practice, aged care, community and acute care settings. Students will be introduced to the recovery oriented model of nursing, develop skills in physical assessment techniques, data collection, problem identification, prioritisation, framing and solving and the documentation of data collected during health assessment. The focus in this subject is on assessment findings to enable students to identify variations to these. Throughout the subject there will be a focus on examining the health care system from the perspective of factors that can affect patient outcomes and the importance of identifying, critically appraising and integrating evidence into clinical practice. Using safety and quality as a framework students will examine trends in critical incidents that result in adverse outcomes for patients. They will also be introduced to emerging strategies in health care that seek to improve safety and quality and consider the role of the nurse in leading these efforts at a clinical and organisational level. Students will be exposed to a range of nursing skills, strategies for symptom management, selected diagnostic investigations and treatment interventions. Students commence the development of knowledge and skills related to therapeutic medication administration, the principles of the ‘quality use of medicines’ and drug administration for selected medications.
In the simulated learning laboratory, through facilitated clinical practice, students will develop skills relating to a comprehensive systems based patient physical and health assessment, infection prevention, basic nursing interventions and enteral medication administration.
During the professional experience placement, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical preceptors, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning objectives of this subject.
The major focus for the professional experience placement component of this subject is the integration of the principles of health assessment, safe and effective clinical decision-making and basic nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 1 to 2 patients.
- Clinical Inquiry & Nursing Research 12.5 pts
This subject is designed to meet the needs of nurses to retrieve, critically appraise and utilise nursing and other related research as an evidential base for practice. This subject provides an overview of research methodologies that will equip students with a broad appreciation of the many aspects of clinical research, including ethical and quality issues. The subject will develop student skills and knowledge necessary to understand the purpose and principles of evidence based practice (EBP) in order to undertake a team-based research project in the following year. Students will gain an appreciation of both qualitative and quantitative research methods and the fundamental differences in these approaches.
- Nursing Science 2 12.5 pts
This subject builds on the knowledge gained in Nursing Science 1 and examines the pathophysiology of different body systems. The common conditions that alter skin, the nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, musculo-skeletal and genitourinary and reproductive systems will be examined. Students will add to their knowledge of drugs by examining the physiological action of selected subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous medications.
- Clients with Acute and Chronic Illness 25 pts
This subject introduces students to the concepts of acute and chronic illness in individuals across the life-span. The subject focuses on the National Health Priorities, giving students the opportunity to examine the principles and practices underpinning the sociocultural context of patient care. Knowledge is developed in relation to high risk groups, including patients experiencing cardiovascular disorders, asthma and diabetes. Content includes strategies for injury prevention and control, risk reduction and early detection of key health issues, peri-operative care, admission and discharge planning, self-care management, community health and support services and models of collaborative care. Students will continue to refine and expand their knowledge and competency in patient assessment, problem identification, clinical decision making, nursing intervention selection, medication administration and practice evaluation in the context of acute and chronic illness. Knowledge and skills related to fundamental nursing practices will be consolidated and extended. Concepts are patient focused, evidence based and designed to give students the skills to deliver safe, effective high quality care to individuals with acute and chronic health issues.
In the simulated learning laboratory students will develop skills relating to specific medical/surgical nursing interventions.
During the professional experience placement, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical preceptors, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning outcomes specific to this subject. The major focus for the professional experience placement component of this subject is the integration of the principles of medical/surgical nursing, clinical decision making, and more complex nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 2 to 3 patients.
- Mental Health & Recovery 12.5 pts
This subject builds on the knowledge gained in Foundations of Nursing and further develops understanding of the dimensions of the nursing role in mental health promotion and the provision of care for people experiencing mental health issues. The principles and practices of mental health presentations are reviewed as discussion focuses on deepening understanding of the National Mental Health Plan, major psychiatric disorders, mental health law, psychiatric nursing assessment, collaborative care models, and service providers. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychotropic medication and issues related to medication management for people experiencing mental health issues will be explored.
During the professional experience placement under the guidance of clinical educators/ preceptors, students will participate in collaborative, inter-professional mental health care. They will gain experience in acute, sub acute or community mental health/psychiatric services that will enable them to combine general nursing expertise with beginning skills in mental health assessment and care.
The major focus for the clinical practicum component of this subject is the integration of the principles of mental health nursing and clinical decision making. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 1-2 patients.
- Nursing Science 3 12.5 pts
This subject will assist students to expand and deepen their knowledge in the area of pathophysiology related to cancer and other conditions that alter skin, the nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, musculo-skeletal, genitourinary and reproductive systems by exploring complex diseases which have multi system involvement. The complications of polypharmacy will be explored.
- Clients with Complex Health States 25 pts
This subject integrates the knowledge and skills gained in Nursing Science 1 & 2, Nursing Assessment & Care, and Clients with Acute & Chronic Illness. Students will develop skills that focus on processes of nursing care necessary for patients experiencing complex health problems. The aim of this subject is to consolidate, reinforce and expand previously learnt skills in assessment, data collection, problem identification and the selection of relevant nursing interventions. The role of nurses in collaborating with allied disciplines to deliver health care to clients with complex health issues will be discussed. Care of the patient with invasive lines and attachments, complex pain issues and multiple medications will be explored.
In the simulated learning laboratory students will practice the procedural skills necessary for care of complex patients including venepuncture, blood transfusion, central venous catheters, management of the artificial airway and underwater seal drainage. Students will develop skills in the identification and interpretation of abnormal arrhythmias and cardiac monitoring.
During the professional experience placement, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical mentors, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning objectives of this subject.
The major focus for the professional experience practicum component of this subject is integration of the principles for holistic nursing, clinical decision making and more complex and advanced nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the collection of health assessment data, identify actual and potential patient problems, plan care with the selection of appropriate nursing interventions, implement interventions and evaluate the outcome of nursing care accordingly for 3 to 4 patients.
- Nursing Research 12.5 pts
This subject builds directly from the subject Clinical Inquiry and Nursing Research. Students will, in a group context (6 students maximum), develop beginning skills in developing and implementing research projects. Each project will be supported by an academic supervisor and will build on the project proposals developed in first year. The focus will be on beginning level skills in data collection, data analysis and management, data interpretation and presentation of findings. The subject will also provide students with the opportunity to engage in peer review of research results through peer assessment processes.
- Contemporary Nursing 12.5 pts
In this subject, students further develop their knowledge and understanding of unique health issues affecting specific individuals and patient populations cared for across diverse and contemporary practice contexts. The subject explores contemporary models of nursing practice, inter-professional care and primary health care designed to address the health care needs of specific populations. Examples of specific health issues addressed in this subject may include: communicable diseases; men’s and women’s health; child/adolescent health; trauma care; end-of-life care; disaster nursing; refugee health; sexual health; and bariatrics. The contemporary and expanding role of nurses will be explored across diverse contexts such as general practice nursing, community nursing, school nursing, case management and the nurse practitioner.
The subject aims to enable students to develop deeper and broader knowledge about health issues affecting individual patients and their families as they interact with the health care system. Students may engage with the care of patients in any number of settings locally, nationally and in the international context such as:
- Mental health care
- Acute/critical care
- Child, adolescent and family care
- Older adult care
- Cancer and palliative care
- Practice nursing
- Community nursing
Students will develop specific individualised learning objectives related to their chosen area of practice and to their personally identified learning needs. Throughout the subject, for all students, emphasis will be placed on health assessment for implementing and evaluating physical and psychosocial care across the illness/wellness trajectory and the enhancement of knowledge and skills in therapeutic communication will be promoted. Students will become familiar with interventions required to establish and maintain patient stability, and interventions initiated by nurses at a beginning level of practice will be examined in terms of the research evidence underpinning practice. The ethico/legal aspects of care particularly relevant to the chosen area of engagement will be explored.
- Nursing as Practice 25 pts
This is a capstone subject in which students will further consolidate and apply the knowledge they have acquired from Nursing Science 1, 2 & 3, Nursing Assessment and Care, Clients With Acute and Chronic Illness, Clients with Complex Health States and case-based learning scenarios which feature complex patient health problems.
In the clinical skills laboratory students will refine and consolidate their procedural skills utilising a self-directed learning approach. Emphasis will also be placed on performing such skills in a time-efficient manner.
In the clinical practicum, under the guidance of clinical educators and preceptors, students focus on the transition from nursing student to registered nurse with the goal of achieving readiness to practice as a beginning registered nurse.
The major focus for the clinical practicum component of this subject is to further build the student’s knowledge and skills of the assessment and management of patients experiencing specific health problems and to develop an understanding of the accountability requirements of the registered nurse. On completion of the subject it is expected that students is able to carry the expected load of a new graduate by caring for 4 patients independently with minimal supervision.