NRS123 Professional Nursing: Health Law for Nurses (8)

Nurses deliver care within an environment that is heavily regulated by the law and as such, an understanding of law as it relates to health care is important in the provision of safe and competent care to both individuals and groups. This is a foundational subject in which students will begin to develop an understanding of the legal requirements of the profession through the introduction of specific legislation that governs nursing practice. Engaging in the content of this subject will broaden students knowledge base to practise in accordance with legislative requirements, professional codes and the National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Bathurst Campus
Dubbo Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS123. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing course and Bachelor of Nursing - Graduate Diploma of Clinical Practice (Paramedic).


NRS111 or NRS189

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and explain how specific legislation applies to nursing practice across a range of contexts (aligns with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse: 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.5, 4.2, 7.6, 9.1, 10.2).
  • be able to identify the legal implications of nursing interventions (NMBA 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.5, 7.6).
  • be able to explain the importance of complying with relevant legislation and common law (NMBA 1.3, 2.5, 10.2).
  • be able to recognise and respond appropriately to unsafe or unprofessional practice (NMBA 1.3, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.6, 9.1).
  • be able to apply the nursing professional code of ethics and code of conduct to nursing practice at the level of a beginning registered nurse (NMBA 1.3, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 10.2).
  • be able to explain the scope of practice for a student and a registered nurse (NMBA 2.1, 2.5, 7.6, 9.1, 10.2).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module One: Introduction to the Law. Foundation and structure of the Australian legal system. Legislation and professional standards. Civil and criminal law.
  • Module Two: Introduction to Professional Negligence. What is professional negligence. Professional standards and scope of practice. Professional negligence cases.
  • Module Three: Consent in Healthcare. Introduction to consent. Types of consent. Legal principles and practice considerations. Consent in healthcare: clinical scenarios.
  • Module Four: Confidentiality in Healthcare. Professional issues and operational policy. Individual responsibility. Practice issues. Mandatory reporting.
  • Module Five: Mental Health and the Law. Introduction to the Mental Health Act. Guardianship
  • Module Six: Legal Issues and Medication Management. Legislation and the regulation of drug administration. Legal principles and practice considerations. Drug administration clinical scenarios.
  • Module Seven: Legal Issues and Documentation. Issues in nursing documentation and record-keeping practice. Legal principles governing documentation of patient care. Legal ramifications for incident reporting, report writing and documentation. Policy guidelines relating to documentation practices.
  • Module Eight: Coronial Inquests. The role and purpose of coronial inquests. Procedures and policies for investigation of health matters, professional and legal hearings and sanctions for failure to meet standards.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.