NRS532 Health Assessment for Advancing Nursing Practice (8)

This subject facilitates the development of health assessment across the lifespan for advancing nursing practice. The subject will focus on factors impacting on a mental and physical health assessment, and will include history taking, clinical examination skills and diagnostic testing, to obtain relevant data. Students will develop skills in the integration of knowledge, analysis, problem solving, solution focused interventions and recovery and diagnostic reasoning, to interpret evidence in complex and challenging clinical situations. Factors impacting on health assessment in the rural and remote setting will be explored. A collaborative competency based learning contract will be developed in consultation with the Subject Coordinator and a Professional Experience Mentor. Students undertaking this subject will negotiate mentoring from a suitably qualified health professional to practice health assessment skills, and if necessary, negotiate with their employer to work in the specialty area for a certain time, to meet their learning objectives in the subject. Students will attend a five day residential school in this subject.

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


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS532. 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

Master of Clinical Nursing (Nurse Practitioner)
Master of Nursing

Not available to international students.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate health assessment and professional nursing experience.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to apply comprehensive health assessment and examination techniques to obtain information from health consumers across the lifespan.
  • Be able to apply critical thinking skills and a variety of diagnostic decision making principles to assist the health consumers recovery.
  • Be able to integrate and apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology in the formulation of accurate diagnoses.
  • Be able to demonstrate advanced communication skills to obtain information and effectively communicate health assessment findings and/or diagnoses to consumers and interdisciplinary health professionals.
  • Be able to identify and apply how the biological, psychological, social, as well as, the features of the rural and remote environment, impact on the health of the consumer and service provision.
  • Be able to apply the principles of cultural competence to advanced nursing practice with individuals and families when undertaking a health assessment.
  • Be able to recognise and apply legal and ethical frameworks in the conduct of health assessment in advanced nursing practice.
  • Be able to facilitate collaboration with the inter-professional team.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Analysis, problem solving and diagnostic decision making principles, solution focused interventions and recovery.
  • Module 2: Pathophysiology as evidence to inform clinical decision making.
  • Module 3: Case study framework (including one with a focus on Indigenous peoples) for health assessment of the following systems: neurological, ear nose and throat, mental health, cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal/diabetes (endocrine), gastrointestinal genito urinary, musculoskeletal inflammatory, skin and the psychological and social domains.
  • Module 4: Advanced communication skills in history taking, assessment, examination and disbursement of findings. Advanced communication during assessment involving consultation with families/carers of vulnerable people including people with an intellectual disability and/or mental health issues.
  • Module 5: Mental and physical health assessment skills and examination techniques including people with complex needs e.g. people with an intellectual disability and/or mental health issues.
  • Module 6: Sources of health information. Retrieval, analysis and synthesis of data.
  • Module 7: Biological, psychological, social, and rural and remote environmental factors.
  • Module 8: Cultural competence.
  • Module 9: Ethical and legal frameworks. Policies and protocols e.g. Australian Govt Aged Care Assessment program (ACAP) Policy and NSW Dept of Health Policy. Protocols and Procedures Manual for Aged Care Assessment Teams in NSW. Nursing standards of practice.

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 5 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students will be mentored in their clinical practice for 40 hours (5 days) by an experienced advanced nurse and/or physician. They will be required to develop a collaborative competency learning contract. A five day residential shool will support their learning process.

Residential School

This subject contains a 5 day Compulsory Residential School.

Case based learning and student presentations will occur at the residential school. High fidelity simulated learning will be used to teach advanced examination, patient assessment techniques, clinical reasoning and diagnostic decision making. Health assessment skills will be assessed by simulation.  Travel to residential schools will be required for this subject.

Special Resources

Travel to residential schools will be required for this subject.  Students will be required to arrange a suitable clinical experience and supervision to achieve the assessment components of this subject.


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.