NRS534 Foundations of Palliative Care Nursing (8)

The principles, policy and standards of palliative care for patients, families and carers across the lifespan and in a variety of settings will provide a framework for learning in this subject. This will include care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people from other cultural groups in the palliative care setting. Foundational knowledge about the scientific basis of cancer and the principles of cure, control and palliation will be explored. Sensitive and complex communication strategies underpinning nursing practice will be further developed in this subject. Ethical and legal issues involving quality of life and societal expectations of health care will be critically examined. A collaborative competency based learning contract will be developed in consultation with the subject coordinator and the clinical mentor and will be based on the subject learning outcomes and the Competency Standards for Specialist Palliative Care Nursing Practice. Students undertaking this subject will negotiate mentoring from a suitably qualified health professional to practice advanced nursing competencies and if necessary negotiate with their employer to work for a specified time to meet their learning objectives in the 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.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS534. 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 Nursing

Master of Clinical Nursing (Nurse Practitioner)

Assumed Knowledge

Registered nurse knowledge and experience.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to compare and contrast differing models for the provision of palliative care to patients across the lifespan.
  • be able to critically appraise the principles, policy and standards of palliative care.
  • be able to provide culturally respectful palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people from other cultural groups.
  • be able to investigate the principles involved in facilitating decision making and empowerment of the person and their carers.
  • be able to identify and analyse the scientific basis of cancer, the pathophysiology of cancer and carcinogenesis.
  • be able to identify and appraise the principles of palliation.
  • be able to investigate current models of communication and apply these models of communication skills to simulated clinical scenarios.
  • be able to competently apply communication skills for complex situations involving patients, family and carers.
  • be able to actively participate in negotiation and leadership skills co-ordinating inter professional teams.
  • be able to identify issues in palliative care across the lifespan
  • be able to critically appraise the current ethical and legal debates, societal values and expectations of health care.
  • to be able to understand the role of palliation for persons with a life shortening illness including those with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Models of care
  • Principles, policy and standards of palliative care.
  • Palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Understanding cancer, pathophysiology and carcinogenesis.
  • Core treatment modalities and decision making determinants.
  • Ethical and legal issues.
  • Communication.

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 5 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students will be mentored in their clinical practice by an experienced advanced nurse and / or physician for 40 hours (5 days) of supervised practice. A collaborative competency based learning contract will support their advancing practice.


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.