NRS121 Professional Nursing: Foundations of Communication (8)

Communication is a multi-faceted skill that is central to the provision of health care and fundamental to nursing practice. This foundational subject explores the components essential to understanding communication with individuals and groups to enable effective communication that is ethical and supports therapeutic outcomes. This subject will provide students with evidence based strategies for person centred communication with clients from Indigenous Australian and culturally and linguistically diverse groups, people from different age groups and people with cognitive impairments (for distance education students this will occur online and possibly involve other methods of communication).

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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 demonstrate a broad knowledge base about the different communication needs of patients at differing developmental stages and from Indigenous Australian and other cultural backgrounds (aligns with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse: 1.2, 2.1, 3.2, 5.1, 5.2, 9.2, 9.5, 10.3).
  • be able to utlise evidence-based principles and strategies to maintain an effective process of care (NMBA 3.2, 9.2, 9.5, 10.3).
  • be able to reflect on the effects of their own interpersonal skills and style of communication on inter-professional and intra-professional interactions as well as therapeutic communication (NMBA 1.3, 2.1, 3.2, 7.4, 9.2, 9.5).
  • be able to work within a team in a variety of roles to establish and maintain effective team processes and communication (NMBA 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 3.2, 3.5, 4.3, 4.4, 7.5, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 10.1, 10.3).
  • be able to explain the role of communication in leadership and teamwork in health practice (NMBA 3.2, 6.4, 7.1, 7.5, 9.1, 9.2, 9.5, 10.3).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Interpersonal Communication. Principles of effective interpersonal communication. Influencing factors including but not limited to environment, context, perception, culture, age, gender, sexual preference, physical or mental state. Explore different forms of communication used to collaborate and share information across a range of contexts including remote communication and health promotion. Interpersonal skills including but not limited to: self-awareness and reflective practice. Ethical communication. Stress: adaptive and maladaptive responses, stress vulnerability, crisis and managing conflict.
  • Module 2: Communicating in the Workplace. Review and expand on: Communicating as a nursing professional (from NRS111). Intra professional communication. Inter professional communication. Leadership skills - establishing a professional relationship, delegating, team work. Feedback - giving and receiving.
  • Module 3: Communication as an aspect of cultural competence: Indigenous Australian communication and protocols; Communicating with an interpreter; Cross cultural communication; Reflection on impact of communication on cultural groups.
  • Module 4: Therapeutic Communication: Theory to practice. Principles and concepts of therapeutic relationships. Establishing, maintaining and ending therapeutic relationships. Communicating with diverse populations e.g. cognitively impaired patients.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of NRS121 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Communication online test
Therapeutic communication: written paper
Inter-professional communication: case analysis

Special Resources

Distance Education students will be required to travel to a residential school.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.