NRS211 Essential Nursing Care: Acute Care (16)

This subject will provide students with the knowledge and skills they require to provide safe, evidence-based nursing care to children and adults in the acute care setting. In keeping with the National Health Priority Areas, students will use a case-based approach to explore the pathophysiology, typical and atypical presentations, related pharmacology and collaborative care of asthma, selected cardiovascular disorders and diabetes mellitus. Gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and reproductive disorders will also be explored in the context of the nursing assessment and management of selected conditions during the perioperative period. During weekly clinical simulation laboratory workshops and a 160 hour workplace learning placement, students will have the opportunity to further develop their assessment skills as they perform detailed assessments of the relevant body systems (for distance education students this will involve a 4 day residential school). Students will also develop skills in the administration of intravenous therapy and parenteral medications.


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

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Bathurst Campus
Dubbo Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS211. 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).


BMS192 and ( NRS122 or NRS192 )

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to collect, interpret and document subjective and objective assessment data in the acutely ill person (aligns with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse: 1.1, 1.2., 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 8.1, 8.2).
  • be able to link the underlying pathophysiology of selected acute health challenges to their clinical manifestations (NMBA 2.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 7.1, 7.4).
  • be able to apply theoretical knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving and the use of best evidence to the planning and implementation of safe and appropriate nursing interventions for people experiencing selected acute health challenges (NMBA 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 7.7, 7.8, 9.3, 9.5, 10.3).
  • be able to apply theoretical knowledge to the safe administration of selected intravenous fluids and parenteral medications (NMBA 1.2, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 7.1, 7.2).
  • be able to communicate effectively with individuals, groups and members of the interdisciplinary team in the acute care environment (NMBA 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.4, 7.7, 9.2, 9.4).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Parenteral Medication Administration and Intravenous (IV) Therapy. Fluid and electrolyte balance. Routes of administration techniques, pharmacology, current best practice. Dosage calculations for parenteral medications. Nursing considerations following medication administration. IV fluid rate calculations. Commencing and ceasing IVT. Care of an intravenous cannula (IVC). Lifespan considerations. Legal considerations, including documentation. Learning Outcomes: 3-5.
  • Module 2: Management of the Person with Asthma. Assessment of the respiratory system. Related pathophysiology. Typical and atypical presentations. Collaborative care and nursing interventions. Administering oxygen (nasal prongs & Hudson mask) and other medications related pharmacology. Health promotion and prevention. Learning Outcomes: 1-5.
  • Module 3: Management of the Person with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Assessment of the cardiovascular system heart, peripheral vascular system and chest pain, performing a 12 lead ECG. Pathophysiology, risk factors and complications. Collaborative care and nursing interventions, focusing on the management of chest pain, including analgesia. Administering cardiac medications and related pharmacology. Learning Outcomes: 1-5.
  • Module 4: Assessment and Management of the Person with Diabetes. Assessment of the endocrine system. Pathophysiology. Acute complications hyper and hypoglycaemia. Medications for diabetes mellitus and related pharmacology. Nursing care for the hospitalised diabetic patient. Lifespan considerations. Learning Outcomes: 1-5.
  • Module 5: Assessment and Management of the Person Requiring Abdominal Surgery. Assessment of the GIT, renal and reproductive systems. Related pathophysiology and pharmacology of selected conditions. Post-operative pain assessment and management. Insertion and management of nasogastric (NG) tubes. Stoma assessment and management. Insertion and management of indwelling catheters (IDCs). Post-operative assessment and care, including wound care and drain. Learning Outcomes: 1-5.
  • Module 6: Management of the Person Requiring Musculoskeletal Surgery. Assessment of the musculoskeletal system. Musculosketal trauma and joint replacements. Pathophysiology. Post-operative management including mobilisation and traction. Complications compartment syndrome, fat embolus. Health promotion and prevention. Lifespan considerations. Learning Outcomes: 1-5.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of NRS211 in Session 1 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 %
Safe practice assessment
Clinical calculations
Clinical presentation report
Nursing competency assessment schedule (ncas)
Case scenarios- short answer questions
Multiple choice questions

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 20 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students will be placed in workplaces providing acute care to patients and clients to ensure that they have a clear understanding of this area of nursing care.

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

This will include tutorials and assessment of students through Clinical Skills Labs/Simulation. Development of physical skills through simulation is essential in the development of nursing skills related to acute care.

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.