NRS531 Critical Inquiry and Evidence Based Nursing Practice (16)

The aim of this subject is to extend the student's knowledge and skills in identifying, appraising and utilising research as an evidence base for nursing practice. Students will engage in the process of critical inquiry and explore the range of methods used to construct nursing knowledge and utilise evidence to inform clinical decision making. This knowledge and skill will be applied in the provision and evaluation of care to health consumers and in the delivery of health care services.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus
Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS531. 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 (with specialisations)

Master of Clinical Nursing (Nurse Practitioner)

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate research and evidence based practice knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and analyse the paradigms used in research studies
  • be able to identify, appraise and utilise research as an evidence base for nursing practice
  • be able to differentiate between research methodologies of inquiry and appraise their application in the investigation of nursing practice
  • be able to investigate cultural issues acknowledging cultural safety as a basis for nursing practice
  • be able to competently use appropriate media and technologies to search and retrieve information, including the use of databases
  • be able to formulate clinical question/s using systematic methods
  • be able to critically appraise the research and professional literature relating to nursing practice to review and enhance clinical decisions
  • be able to identify and appraise Clinical Practice Guidelines and evaluation tools
  • be able to utilise a range of strategies to implement evidence based practice
  • be able to produce a succinctly written paper suitable for publication and identify methods for dissemination of information
  • be able to conduct an audit to determine if change in professional practice has influenced health outcomes


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Evidence Based Practice (EBP). Methods of Choice. Exploring Philosophical Paradigms. Research methodologies. Methods for generating and analysing data. Research culture. Development of clinical Practice Guidelines.
  • Research evidence to inform decision making. Reviewing and reflection on practice. Formulating Clinical Questions. Searching for research evidence. Critical appraisal, synthesis and evaluation of information. Using a critical appraisal guide. Interpreting the results. Implementation of evidence based practice. The Audit Process

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of NRS531 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 %
Visual & oral presentation (with supporting notes)
Appraising evidence to support changes to practice
Clinical audit: a tool for improving care
Open book test

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.