NURS13140 - Law and Ethical Considerations in the Profession of Nursing

General Information

Unit Synopsis

As a student and registered nurse, you will be confronted by legally complex and ethically challenging situations. This unit will help you practice nursing that adheres to legislation and professional standards. In this unit you will analyse legislation, organisational requirements that govern nursing practice and apply ethical principles in your decision making.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


BIOH12012 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology 2 or BIOH12008 Human Pathophysiology or NURS12158 Clinical Nursing Practice 3


NURS12162 Mental Health Nursing with Professional Experience Placement OR NURS12157 Concepts of Mental Health Nursing

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 40%
2. Case Study 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 60.47% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 16.80% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have your say survey Student emails Direct communication
Workbook: Positive student feedback was received in relation to the module by module format.
Workbook to be used alternatively as an assessment tool.
Action Taken
The workbook appears to be the prefered mode of assessment and will be utilised in conjunction with short answer responses to stimulus questions for assessment purposes.
Source: Have your say survey Student emails Feedback during online sessions
Online sessions: The availability of coordinators was frequently identified by students as beneficial. Contact outside of the standard forums was seen as a positive aspect for quickly responding to questions and providing a space to discuss and seek further clarification. Students indicated the reassessment guidance in the online sessions as directly contributing to their confidence in developing their assessment submissions.
Online sessions to continue to enhance interaction and consolidation of content. Given this is a 3rd year unit, adult learning practices do not require the volume of workshops. Coordinator online sessions where students have the opportunity to attend drop-in sessions and ask questions relating to content were also well received.
Action Taken
Weekly workshops were provided for international students located on the Rockhampton campus. Frequent online sessions were provided to students to enable a forum to discuss content. Online sessions will continue in response to FAQ on an as-needed basis.
Source: Have your say survey Student emails Direct communication
Stimulus questions: Students stated that the questions were beneficial to the application of the essential information provided in each module.
Stimulus questions to be used as an alternative assessment tool to the workbook.
Action Taken
Stimulus questions were utilised for assessment 1 for this term. This task required students to engage in the forums regularly, where they received formative feedback. Students reported dissatisfaction with forum engagement. The use of the stimulus questions will remain, and the necessity to post to the forum will be removed from subsequent offerings.
Source: Have your say survey Student emails Direct communication
Forums: The quick turnaround time for responses was viewed positively by students. Providing specific forums to direct questions to or comment on the module content enabled timely feedback.
Maintain to allow students to collectively provide ideas and feedback.
Action Taken
Forums remained an ideal way to provide formative feedback for students. The forums in their current form will remain however the requirements to post to the forum as an activity linked to their assessment will be removed.
Source: SUTE feedback
Students requested weekly recorded information to explain the content.
Presentations that explained key components of the content were available in a prerecorded format for all weeks. All modules had a presentation available from week one of the term. Opportunities were made available for students to discuss content via online drop-in sessions. These sessions were held every two weeks; however, they were not well attended by students despite the daytime and evening options provided.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback
Students requested weekly access to coordinators
Weekly online sessions were made available however, these were infrequently accessed by students in Term 1. The drop-in sessions will remain scheduled on a weekly basis with greater awareness of these opportunities made to students.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback
Students requested more zoom sessions in relation to the assessments.
Deconstruction for assessment one was provided in a recorded information presentation. Assessment one also had feedback provided via the forums. Online sessions providing the opportunity to discuss assessment items and content were provided; however, these were not well attended by students. Four live sessions were available for assessment item 2 (two of which were recorded and made available to students), and an additional AV presentation on how to approach the assessment was also provided. No further sessions are deemed necessary; however, students will be encouraged to attend the drop-in online sessions and view the recorded material relating to the assessment, as well as attend the live zoom workshops.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback
Students indicated that the teaching scenario would have been a better option for the assessment instead of the scenario provided.
The teaching scenario was used to deconstruct the assessment 2 task. Workshopping the teaching scenario added to the depth of understanding by the students, as coordinator direction, peer-assisted learning and group consensus approach occurred. The teaching scenario was similar to the assessment scenario however, the assessment task itself required the demonstration of critical thinking by students on an individual basis. No changes to the complexity or structure of the scenarios are deemed necessary.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback
Students reported being disadvantaged if they were not located in Rockhampton as this is the only campus that holds face to face workshops.
Face to Face workshops was held on the Rockhampton campus to meet the requirements for international students, and the sessions were open to all students. This opportunity was not accessed by many students. These sessions were not recorded as they are tutorial sessions. There were multiple opportunities provided through online workshops and coordinator online and drop-in sessions however, these were not well utilised by students despite both day and evening opportunities being made available. On-campus workshops will remain to meet the needs of international students with an open invitation to others in the vicinity. Workshops online will be held in response to FAQ where a more detailed response is required. These will be held on an as-needs basis. Coordinator online & drop-in sessions will continue to be available on a weekly basis.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse legal and ethical issues relevant to contemporary nursing practice
  2. Apply the principles of bioethics and the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights to nursing practice and decision making
  3. Apply appropriate legislation, policies, frameworks, codes and guidelines to nursing practice
  4. Analyse decision-making associated with challenges in establishing reasonable belief, identifying notifiable conduct and mandatory reporting.

Content in this unit incorporates a number of professional nursing requirements

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Registered Nurse Standards for Practice

Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships

Maintains the capability for practice

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Nursing Code of Conduct

Legal compliance

Person-centred practice

Cultural practice and respectful relationships

Professional behaviour

Teaching, supervising and assessing

Research in health

Health and wellbeing

International Council of Nursing Code of Ethics for Nursing

Nurses and People

Nurses and Practice

Nurses and the Profession

Nurses and co-workers

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

Clinical governance

Partnering with consumers

Preventing and Controlling healthcare-associated infection

Medication safety

Comprehensive care

Communicating for safety

Patient Safety Competency Framework

Person-centred care

Therapeutic communication

Cultural competence

Teamwork and collaborative practice

Clinical reasoning

Evidence-based practice

Preventing, minimising and responding to adverse events

Infection prevention and control

Medication safety

Aged Care Quality Standards

Organisation’s service environment

Feedback and complaints

Human resources

Organisation governance

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Case Study
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10