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    Enables the registered nurse to demonstrate health assessment knowledge and skills to meet the competencies required for advancing nursing practice. A period of mentored practice will integrate physical, psychosocial assessment and pathophysiology in the nurse’s specialty area.

    NURS 405 is based around the competencies of advanced nursing practice (Nursing Council New Zealand):

    • Systematic health assessment.
    • Advanced nursing practice.
    • Ethics and law, communication and documentation.
    • Application of health assessment skills to individual nursing frameworks, and to the nurses clinical speciality.

    About this paper

    Paper title Health Assessment and Advanced Nursing Practice
    Subject Nursing
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,984.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NURX 405
    Limited to
    MAdvNP, MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc

    The applicant will:

    • Have registration as a nurse from a three-year programme or course, congruent with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003.
    • Hold a current Practising Certificate.
    • Have access to a clinical supervisor for 50 hours.
    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Raewyn Lesa

    Paper Structure

    This paper considers advanced health assessment across the life span, focusing specifically on:

    • Obtaining a health history.
    • Formulation of differential diagnoses.
    • Development of a plan of management.
    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    Three study blocks: One 3-day block, two 2-day blocks.

    Examination: 1-day Clinical examination (OSCE).

    Attendance at all study block courses and exam is compulsory.

    View more Timetable information.


    Required: Bickley, L. S. (2020). Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking (13th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

    Students may use an earlier edition provided it is not more than five years old.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    The RN student will:

    1. Demonstrate competence in undertaking advanced health assessment relevant to patient presentation, across the life span.
    2. Integrate knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and advanced health assessment into specific area of nursing practice.
    3. Apply sound clinical reasoning, informed by current evidence, to interpret health assessment findings.
    4. Identify appropriate diagnostic tests and investigations, interpret and review results in a collaborative approach to determine action.
    5. Synthesise information from the health record and comprehensive assessment to develop provisional and differential diagnoses and health promotion consistent with scope of practice; consult appropriately.
    6. Obtain additional information to assess whether the therapeutic goals have been achieved by examining the health consumer, requesting investigations and interpreting the findings.
    7. Demonstrate application of the principles of cultural safety in nursing practice in alignment with the policies of the Nursing Council of New Zealand and the University's commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system

    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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