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NURS446 Nursing Clients with Altered Health States

Nursing skills and knowledge in caring for people with an acute illness, acute exacerbation of existing illness, susceptibility to life-threatening conditions, including pre-, peri- and postoperative care.

Students will continue to develop clinical skills and critical thinking to inform clinical reasoning, decision making and problem solving to safely provide nursing care in acute-, emergency- and critical-care settings. Building on previous papers, and through the integration of research evidence and theory, students will utilise their knowledge and skills to provide care for patients with an acute illness, exacerbation of existing conditions and surgical presentations.

Paper title Nursing Clients with Altered Health States
Paper code NURS446
Subject Nursing
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (31 July 2023 - 1 December 2023) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,451.50
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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NURS 443 and NURS 445
Limited to
An undergraduate degree in any discipline with at least three years' full-time study and a B average in the final two years of the degree.
Teaching staff

Dr Patrice Rosengrave

Teaching Arrangements

Taught face-to-face on the Christchurch campus three hours per week, preparing students for clinical placement at the end of the second semester.


Required: Brown, D., Edwards, H., Buckley, T. and Aitken, R. (2019) Lewis's Medical Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, 5th ed. Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Cultural understanding, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

At successful completion of the paper students will be able to:

  • Synthesise bioscience and nursing knowledge to initiate and provide a comprehensive nursing assessment and appropriate care for the acutely ill person, incorporating sound, evidence-based clinical reasoning
  • Apply critical reasoning to identify and initiate an appropriate response to patients with a rapidly changing health status
  • Communicate and engage effectively with patient, family/whānau and other health team members to formulate appropriate person-centred nursing care and discharge plans
  • Under the supervision of an appropriately registered health professional, competently prepare, administer and evaluate the effectiveness of medications and intravenous therapies within legislation codes and according to authorised prescription, policy and guidelines
  • Based on critical reflection and an application of evidence into practice, provide nursing care for people undergoing surgery throughout the surgical journey
  • Demonstrate the critical application of the principles of infection prevention and control
  • Effectively develop a therapeutic relationship with patients in time-constrained, acute environments
  • Demonstrate application of the principles of cultural safety in line with policies of the Nursing Council of New Zealand and the University's commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families/whānau and members of the health team, both verbally and in writing, to reach the most appropriate outcomes in an acute setting
  • Practice within legal and ethical requirements of clinical agencies and in accordance with the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies and professional standards

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1st Non standard period (31 July 2023 - 1 December 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system