Applied Neonatal Physiology | Australian College of Nursing

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Applied Neonatal Physiology

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This is the foundational neonatal unit of study. The purpose of this unit of study is for students to develop greater understanding of normal physiology which will in turn facilitate the development of advanced clinical assessment skills. This is achieved by providing essential grounding in embryological and neonatal development and physiology. Students are guided through the processes involved in foetal to neonatal transition and adaptation. The concepts of oxygenation, thermoregulation and metabolism are discussed in relation to the early neonatal period. These concepts underpin the neonatal clinician’s ability to interpret clinical assessment findings for both term and pre-term infants.

Applied neonatal physiology

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Care

PG unit of study





Fee*Tier 1

Recommended texts:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) & American Heart Association (AHA) 2016, Neonatal resuscitation textbook, 7th edn, Author, Chicago.

Blackburn, ST 2013, Maternal fetal and neonatal physiology: A clinical perspective, 4th edn, Saunders, St Louis.

Carlson, B 2013, Human embryology and developmental biology, 5th edn, Elsevier, Philadelphia.

Gardner, SL, Carter, BS, Enzman-Hines, M & Hernandez, JA (eds), Handbook of neonatal intensive care,8th edn., Mosby Elsevier, St Louis

Co-ordinated by: Trish Lowe MACN



Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Not the completed assessment item. E.g. Assessment 1. Online discussion 


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Embryonic & foetal development & homeostasis

a) Examine homeostatis, models of neonatal behavioural organisation and developmental care. 

Assessment 1 Quiz (20 questions)



Theme 2: Antenatal considerations

b) Evaluate psychosocial screening and assessment, and trans-cultural issues in the provision of antenatal care to vulnerable families.

Assessment 2 Essay (1500 words)



Theme 3: Transition from foetus to neonate

c) Examine normal and altered embryonic and foetal development 

Assessment 3 Online discussions x 2




d) Examine antenatal considerations including the impact of maternal health on pregnancy and the neonate.

Assessment 4 Guided case analysis (2500 words)




e) Appraise evidence based specialist knowledge and explore the physiology and patho-physiology of pregnancy and birth





f) Evaluate current neonatal, midwifery and obstetric care using multiple modes of inquiry 





g) Compare and contrast normal and altered transition from foetus to neonate.




Units commencing or have commenced in 2017

Tier 1$2,035
Tier 2$2,345
Tier 3$2,725
Tier 4$3,275

Units commencing in 2018

Tier 1$2,100
Tier 2$2,420
Tier 3$2,800
Tier 4$3,375

*Fees are subject to change without notice.