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Foundational Concepts in Drug and Alcohol Nursing
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This unit of study is designed to provide students with an understanding of the foundational concepts of alcohol and other drugs nursing. The concepts of harm minimisation and the legal and ethical dimensions of caring for persons living with substance use disorders are explored. This unit of study also examines the main substances that may lead to dependence, along with assessment and screening for alcohol and other drugs related harms. You will have the opportunity to build on existing knowledge by problem solving through reflection and critical evaluation of your current practice. Other concepts explored in this unit include stigma, and the importance of language and communication when caring for people seeking care for alcohol and other drug use. ACN acknowledges that alcohol is also a drug, however, in current practice settings, nurses are still referred to as drug and alcohol nurses rather than alcohol and other drugs nurses.

Foundational Concepts in Drug and Alcohol Nursing
Unit of study code 324
Availability Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

GC single unit of study

Pre-requisite This subject is the first subject in the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing, and will be a pre-requisite for other units of study in the Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Nursing
Credit points 6
Hours of study 150
Fee* Tier 1
Prescribed texts Nil
Co-ordinated by Mevin Paulose
Content Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program

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

Assessment Tasks
Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Australian drug policy/philosophy a) appraise Australia’s harm minimisation strategy and alcohol and other drugs policy development and its place in alcohol and other drugs nursing practice Assessment 1: Online discussions x2 10% 4, 5
Theme 2: Legal, ethical and professional issues b) discuss the legal and ethical dimensions relevant to caring for persons living with alcohol and other drug issues Assessment 2: Reflective essay (2,000 words) 40% 6
Theme 3: Understanding substance use c) examine the main substances leading to substance use issues and their impact on those who use alcohol and other drugs and their support network Assessment 3: Concept map 10% 7
Theme 4: Effective communication and language in drug and alcohol nursing d) analyse theoretical models, including cultural, psychosocial and biological models, to understand substance use patterns and outcomes Assessment 4: Essay (2,000 words) 40% 10
Theme 5: Drug and alcohol screening and assessment e) compare different approaches to screening and assessment for alcohol and other drugs related harms in the delivery of culturally safe nursing practice
f) critically reflect on the stigma associated with substance use, and how your own beliefs, attitudes and communication processes support person-centred care.

Foundational Concepts in Drug and Alcohol Nursing (324) is a Tier 1 unit.

Tiers2021 Member price (10% discount)2021 Non-member price2022 Member price (10% discount)2022 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,070.00$2,300.00$2,133.00$2,370.00
Tier 2$2,362.50$2,625.00$2,434.50$2,705.00
Tier 3$2,776.50$3,085.00$2,862.00$3,180.00
Tier 4$3,321.00$3,690.00$3,420.00$3,800.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.