Principles of orthopaedic nursing | Australian College of Nursing

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Principles of orthopaedic nursing

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This unit of study is designed for registered nurses working in a variety of orthopaedic environments. Patient assessment and clinical manifestations of patients presenting with musculoskeletal/traumatic conditions are examined. Adult learning principles are used to address topics such as: anatomy and physiology, clinical assessment, diagnostic investigations, pharmacology, the role of the multidisciplinary team and complications of orthopaedic disorders related to musculoskeletal dysfunction/trauma. This unit of study is designed to meet the developing needs of orthopaedic nurses. Students must be able to work in an orthopaedic environment.

Principles of orthopaedic nursing

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedic Nursing

PG Single Unit of Study






Tier 1

Prescribed text:

Jester, R, Santy, J & Rodgers, J 2011, Oxford handbook of orthopaedic and trauma nursing, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Co-ordinated by: Robyn Manning



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: Anatomy and Physiology


a) Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology and mechanisms of homeostasis across the lifespan

Assessment 1 Online discussions x 2



Theme 2: Skeletal growth and development


b) Discuss the principles of musculoskeletal assessment and integrate the findings into nursing practice

Assessment 2 Quiz (20 questions)



Theme 3: Assessment

c) Explain and interpret image and other diagnostic investigations related to orthopaedic dysfunction or trauma and incorporate into nursing management

Assessment 3 Case analysis (2000 words)



Theme 4: Diagnostic investigations

d) Discuss the role of pharmacology used to facilitate homeostasis or control orthopaedic dysfunction and/or injury related symptoms

Assessment 4 Case analysis (2000 words)



Theme 5: Pharmacologic treatment options to restore or maintain homeostasis

e) Examine the roles within the multidisciplinary team and their contribution to the provision of holistic care




Theme 6: The multidisciplinary team and rehabilitation

f) Discuss and integrate into nursing practice complications related to musculoskeletal dysfunction or trauma




Theme 7: Orthopaedic complications





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.