Bachelor of Nursing Science

JCU Inherent Requirements for Bachelor of Nursing Science (pre-registration) [78110, 78110E], Bachelor of Nursing Science (IHCAP) [108110], Bachelor of Nursing Science (post registration) [78210], and Bachelor of Nursing Science (Honours) [78109]

James Cook University (JCU) is committed to enhancing students' access, participation and success in higher education and embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. We strongly support the rights of individuals who wish to pursue a degree to achieve their potential personal and professional career objectives. This document is designed to assist students and potential students to make informed decisions for study and access to services and to guide further discussions based on a clear understating of the inherent course requirements.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Students and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree.


Reasonable adjustments may be implemented to assist you manage additional circumstances impacting on your studies provided these do not fundamentally change academic integrity of a degree.


Are inherent requirements different to admissions and academic requirements?


Each degree has a number of admissions and academic requirements which must be met prior to being able to enrol in or graduate from the degree. Admissions and academic requirements can be found at the following links:

Students with a disability or health condition


In many cases, studying with health conditions or disabilities will not impact on your studies. Many students with disabilities or other impacting circumstances that impact on their studies, have successfully completed their university studies, with and without reasonable adjustments made to their learning conditions.


Students with a disability or health condition, or other circumstances such as cultural or religious considerations, can discuss their circumstances and potential needs for reasonably adjusted learning conditions with university staff including the Course Coordinator or AccessAbility Services.


It is highly recommended that you discuss your circumstances with JCU staff as early as possible as reduced time-frames may impact significantly on the adjustments that are possible. For students with a disability or health condition, AccessAbility Services provides an experienced reference point, facilitates reasonable adjustments made, and assists students to develop the strategies to realise their capabilities. The University has no requirement to adjust for conditions that it is not aware of. Disclosure is required for any circumstances that pose a health or safety risk to yourself or others.

Reasonable adjustments


JCU is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, placement and other activities to enable students to participate in their course. Reasonable adjustments could be made to how curricula is delivered, clinical placements are conducted, and the way in which learning outcomes are achieved, demonstrated or assessed. Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the inherent requirement. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need to be able to demonstrate the inherent requirements of the course, and may or may not be sufficient in themselves to assist students to meet these requirements.

Reading the Inherent Requirements Statements

Inherent requirements are divided into domains and sub-domains and contain the following information:

  1. Introduction to the inherent requirement
  2. A rationale as to why it is an inherent requirement
  3. Examples of things you must be able to demonstrate, or have the ability to acquire and demonstrate during the course of your degree.  Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

Inherent Requirements Statements - Bachelor of Nursing Science (pre-registration) [78110, 78110E], Bachelor of Nursing Science (IHCAP) [108110], Bachelor of Nursing Science (post registration) [78210], and Bachelor of Nursing Science (Honours) [78109]

If you are intending to enrol in the Bachelor of Nursing Science (pre-registration) [78110, 78110E], Bachelor of Nursing Science (IHCAP) [108110], Bachelor of Nursing Science (post registration) [78210] or Bachelor of Nursing Science (Honours) [78109], you should read this document in conjunction with the course handbook.

You should carefully consider the inherent requirement statements below as a guide for your learning during the course, and as a way to identify early possible challenges you may have in meeting these requirements. If you remain interested or engaged in the course, you should discuss your concerns with the College staff such as the Course Coordinator as soon as possible. If the challenges are related to your disability or health condition contact AccessAbility Services to discuss possible strategies and reasonable adjustments.


If the inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, University staff can provide guidance regarding other study options.

Please note reasonable adjustments must:

  • Be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements, and not compromise codes,guidelines and policies
  • Not result in unethical or unprofessional behaviour
  • Meet the necessary standards of timeliness, accuracy and functional effectiveness to ensure that self and patient care, treatment or safety is not compromised
  • Address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice, including undertaking learning activities in mixed gender environments, which reflect the Australian context.
  • Ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.

Legal

Inherent Requirement

Compliance with Australian Law and professional regulations.

Rationale

Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others in clinical and related settings; compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian Law ensures students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Examples

  • Respond to the requirements for student registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Comply with relevant legislation including child protection and safety, work health and safety, and anti-discrimination legislation. For examples of applicable Australian Federal legislations visit https://www.comlaw.gov.au/

Ethical and professional behaviour

Inherent Requirement

Ethical and professional behaviour in academic and clinical/professional environments

Rationale

Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines and policies that facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with in the many environments of practice is required for the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of all.

Examples

  • Comply with academic and non-academic conduct codes and policies and professional standards;
  • Identify and enact relevant applications of these codes and standards, including
    those relating to plagiarism, informed consent, privacy, confidentiality, and equitable and respectful behaviour in academic and clinical settings.

Safe practice

Inherent Requirement

Compliance with safe practice sufficient to meet patient care needs, including considerations of current scope of practice, workplace health and safety and infection control.

Rationale

Compliance with current scope of practice, workplace health and safety, infection control
considerations and effective and timely response to alarm systems are required to provide safe environments for students, staff and others.

Examples

  • Limit task performance to current scope of practice;
  • Comply with relevant workplace health & safety policies for equipment use and storage;
  • Remain up to date with first-aid and CPR knowledge and practice;
  • Work safely with clients with infectious diseases and with reduced immunity;
  • Be able to respond to alarm systems to maintain safety and/or effective health management for self and patients.

Cognition

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent Requirement

Knowledge acquisition, utilisation and retention spanning and drawing together all coursework subjects. Cognitive skills for focus, memory, attention to detail, theoretical deliberation, and practical functioning sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Understanding and retention of coursework information and the effective processing of this information is required for appropriate, safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Make safe and appropriate patient care decisions from retained knowledge;
  • Assess the application of policy and procedures in the context of clinical situations;
  • Source, research and use an evidence based framework to make sound decisions between clinical management options;
  • Assess level and analyse causes of a patient's pain;
  • Notice and respond effectively to critical changes in instructions, measurements or observable symptoms, e.g. assess appropriate course of action when patient’s temperature is elevated.

Metacognition

Inherent Requirement

Awareness of own thinking, and skills to reflect, evaluate, adapt and implement new cognitive strategies for improved learning and patient care.

Rationale

Understanding and ongoing learning about oneself as an instrument in patient care is required for safe and effective delivery of practice.

Examples

  • Review the outcome of treatment for a patient's particular symptom presentation and then adapt own knowledge for future clinical decisions;
  • Review and reflect on personal responses and cultural paradigms around patient care challenges, and develop safe, effective and professional care approaches;
  • Manage and proactively learn from academic and clinical set-backs by self- evaluation;
  • Reflect on the options, ethical implications, and impact for all the stakeholders in patient care decisions;
  • Be aware of, and take responsibility for, own personal role in the patient care process.

Literacy

Inherent Requirement

English literacy skills that allow the creation and interpretation of clear meaning for patient care through a range of symbols and English language text.

Rationale

Patient care information can be delivered by many different modes and competent literacy skills for these are essential to provide appropriate, safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Comprehend, summarise and reference a range of literature in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments;
  • Interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal directions or documented patient care plans
  • Produce accurate, concise and clear nursing documentation which meets legal requirements.

Numeracy

Inherent Requirement

Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts for patient care decisions.

Rationale

Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential for safe and effective care/practice.

Examples

  • Calculate and correct intravenous drip rate and drug dosages in a time-constrained environment;
  • Calculate patient’s fluid balance status from observation and records.

Communication

Verbal communication

Inherent Requirement

Verbal communication in English to a standard that allows fluid, clear, and comprehensible two-way discussions for patient care, tailored to the local English-speaking audiences.

Rationale

Effective verbal communication, in English, with patients and university and clinical staff is required for effective learning and to provide safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Convey spoken messages accurately and effectively in a professional/clinical situation;
  • Understand and respond to verbal communication accurately and appropriately ina time-constrained environment when a patient provides vital bedside information;
  • Build rapport with a patient to encourage full disclosure of symptoms;
  • Present information to, and engage in developing discussions with, a wide audience, including academic and professional/clinical presentations.

Non-verbal communication

Inherent Requirement

Non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

The ability to recognise, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and to be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication is essential for safe and effective care.

Examples

  • Recognise cues in a patient’s facial expression, appearance, behaviour, posture, or movement;
  • Deliver information to a distressed patient incorporating non-verbal behaviour that matches the nature of the information;
  • Recognise and adjust to differing touch preferences of patients.

Written communication

Inherent Requirement

Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional-level communication for patient care, with language usage and style tailored to the targeted recipients.

Rationale

Effective communication in English text is required to demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and in sustained and organised academic argument and provide safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples

  • Communicate complex academic and clinical perspectives in writing;
  • Summarise and appropriately reference a range of literature in written assignments;
  • Use precise and appropriate language to contribute to both handwritten and electronic medical records in a time-constrained environment;
  • Construct nursing reports and patient care plans that meet professional standards.

Sensory ability

Visual

Inherent Requirement

Ability to interact with visual inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the working and learning environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Observe and detect subtle changes in a patient’s response to therapeutic procedures e.g. skin colour and/or appearance;
  • Inspect wounds for tension on stitches and signs of inflammation and/or infection’
  • Read medication labels and syringe graduations;
  • Process visual information from monitoring equipment and medical technologies e.g. ECG traces, x-rays, oxygen flow meters.

Auditory

Inherent Requirement

Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the learning and working environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Detect and discriminate changes in blood pressure sounds, pain sounds and breathing sounds;
  • Accurately undertake blood pressure measurements by auscultation;'
  • Detect and discriminate alarms, emergency calls over PA systems, and urgent verbal information for patient care;
  • Follow developing discussions with colleagues for patient care decisions.

Tactile

Inherent Requirement

Ability to respond to tactile input and provide tactile interaction sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

Elements in the learning and working environment are detected and measured by tactile means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective practice. The appropriate use of touch as a part of effective patient care is also required.

Examples

  • Detect changes in circulation e.g. temperature of extremities, palpable pulses;
  • Conduct a physical assessment and detect any anatomical or physiological abnormalities;
  • Apply appropriate technique when performing venepuncture;
  • Provide patient care through appropriate and reassuring touch.

Motor ability

Gross motor ability

Inherent Requirement

Strength, range of motion, coordination and mobility sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

A wide range of physical patient care actions in a time-constrained environment is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Instigate and contribute to emergency life support;
  • Move readily around patients, between work areas and patients, and around varying surfaces and levels, to complete tasks within time-frames;
  • Access around bedside equipment, across and patients, across sterile areas without contaminating surfaces;
  • Maintain balance and safely assist patient transfers and walking;
  • Effectively ascertain patient information from percussion or palpation of a patient's body parts.

Fine motor ability

Inherent Requirement

Manual dexterity and fine motor skills sufficient to meet patient care needs.

Rationale

A wide range of fine-motor manual tasks in a time-constrained environment are required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Adjust intravenous flow rates;
  • Draw up medication into a syringe;
  • Open sterile packaging without contaminating contents;
  • Remove stitches from a wound and perform the insertion of a urinary catheter.
  • Contribute to both handwritten and electronic medical records.

Sustained performance

Inherent Requirement

Sustained physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance sufficient to provide safe and complete patient care in a time-constrained environment.

Rationale

A range of complex, multi-component or extended patient care tasks carried out over a period of time and in a time-constrained environments is required to provide safe and effective practice.

Examples

  • Sustain study practices and clinical performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a study period, and for the degree, within a constrained time-frame;
  • Sustain a working posture, associated manual tasks, cognitive engagement, performance level and emotional control for the full duration of a patient care process e.g. lumbar puncture on a child; initial assessment of a multiple-trauma burn patient; successive and extended patient assessments with minimal breaks;
  • Sustain performance for durations that are manageable within overall shift- planning for patient care.

Behavioural adaptability

Inherent Requirement

Behaviour that adapts to changing situations sufficiently to maintain safe and complete patient care, and instigates self-care consistent with professional expectations.

Rationale

Behavioural adaptation is required to manage personal emotional responses as an individual and within teams in changing and unpredictable environments, including emergency situations and times of human distress. Students will also be required to adapt their behaviour appropriately during times of additional stressors in their own lives, whether this adaptation involves ways of continuing to engage with their role or withdrawing for self- care for a period.

Examples

  • Adjust ways of working within teams of varied personal and professional backgrounds and clinical opinions to facilitate effective patient decisions;
  • Cope with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with changing responses of individuals and families in the clinical setting;
  • Be receptive and respond appropriately to constructive feedback;
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads;
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a professional-level focus on the patient.