Bachelor of Nursing

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  • Objectives
    CSU’s Bachelor of Nursing is a contemporary and competitive course, developed in close association with the industry to prepare graduates for a career in nursing.
  • Academic title
    Bachelor of Nursing
  • Course description
    About the course

    Developed in close association with the nursing profession and health care industries, the Bachelor of Nursing course addresses the needs of today’s nurse.

    A rewarding and diverse career path, nursing is a health profession concerned with caring for people of all ages.

    CSU plays a leading role in nursing education in Australia, providing clinical education in many areas of nursing. Our students receive a thorough education, that balances theory and clinical practice.

    Throughout the course students have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements in both rural and metropolitan health care settings. These clinical placements provide students with nursing experience in various areas of clinical nursing.

    Where it will take you

    Graduates work professionally as nurses in diverse settings such as:

        * community health centres
        * public and private hospitals
        * schools
        * specialty and general practice medical surgeries
        * aged care facilities
        * defence forces
        * primary health care and Royal Flying Doctors’ Service
        * industry

    Once you become registered as a nurse, your job prospects are very good, with most students gaining employment within the first six months after completion of their course. Most final year nursing students will know if they have a graduate nurse position by December of their final year.

    CSU nursing graduates work in health agencies across NSW and interstate, and many have sought overseas registration and now work overseas.

    After registration, you may specialise within an area of nursing that interests you. For example, after achieving your Bachelor of Nursing degree, you may study further to become qualified in a specialist area of nursing, e.g. mental health, high dependency, paediatric, midwifery nursing at Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master level.

    Your course is recognised by industry

    The Bachelor of Nursing course at Charles Sturt University was awarded seven years’ accreditation in 2002 by the NSW Nurses Registration Board (now the Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW (NMB NSW)).

    Successful completion of this course enables graduates to apply for registration as a nurse (List A) in NSW. Nurses registered in NSW are eligible to apply for registration in all Australian states and territories.

    After registration as a nurse, graduates of the Bachelor of Nursing course are eligible to work in any health care setting where registered nurses are employed.

    The latest facilities

    To make sure you are experienced in using the equipment and techniques found in the workplace, our facilities include:

        * up-to-date clinical and biological laboratories
        * online facilities which offer contact with colleagues and lecturers through the internet

    Practical experience

    During the course, you will be required to undertake 24 weeks of clinical practice in various health care facilities. While on clinical placement, you will work as part of the health care or nursing team and deliver nursing care under the supervision and guidance of your clinical teacher or preceptor. Clinical teachers and preceptors are experienced nurses familiar with the Bachelor of Nursing course at CSU who will supervise and guide you during all clinical experience placements.

    Practical sessions are conducted in the University nursing laboratories, which are simulated wards.

    Students gain clinical experience in hospitals and health centres throughout the Greater Western and Greater Southern Area Health Services and northern Victoria. Other areas include Albury-Wodonga, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Orange, Mudgee, Wagga Wagga, Queanbeyan and many others, or in a metropolitan teaching hospital. The diverse experience gained during the course ensures that CSU students are qualified to work in hospitals and with community health teams in city and country areas.

    Students are responsible for costs of accommodation and travel to clinical placements.

    Students are required to wear the CSU uniform while on clinical placement. Additional information about the uniform can be obtained by contacting the University on 1800 334 733 (free call).
    Admission for enrolled nurses

    Applicants who hold Diploma, Certificate IV or an Advanced Enrolled Nurses Certificate from TAFE are eligible for admission to the course.

    All other applicants with the Enrolled Nurse Certificate will be considered in conjunction with relevant post-enrolment experience and/or completion of post-enrolment courses such as College of Nursing courses or specialty ongoing in-service education. All applicants must clearly document the full-time equivalent of their work experience as an Enrolled Nurse.

    Course components

    The Bachelor of Nursing's philosophy encompasses primary healthcare, Indigenous culture, health challenges, health optimisation, discipline of nursing, clinical nursing practice, social justice, psychosocial sciences and biosciences.

    Primary healthcare

    Primary healthcare has a global approach with the capacity to supply a broad framework on which to base nursing curricula. Central to primary healthcare philosophy are socio-political determinants of health and illness. It provides a comprehensive organising framework on which to build a curriculum that prepares nursing graduates for generalist nursing practice in a broad range of settings, across the lifespan and across the health-illness continuum.

    Indigenous culture, health and nursing

    In line with Charles Sturt University and its School of Nursing and Midwifery's commitment to reconciliation and the CSU Indigenous Education Strategy, Indigenous culture, health and nursing is introduced in the first year of the course and integrated through all subjects in later years. The strategy states that CSU is committed to the process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. As Australia’s leading national university, it recognises the particular role and responsibility in promoting social justice and human rights for Indigenous Australians, both nationally and within the footprint of CSU.

    Health challenges

    Health challenges builds on concepts of nursing in the study of primary and secondary healthcare environments. This strand introduces students to a nursing orientation in caring for children and adults who have moderately severe health challenges. Students will apply critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills to assess, plan, implement and evaluate patients' care in primary and secondary healthcare settings using a holistic approach.

    Health optimisation

    The health optimisation strand expands upon students' existing knowledge of adult nursing care with an emphasis on the optimising health and health status. It focuses on philosophies, principles and practices within a holistic framework in relation to optimising the health status of individuals, families and communities.

    Psychosocial nursing

    This strand provides students with introductory knowledge and awareness of models of interpersonal and group communication strategies, and of counselling skills in primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention and healthcare, across the lifespan. Students also study culturally specific issues in psychosocial nursing and learn how to establish, maintain and end therapeutic alliances.

    Social justice

    Social justice is central to nursing practice and primary healthcare and incorporates issues such as; client advocacy; health inequalities; health for all; equity and access to healthcare; respect for human rights; multiculturalism; racism; privilege; and care for vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families and communities.

    Behavioural and social sciences

    Knowledge of sociology and psychology will help students to understand nursing practice and people’s reactions to health and ill health. Studies in stress, culture and human development will provide an understanding of people, society and human relations, not only of the client, but also nurse-client/professional interactions. The course provides specialised information about Indigenous people and their culture, particularly as they relate to Indigenous healthcare.


    Biosciences aims to give the student a sound understanding of the scientific knowledge that relates to health, illness and healthcare. Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physics, biology, microbiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology are subjects included in this strand.

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 192 points (24 subjects), which includes gaining a satisfactory grade for all clinical placements. Study within the University is closely integrated with practical experience gained in health care facilities. Students will graduate from the Bachelor of Nursing with the award BNurs.

    Clinical requirements

    Refer to the Clinical requirements section for information on:

        * Senior First Aid Certificate
        * Criminal Record Clearance
        * Immunisation
        * The Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW (NMB NSW) requirement

    Please note that the Bachelor of Nursing has a clinical practicum in the first six months. As the hepatitis B immunisation takes six months for full vaccination, it is recommended that students commence immunisation as soon as possible in order to undertake clinical placement.

    Further study

    Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Nursing, students may apply to complete the Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) (Honours), studied over one year full-time on campus, or two years part-time by distance education.

    Students with a Bachelor of Nursing degree can further their knowledge of nursing and health care, including public health and health administration, by undertaking further study at CSU.

    Further postgraduate study

    Doctor of Health Science

    Master of Health Science (Honours)

    Master of Health Services Management

    Master of Nursing

    Postgraduate Diploma of Midwifery

    Graduate comment

    “The opportunity to gain practical experience in a rural health area gives you a different perspective to doing your practical work in a metropolitan hospital. You have greater responsibility and more one-to-one assistance from the staff.”

    Amie Johns
    Bachelor of Nursing

    “The staff are very good and the clinical components of the course are excellent – you’re gaining invaluable experience before entering the workforce. With the course restructure, students must now complete two blocks of practical work during their first year of study – one block at a hospital and one in community nursing, which I think gives us an edge over students at other universities.”

    Nathaniel McCook
    Bachelor of Nursing

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