Biophysical Processes and Health Assessment


This course is designed to build on students knowledge and clinical skills in physical and mental health assessment to develop the diagnostic skills required for advanced health assessment and care planning. Students develop their knowledge of pathophysiology to inform their clinical responses and their ability to judiciously order and interpret diagnostics. The course further focuses on the development of the skills required to deliver holistic patient-centred care in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams.

This is a mandatory course in the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) Program.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Trimester 3 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply theories of diagnostic reasoning and health assessment in clinical practice

2. Conduct an advanced health assessment (general and focused, physical and mental), identifying variations from normal

3. Differentiate between normal trajectories of common health problems and variations from normal in comprehensive clinical assessment

4. Demonstrate rapid assessment of a patients unstable and complex health care problems through synthesis and prioritisation of historical and available data

5. Apply advanced knowledge of pathophysiologic processes to the assessment and management of patients with complex needs

6. Demonstrate in the clinical environment the ability to make informed and patient centred decisions about preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic responses and interventions (including referrals) that are based on sound clinical judgement and scientific evidence

7. Model effective holistic nursing care and collaborative practice in the context of the interdisciplinary team

8. Construct effective case presentations articulating and justifying decisions arising from health assessment, including use of diagnostics such as pathology and imaging


  • Content. Introduction to the course
  • Review of pathophysiology
  • Advanced health assessment (physical and mental)
  • Clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills
  • Pathology tests, medical imaging and health assessment
  • Incorporating current evidence and clinical guidelines in assessment and care planning
  • Holistic nursing practice
  • Collaborative practice in a interdisciplinary team
  • Case presentation skills


Students must have concurrent employment in specialty area. Concurrent practice will take place at the students regular place of employment.

Assumed Knowledge

Currently employed in an advanced practice nursing role with a minimum of one year of advanced clinical practice. Advanced level of knowledge of anatomy and physiology and recently revised pathophysiology. Developing skills in health assessment and clinical decision making.

Assessment Items

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Studies (x2)

Written Assignment: Written assignment

Practical Demonstration: Health Assessment

Quiz: On-line quizzes (x2)

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 30 hour(s) per Term

Attendance at 5 day residential workshop.