NURSING 1005 - Biology for Nursing Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Biology for Nursing Practice provides a significant depth and detail to the anatomical and physiological knowledge base for beginning level nursing students. The course provides a systematic approach to cell; tissue and organ function and provides working examples of how nurses use biology to inform practice. The use of `real life' examples will encourage students to reflect on their own clinical placement experiences to ensure that biological concepts become integrated knowledge. The base of knowledge provided by this course will encourage students to adopt an attitude to incorporating scientific concepts throughout their nursing career and especially in relation to the nursing assessment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 1005
    Course Biology for Nursing Practice
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to B.Nurs students only
    Assessment Online assessments, MCQ, MCQ examination, small group essay
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Tania Crotti

    Place BfNP in subject heading

    Email BOTH coordinators
    Coordinator: Dr Tania Crotti

    Course Coordinator: Dr Stephanie Plummer

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1 Demonstrate a basic level of knowledge of the structure of the human body at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels of organisation.

    2  Relate the structures of cells, tissues and organs to their functions and the functions of systems of the human body.

    3  Identify mechanisms that regulate bodily activities and maintain homeostasis within an individual.

    4  Recognise how alternations in cells, tissues and organs to their functions may lead to common health-related scenarios

    5 Gain an understanding of how anatomy and physiology influence all aspects of nursing practice

    6  Relate nursing assessment practices to structural anatomy and physiology

    7 Begin to organise a systems approach to describing anatomy and physiology in the clinical setting

    8 Construct a working glossary of physiological terms and principles

    9 Identify and critically evaluate, organise, synthesise and communicate scientific information in written and oral form.

    10 Work and communicate cooperatively and effectively with staff and peers to gain a deeper understanding

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2-7, 9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    9, 10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    9, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    9, 10
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    9, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Prescribed Texts

    Martini FH, Ober WC, Nath JL, Bartholomew EF and Petti K (2018) Visual Anatomy and Physiology 3rd
    (Global) Edition Pearson, San Francisco
    Available from the Coop in the Hub

    Please note earlier editions you may access 2nd hand are acceptable

    The prescribed texts are integral to the course and may be
    purchased from all or some of the following outlets:

    Online Learning
    This course will provide an online learning environment and all material will be provided to students through the University of Adelaide’s online management system MyUni. In particular students will undertake online learning using the Articulate Storyline Software, complete online assignments through MyUni, submit assignments online, and participate in discussion boards and blogs. Links will be provided throughout the semester. The plagiarism software TurnItin will be used throughout courses within the Bachelor of Nursing
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Face to face. Face to face lectures offer synchronous learning opportunities and enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology. Much of the content for this course is supported by textbooks with web page and e-learning supports (e.g. flash cards for revision). The School of Nursing supports the audio and video capture of lecture content as an aid to revision.

    Tutorial sessions –
    tutorial sessions enable small group discussion and peer interaction around the content. Each tutorial session will focus on the lecture content for the week. Please do pre-tutorial activities to prepare.
    Where possible tutorials will be scheduled to cover the previous weeks topics.

    Discussion board –
    discussion boards will provide an interactive portal for students to post questions that may be of common interest to the group.  This enables teachers into the course as well as students the opportunity to respond to queries in an open forum.

    Articulate presentations – the School of Nursing has a licence for the Articulate e-learning authoring software program and has a number of staff that are expert in its use. The advantage to the student is the freedom to progress through content at their own pace while receiving in time support for their learning. This is particularly helpful for the nature of the content which will be available for revision across the semester. The School of Nursing has a purpose built e-learning room with dedicated PC access to training support software.

    LAMS presentations for selected topics – LAMS (learning activity management system) provides a simple learning design tool that encourages student interaction and engagement with a diverse range of material. The visual interface allows the lecturer to author individual and group assignments. LAMS allow the student freedom to progress at their own pace and to easily review content they are uncertain of. LAMS offer lecturing staff a novel and innovative way to present content that often resists transition from text book to engagement.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for this course involves attendance at:
    • 3 x 1 hour lecture / week (NB the weeks prior to clinical placement have lectures scheduled Mondays as well as Fridays to compensate)
    • 1 x 1 hour tutorial / week (sign up to one of 4 tutorial groups, NB the weeks prior to clinical placemtn have an additional tutorial to compensate)

    In addition it is expected that students will spend an additional 6 hours per week for assessment and tutorial preparation.

    Biology for Nursing Practice topics are covered in lectures and tutorials.
    The general format taken for the semester is three 50 minute face-face/lecture sessions and one 50 minute tutorial each week.
    There may be some variation of this format and venues throughout the
    Please ensure that you consult the course timetable and check MyUni for announcements of any last-minute changes

    All classes start at 10 minutes after the hour, and end on the hour.

    Sessions / Lectures

    Each topic will be delivered through a series of face-face sessions / lectures as listed in this course outline.


    Tutorials will be conducted in addition to lectures. Please note attendance at tutorials is not compulsory as it is to encourage attendance of those that wish to engage and make the most of the opportunity to learn and engage.  However, we know that tutorial attendance correlates with an improved performance in the course. We urge all students to attend the tutorials in order to keep on track of the course content throughout the semester.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Please refer to the timetable link above for details on class locations and times.
    A timetable for specific systems and topics covered will be posted onto the course site.
    Body systems covered include but are not restricted to skin, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and reproductive.
    You will be allocated to a tutorial group on enrolment. Please take note of your specific time and location.
    Tutorials are an opportunity for interation with peers and research active teachers.
    Tutorial content will align with lecture topics where possible and not only reinforce but expand upon major concepts.

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course requirements however we strongly encourage enrolment in the Biology Bridging course for students who have not done year 12 Biology or similar.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The SGDE for 1st year students is addressed in Health Assessment and Clinical Nursing I
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Formative Test 1 Formative N/A 1-8
    Test 1 Summative 10% 1-8
    Test 2 Summative 10% 1-8
    Test 3 Summative 10% 1-8
    Essay Summative 20% 9, 10
    End of semester exam Summative 50% 1-8
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: formative TEST

    Weighting:           0%  (Formative)
    Description:       Practise test using sheets formatted as per exam. 

    Assessment 2: TESTs 1, 2 & 3
    Weighting:          30% (10% each)

    Description:       20-30 MCQs/Matching/Ordering questions to test work undertaken in previous weeks.

    Submission of online tests is compulsory.  If you miss a test for legitimate reasons (ie medical grounds) there WILL NOT be any opportunity to re-sit the test.  However, it will mean that your next text will be worth 20%. 
    If you fail to submit the test and do not have any medical documentation then you will receive 0 for the missed test.

    Your grade will be provided to you upon completion of the assignment via grade centre.


    Weighting: 20%
    Description: Topic related to Biology for Nursing Practice. The underlying rationale behind this assessment task is to enable you to present health information to the wider public in a clear, concise and focused message

    How to sign up to a topic?

    Each class member will be asked to sign up to an essay topic via the My Uni-canvas page.
    Please sign up to a group within your assigned tutorial (ie TU01, TU02, TU03 or TU04).
    To join an essay, select “people” from the course navigation menu list on the left hand side of the Biology for Nursing Practice, and then select the “either TU01, TU02, TU03 or TU04” tab.
    All students’ names will appear in a box to the left.
    You can then enrol into one of the groups within that tutorial group.
    Each topic is subdivided into essay groups enabling up to 4 students per group.
    To add your name to a topic, select the “+” sign next to your name, and then select the essay group you would like to join.


    Once you have done this it is final and cannot be changed.
    Please do not ask to change topics through the semester as the answer will be no.
    The essay is worth 20% of the final grade for Biology for Nursing Practice. Students have most of semester to research and collate their material and write the essay. It is therefore expected that the reviews will be of a high standard.

    Essay Format and Instructions
    Maximum length: 1500 words including tables, not including images and referencing.
    Font: Calibri Size 12 font Spacing: double spacing throughout essay.
    File name:  Group_Essay_Topic_No._2019.pdf Essay submission: 1 essay per group through Turn-it-in
    Please ensure that you use appropriate and correct use of references.
    As a general rule basic websites such as are not good references for university essays
    Do not use footnotes Group work: Suggest using google docs or even drop box to enable working concurrently on the one document and entering comments each of you can then address and agree to.

    Assessment weighting: 20%
    This will assess students’ abilities to research and undertake high quality research and work in a group.
    Each essay will be marked by an experienced academic according to the following marking guide (rubric).
    When writing your essay please make sure that you carefully check this guide to ensure your essay meets the criteria.

    Marking Guide
    Introduction to topic (/20):
    This will give the reader a brief introduction to the topic/condition. An explanation about what the topic/condition is and why it is important should be included. You may need to point out a range of possible pathologies, causes, factors identify in the introduction but then highlight which of these you will be focussing on in the body of the essay.

    Anatomical Basis and Function (/60):
    This will give the reader an understanding of the underlying anatomical/histological basis and how this relates to the function
    of your topic/condition. You may also choose to use a pathology to illustrate dysregulation.

    Referencing (/10):
    You must include a complete list of all resources used in your essay.
    Please reference each major point in the reference list; ideally these will include peer-review articles listed on Pubmed/Google Scholar. Referencing style is to be Author/Date.

    Overall Structure including spelling and grammar (/10):
    please ensure that your essay is free from spelling and grammatical errors and the word limit is adhered to.
    Please also ensure that you follow the instructions regarding font and line spacing

    Assessment 4: End of Semester Examination
    Due Date:             During the official University Examination Period.
    Please refer to the specific note about exam attendance on the next page
    Weighting:           50%

     Description:       The end of semester written examination is aimed at determining student understanding of the principles and core coursematerial that has been presented during the semester. The exam will be entirely multiple choice questions and
    will consist of 150 individual questions. The time allocated will be 190 minutes (which includes reading time) but many students should be able to complete the exam in less than this. The additional time is provided to enable students to carefully check their answers. Ensure the answer sheet is filled in correctly as the answers will be scanned and read by a computer.

    Attendance at examinations

    The end of semester examinations, including the replacement/additional assessments will be held during the official University Examinations Period. Please log on to the Examinations web page and make a careful note of these dates now.

    Absences (except on certified medical or compassionate grounds) from examinations will mean that you record a FAIL

    Length: 3 hours.

    Essay Submission
    Unless otherwise indicated all submission of assignments is to be through the assignments portal of MyUni.
    TurnItin will be used to check student assignments. Students MUST keep an electronic copy of all assignments submitted.

    The due date identified in this guide.
    Please note that your essay will be marked as late by Turnitin even if it is only 1 minute past the due time. Late penalties will apply (please see section on Late Submission of Work)
    Instructions for assignment submission are available under
    Tutorials at

    Each essay must include an Assignment Coversheet. The assignment should be submitted as one file, with the coversheet being the first page.
    A word version and rich text format of the Assignment Coversheet
    is available to download at The Plagiarism Statement must be signed and dated for the assessment to be marked (signature is not required for electronic submission).
    More information on avoiding plagiarism is available at

    Contact the MyUni helpdesk on +61 8 8313 3335 or email for assistance with assignment submission.

    Important note: copies of assignments should always be kept as proof of submission.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Student feedback from 2018 course SELTS was positive overall for NURS 1005.  The quality of the course was scored as 5.7 out of 7.
    The SELT score for being an effective University teacher was 6.3 out of 7 for the coordinator, Associate Professor Tania Crotti. 
    In 2019 tutorial content will align more strongly with lecture material and content will be revised where students identified it as too heavy to ensure critical concepts are highlighted and understood.

    Changes from
    2017 through to 2019

    5 to 3 Nervous system lecturers, 5 to 3 Cardiovascular system lecturers-  timetabling restrictions

    Added an Endocrine lecture to cover pancreas and glucose metabolism as we identified that students learning diabetes in 2nd yr did not have sufficient background in glucose regulation.

    In 2017 we removed Immunology in repsonse to feedback that we were  doubling up on content covered in other subjects.

    Tutorial sheets will be available online where no teaching slot is available. This will enable practice of knowledge.

    In 2017 MCQ tests were moved online over a window of time to enable flexibility if absent. Open book to encourage revision. 
    In 2019 announcements will be delivered to remind students week before.

    Student comments regarding timetabling:

    “Having all the lectures on the one day made it very easy to remain in the same mind-frame “

    Whereas more students found this of concern-

    “ 3 lectures and 1 tutorial is quiet hard to digest”
    Response: Time tabling is done centrally and to fit with other subjects, teaching and room availability.

    Given the amount of material covered in a day and ability to attend all lectures and tutorial please use one of the slots as a break. 
    Response: The facilities in most rooms at the University of Adelaide enable us to record lecture material for students to be able to view and review when time that permits. Access to Echo recordings is through myUni

    I have found tutorials very useful throughout this course, as I have been able to target areas of the course that I don't particularly understand with a lecturer.
    Response: We are pleased that the tutorials we of use. We feel they are an ideal opportunity for going through concepts as well as for us to provide support and an opportunity to encourage peer-peer interaction and learning.

    The tutorial should have covered the content from the week before so we had time to process the information.
    In 2018 and again in 2019 tutorials are scheduled the week following the content delivery. Please note this is not
    always possible within the constraints of public holidays our timetable and timeframe of delivery.

    I hope after tutorial,the answer of tutorial work can be upload to Myuni which is good for students to review
    Please take notes in the tutorials and share with your peers. As tutorials are not compulsory and much of the material is used again, we have found providing all answers afterwards dissuaded people from attending.
    If you have specific queries you are still unsure of please post to the discussion board.

    Make smaller tutorial groups
    Over the past few years we have acquired teaching support and additional room bookings to enable 4 tutorials to be run with 2 tutors in each. We are however limited by time tabling, casual availability and room availability.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.