University of Technology Sydney

92455 Family and Children's Nursing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject contributes to students' understanding of families in contemporary Australian society. Health promotion and primary health care in a family context, and family formation and structure are highlighted. The subject explores nursing issues related to the child-bearing family including parenting, maintaining health and wellbeing in children, families in crisis and the impact of disability on families. Key acute and chronic health issues in children and adolescents together with recognition of the sick child are a major focus of this subject. Legal and ethical issues related to families such as child protection and guardianship are addressed in the context of children at risk. The subject enables students to develop the personal, professional and intellectual attributes, along with the technical knowledge, required to work with children and families in a broad range of settings.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Examine the concept of family in contemporary Australian and international society (RN Standards for Practice 1, 3 & 4).
B. Appraise the experiences of families and children in relation to pregnancy, health and illness (RN Standards for Practice 1, 2, 4 & 6).
C. Demonstrate the capacity to assess, judge and respond to the health status of infants and children in simulation, including recognition of the sick child (RN Standards for Practice 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7).
D. Appraise relevant legal, ethical, social and cultural issues that arise in the care of children and their families (RN Standards for Practice 1 & 2).
E. Demonstrate the ability to communicate appropriately with members of the health care team and with children and their families in simulated activities (RN Standards for Practice 2 & 6).

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Embody a professional disposition committed to excellence, equity and sustainability (1.0)
  • Engage in person-centred care that is appropriately sensitive to the needs of individuals, families and communities (2.0)
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully with diverse groups (3.0)
  • Inquire critically to assess a body of evidence to inform practice (4.0)
  • Competently apply knowledge and skills to ensure safe and effective nursing practice (5.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage
engagement with the nursing care of children and families.

Preparation Activities
To get the most out of the on-campus sessions, students are expected to complete the programmed pre-learning activities prior to attending class as these activities will form the basis of group discussion/ practical activity that students will engage in during class.

Case Studies
In laboratories, students are introduced to a range of case scenarios based on infants, children and young people with different health conditions. Cases are used to help students explore family and children's nursing scenarios in clinical or community situations. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form clinical judgements and develop solutions for providing evidenced based care. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection of the clinical application of the case studies with feedback provided through class discussion.

Clinical skills, Communication and Clinical Judgement
Students participate in clinical laboratory sessions that focus on the integration of key concepts and skills in caring for children and families. In these sessions, students are introduced to a range of skills including child health and physical assessment and interventions for nursing care. These skills are scaffolded each week and increasingly integrated into simulation based activities where students will make clinical judgement decisions based on information provided and implement nursing care skills. Communication with children and families forms an essential part of this subject where students will have to interact appropriately with the case scenario and other students as part of the health care team.

Simulation and Debrief
The use of low and high fidelity simulation will engage students into several common paediatric nursing scenarios. This format supports and encourages collaborative learning, critical analysis of case scenarios and the formulation, implementation and evaluation of nursing interventions. Debriefing will be carried out as part of the simulation process to enable reflective learning and provides an opportunity for regular and timely feedback.

Regular Feedback
Facilitated in-class quizzes and interactive critical-thinking based case studies provide opportunities for students to practice their existing and newly acquired skills which is accompanied by direct feedback and disucssion. Facilitated debrief and feedback of these activities each week aim to reinforce applied competence and facilitate an understanding of knowledge and skill gaps that enable students to self-identify areas for development.

Lecture and Online Learning Material
Both real-time delivery of content and access to online resources including podcasts, videos and learning modules is provided. In face-to-face lectures students are able to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with sensitive and confronting topics such as child protection and wellbeing.

Clinical Placement
In this subject, students who enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing ptrior to 2018 will complete a clinical placement which may occur in a range of contexts including, acute care settings, community based child care and child focused developmental disability settings. Students explore infant, child and/or adolescent growth and development and are required to consider approaches to nursing care. This requires students to recognise the differences in infants and children and work with teams to develop and consolidate their knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to family and children's nursing.

Content (topics)

Families and family life in Australia, including family formation, structure and development and family assessment techniques.

Nursing care of the childbearing and child rearing families including parenting, promoting and maintaining health and wellbeing in children and families, the impact of chronic illness and disability (including spectrum disorders) for families with children.

Recognition of the sick child: key acute and chronic health issues for children, adolescents and families, (preventable illness/injury and chronic illness), planning care, communicating with health care professionals, children and families.

Children at risk and vulnerable families: child protection; child abuse and neglect, consent and assent to treatment, guardianship; mental health issues.

Activity Sets/Key Skills:
This subject endorses quality and safe nursing care of families and children by reinforcing the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS) (ACSQHC 2017) through the following topics, activities and skill sets:

Personal Care
Comprehensive Care and Partnering with Consumers: Promoting health and wellness for families; Infant care and hygiene; Nutrition and feeding - Infant feeding; Safety considerations in feeding and personal care of infants and children; assisted ambulation of infants and children.

Clinical Communication and Documentation
Communicating for Safety: Interprofessional communication including clinical handover, patient identification, communicating critical information and communicating clinical reasoning.

Partnering with Consumers: Therapeutic communication with children of all ages and their families.

Comprehensive Care: Managing a group of patients/clients, admission of children to healthcare facilities, Negotiating care with children and families, care planning, using and maintaining patient records, recording fluid intake/output, reporting vital signs and progress note documentation.

Clinical Assessment and Monitoring:
Clinical Governance and Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration: This includes understanding and utilising current Clinical Governance strategies that promote quality and safe nursing care in patient assessment, monitoring and recognition of the deteriorating paediatric patient. Students will utilise an A-G assessment approach to the physical assessment of children as well as the Standard Paediatric Observation Charts to support the application and interpretation/evaluation of clinical assessments in monitoring unwell children and recognising and responding to deterioration across different age groups. This supports Communicating for Safety.

Students will practice the following clinical skills; Using a stethoscope; vital signs monitoring including TPR, BP, pulse oximetry and blood glucose monitoring; Respiratory assessment; Cardiovascular assessment including cardiac monitoring and lead attachment; Neurological and Pain assessment; Neurovascular assessment; Assessment of fluid balance and ward urinalysis and; Nutritional assessment.

Clinical Interventions and Management:
Comprehensive Care, Clinical Governance, Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration and Communicating for Safety: Oxygen therapy; Medication administration, intravenous fluid monitoring; Clinical review systems and Rapid Response escalation.

Privacy and Dignity:
Comprehensive Care and Partnering with Consumers: Confidentiality; Consent and Guardianship; Respectful care; Cultural and transcultural care; Care of the dying/deceased person.

Promoting Self-Management:
Comprehensive Care and Partnering with Consumers: Students will take a health education and health promotion approach to caring for families and children.

Risk and Safety:
Comprehensive Care: Students will review processes for child and family health assessment and plan, document and implement care plans that have been developed with patients, carers and families to reflect their physical, developmental and cognitive health care needs.

Clinical Governance, Partnering with Consumers and Communicating for Safety: Addresses risk and safety through standardised approaches to Patient identification, Medication Safety, Patient handover, Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration and Mandatory reporting. Students review child safety in the hospital, community and home environment.

Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections: Hand hygiene; Personal protective equipment.

Medications and Intravenous Therapy:
Medication Safety and Clinical Governance: This will include paediatric medication and fluid calculations, safe checking, administration and documentation of medications using the National Inpatient Medication Chart and disposal of medications, including safe medication and sharps disposal. Oral medication administration and other non-parenteral medications are covered.


Assessment task 1: Clinical Handover


The purpose of this assessment is for students to demonstrate an ability to provide a clear and accurate clinical handover of patient information that promotes the continuity of safe nursing care for a child.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

Audio recordings are to be between 3 minutes 30 seconds and 4 minutes in length. Recordings less than 2 minutes are not likely to provide sufficient information to pass the assessment. Tutors will stop listening to audio recordings at 4 minutes, therefore, information provided after 4 minutes will not contribute to the student's grade.

Assessment task 2: Practical Case Scenario


The purpose of this assessment is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate appropriate nursing care of sick children; recognise and respond to the deteriorating child and organise care in partnership with children and families.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Type: Laboratory/practical
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 45%

PART A: Students will be allocated a 90 minute (1.5 hour) time slot in their usual laboratory class time. The duration of Assessment 2 is 1 hour and 15 minutes. The extra 15 minutes allows for the explanation of assessment instructions.

To complete this assessment, students will be required to join a zoom link with their video and audio active to complete this assessment and ensure that they are visible at all times during the assessment. Once students are logged into their zoom class, their tutor will provide instructions to complete assessment 2 via UTS Online. Students will be notified of their time slot and zoom link closer to the assessment time via UTSOnline.

PART B: Self-paced

Assessment task 3: Case-Based exam


Students will complete an examination that assesses understanding of families in contemporary Australia; nursing care of childbearing families and childrearing families including health promotion and education; nursing care of children with common acute illnesses; care of vulnerable families; ethical and legal issues relating to families, including; guardianship; mandatory reporting; consent; and, medication and intravenous fluid calculations in the paediatric context.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%
  • 2 hours
  • 100 multiple choice questions

Students are permitted to use a simple non-programmable calculator in this exam

Assessment task 4: Clinical Placement


Clinical placement provides students with the opportunity to consolidate, develop and apply knowledge and skills learned in the subject, and practice them in line with the Nursing Midwifery Board of Australia Competencies and Standards.

Please note, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing in Autumn 2018 (entering 2nd year in 2019) will not be required to complete a clinical placement for Family and Children's Nursing. All students who enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing prior to Autumn 2018 are required to complete a clinical placement.

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: Mandatory task that does not contribute to subject mark


The required hours for completion are dependant on the student's enrollment. Students who enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing program prior to 2018 will complete between 40 - 80 hrs of clinical practice. These students should refer to the Clinical Practice Unit for their individulised clinical hour requirements.

  • Students who are placed with a Childcare facility are required to complete 40 hours of clinical placement.
  • Students who are successful in obtaining a hospital placement will be required to complete 80 hours of clinical placement.

Required texts

All reading material will be provided through UTSOnline; however, please consider the information regarding recommended texts.

Provided material includes excerpts from the recommended textbook; NSW Health clinical practice guidelines on the management of children with acute illness; extracts from relevant nursing and related texts; government and hospital policy documents and discussion papers; and peer reviewed journal articles that address the major content areas. Students will be able to access these documents online via UTS Library and UTSOnline.

Recommended texts

The following Textbook is used throughout this unit and is recommended as a life-long reference for those students considering paediatric and/or family nursing and/or midwifery. (NB it is not otherwise necessary to purchase this textbook as all reading material is provided on UTSOnline).

Hockenberry, M. J., & Wilson, D. (eds) (2015). Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 10th edn, Elsevier Mosby.


Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) (2017). National safety and quality health service standards, (2nd edn). ACSQHC. wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ National-Safety-and-Quality-Health-Service-Standards-second-edition.pdf

Forster, E. & Fraser, J. (eds) (2018). Paediatric Nursing Skills for Australian Nurses, Cambridge University Press.

Fraser, J., Waters, D., Forster, E. & Brown, N. (eds) (2017). Paediatric Nursing in Australia: Principles for Practice, Cambridge University Press

New South Wales (NSW) Health, Kids and Families (2014). Healthy, Safe and Well: A Strategic Health Plan for Children, Young People and Families 2014–24. kidsfamilies/Publications/healthy-safe-well.pdf

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) (2016). Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. NMBA. Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards.aspx

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.