University of Technology Sydney

92606 Nursing Leadership in Contemporary Health Care

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 2024 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.

Recommended studies:

There is no set text for this subject, however there are readings and other sources of information to assist with learning in this subject. All the readings and information sources is provided via canvas.


This subject is designed as an introduction to nursing leadership in the contemporary health care system. The subject provides an essential grounding for clinicians, managers and planners working in the health system today, in relevant issues and the role that every nurse has as a leader. The subject covers a range of contemporary health topics which aim to enhance professional practice including: models of leadership, effective communication, enhancing Indigenous participation in health care, strategies to improve patient, client and family outcomes, strengthening workforce stability and satisfaction, and challenges, opportunities and strategies for leadership success.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Differentiate the underlying theories and models informing contemporary health care leadership
B. Analyse and evaluate current issues and factors that impact on contemporary health care leaders and professional practice
C. Explain the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing
D. Critically reflect upon the elements of effective career and succession planning, including strategies to develop personal and professional resilience
E. Integrate cognitive, technical and creative skills to develop appropriate strategies to enhance patient/client/family outcomes and workforce stability and satisfaction
F. Collaborate and synthesise complex information and concepts to enable effective responses to recent developments to enhance health care

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective critical thinkers who examine and contribute to practice, policy and research to achieve clinical excellence and enhance health outcomes (1.0)
  • Are visionary, innovative and responsive leaders (2.0)
  • Are socially, culturally and ethically aware and accountable when engaging with health care consumers, families/significant others, interdisciplinary teams, communities, organisations and authorities (3.0)
  • Communicate effectively and professionally in diverse and dynamic situations (4.0)
  • Embody the professional qualities appropriate to the scope of their role (5.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural capability which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to develop as a leader, and to explore the impact of effective leadership on the contemporary health care system.

These strategies include:

Orientation activities
Preparation for the Session - students are expected to undertake activities prior to the first week. These activities include online readings, videos, interaction with peers, and are important in helping students prepare for the subject's Assessment Tasks. This also provides students with an opportunity to meet and interact with peers. Students will learn through independent learning activities, group work, peer review, and participation in the workshop meetings.

Independent learning activities
Relevant readings, videos and activities will be made available online relevant to the topic of the week. Students are expected to come to each workshop prepared. This will enhance the students’ ability to progress successfully throughout the subject and complete assessment items effectively. The online material aims to enhance students’ understanding of the topic or delve deeper into a more specific area, compare experiences and ideas with others, and gain feedback. Information and links to all these learning activities can be accessed via Canvas as well as the subject outline.

Workshops will provide opportunities for group activities and discussion, self-assessment, peer review and formative feedback from the subject coordinator. Workshops will be conducted at a time that enables the majority of students to contribute. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop meetings as these prepare students for the subject’s assessment tasks.

Feedback will be frequent and takes several forms including self-assessment, peer review, automatic feedback from interactive activities e.g. quizzes, and from the subject coordinator. Formative feedback throughout the subject aims to increase student performance at summative assessments.

Content (topics)

Content includes a range of contemporary health topics which aim to develop leadership skills and professional practice:

  • Leadership concepts and theories
  • Effective communication - conflict resolution, assertiveness and responsiveness
  • Issues for Australia's Indigenous peoples - Indigenous health and history, cultural safety, addressing the inequities in health and wellbeing for Indigenous Australians
  • Consumer perspectives in health care
  • Enhancing workforce stability and satisfaction
  • Challenges, opportunities and strategies for leadership success


Assessment task 1: Leadership in Action


Students will critically analyse leadership theories based on a survey of people working in the Australian health care system. From this analysis, students will consider leadership in health care within a wider context, identify the attributes of an effective leader, and may begin to embody these professional leadership qualities in their workplaces.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, D, E and F

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

2.0, 3.0 and 5.0

Weight: 40%

1700 +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

Assessment task 2: Critical Review and Preparation of Group Report


In small groups, students will review, analyse and report the findings of their specific workplace policies for enhancing participation and involvement of Indigenous Australians. By undertaking this report, students will develop their skills as reflective, critical thinkers, and consider the importance of cultural safety in contemporary health care. Small group work comprises a major focus for this assessment, as it aims to further develop effective, collaborative and responsive leaders, who are able to communicate in diverse situations. This type of engagement is representative of the leadership and teamwork required by nurses in contemporary health care. Moreover, by collectively examining these policies in a range of environments, students may share knowledge and ideas for policy development.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, E and F

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

2.0, 3.0 and 6.0

Weight: 30%

1800 +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

Assessment task 3: Reflection on Individual and Team Responses to Group Task


This assessment supports students to critically reflect on both (a) the content and (b) the processes that comprised the group work for Assessment 2. By undertaking this assessment, students will further develop their skills as critical thinkers, increase their knowledge and understanding of current workplace challenges to cultural competency, and consider their roles as leaders in effecting change in contemporary health care.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

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

1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 30%

1500 +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

Required texts

All reading will be provided as links in Canvas.

Students will be advised regarding preparatory readings prior to the workshop days, and these readings will be available via links from within Canvas. Please bring the readings to the study day in the week required.

NB: It is essential that students complete all required readings, as they will be integrated into the online discussion and learning activities.


Refer to Canvas for a full list of recommended readings. Recommended readings are available from eReadings and on Canvas.

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 Canvas 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.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or