University of Technology Sydney

92983 Specialty Practice

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


In this subject students achieve an advanced level of clinical and professional competency in their chosen clinical specialty through a program of integrated and clinically based learning strategies. The subject requires students to expand their clinical and professional knowledge and extend and refine their practice. Learning experiences are directed to the management of patient care, the clinical environment and services, professional responsibilities, leadership and collaboration, problem solving and evaluation, education strategies, inquiry and investigation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Undertake assessment, planning and implementation of care.
B. Monitor and evaluate patient/client progress and refer to other members of the multidisciplinary team.
C. Respond to clinical changes in the health care of patients/clients and promote health.
D. Maintain patient, family and supporters' integrity, acknowledging their values, beliefs and practices, and in a legal and ethically acceptable fashion.
E. Reflect on and evaluate care.
F. Manage and critique technology to manipulate the environment or patterns of practice.
G. Manage risk and assessment of patient safety issues.
H. Demonstrate understanding of the nursing regulatory framework and national scope of practice issues.
I. Demonstrate the development of a personal knowledge base and facilitate learning in others.
J. Evaluate policies, strategies and outcomes of care via enquiry/research and investigation in practice and professional settings.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The aim of this subject is for students to identify their learning needs and then expand their clinical and professional competence. That is, further develop their knowledge, clinical skills, and critical thinking and reflective capabilities. This will assist students to achieve a greater level of competency and professional engagement in selected aspects of their specialty area of nursing practice. Attainment of an extended or advanced level of practice will be evidenced by the increasing application of knowledge to practice and changes in students'professional attitudes, skills and performance. In order to successfully complete this subject, students must be engaged in their practice area throughout the semester

Content (topics)

This subject covers a range of topical issues relevant for specialty nurses. This includes review of current issues impacting on specialty and advanced nursing practice such as regulation and scope of practice; quality, safety and risk management; the role of professional associations and the role of clinicians in the future.


Assessment task 1: Portfolio Plan

Intent: This contributes to learning by assisting students to identify their professional and developmental needs, and to structure the necessary learning experiences to meet those needs. The assignment also provides an opportunity to complete peer and self-evaluation of learning needs, both in the classroom and via online discussion, and to respond appropriately to feedback.

Weight: 10%
Length: 700 - 800 words

Students will receive feedback on their written assignment in accordance with the following criteria:

Student provides an overview of their current role and professional development

Overall portfolio aim included, and clearly states whether the portfolio will be process or product orientated.

Evidence of a coherent, well-structured and achievable portfolio plan, which draws on a diverse range of developmental opportunities.

Portfolio activities clearly extend student's clinical knowledge and competence.

Listed portfolio activities are linked to the subject objectives.

Response to peer and self-evaluation demonstrates understanding and analysis of relevant issues, and further informs the student's final plan.

Assessment task 2: Portfolio


Part A contributes to learning by assisting students to critically analyse relevant literature on a topic that is relevant to their clinical and professional practice and that will extend/advance their professional development and clinical expertise.

Part B contributes to student learning by assisting students to complete a range of work-based learning experiences aimed at enhancing their clinical development, whilst also meeting work-related and professional requirements and goals. It will also encourage students to reflect on their practice, and foster a long-term approach and preparedness to undertake continuous self-development, and consider new initiatives in the workplace

Weight: 90%
Length: Part A: Literature Review (25%) Word count: 2,000 words

Students will receive feedback on Part A of their written assignment in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Critical analysis of a relevant area of clinical or professional practice.
  • Identification and explanation of the key issues within the topic
  • Academic writing skills including structure, logic, presentation and referencing
  • Relevance and depth of literature reviewed.

Students will receive feedback on PART B of their written assignment in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Inclusion of a table of contents, portfolio aim, and copies of provisional and revised portfolio plans, the subject objectives they address and a copy of the subject coordinator or assessor's feedback.
  • Submission of a coherent, well structured portfolio with clearly documented and completed activities, which have been validated (where appropriate).
  • Convincing evidence of extension/advancement of own clinical practice development.
  • Inclusion of a reflective essay related to the development of one aspect of the portfolio.
  • Activities completed are underpinned by relevant, up to date literature.

Required texts

Andre, K. & Heartfield, M. 2011, Nursing and midwifery portfolios: Evidence of continuing education, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Sydney.


Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). 2007, A national framework for the development of decision-making tools for nursing and midwifery practice, ANMC, Canberra.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). 2009, ANMC continuing competence framework, ANMC, Canberra.

McColgan, K. 2008, 'The value of portfolio building and the registered nurses a review of the literature', Journal of Perioperative Practice, vol.18, no.2, pp.64-69.

Mills, J. 2009, 'Professional portfolios and Australian Registered nurses' requirements for licensure: Developing an essential tool', Nursing and Health Sciences, vol.11, pp. 206-210.

University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). 2010, Assessment of coursework subjects policy and procedures, UTS, viewed 9th July 2012,

A comprehensive list of references and other resources are available in this subject on UTSOnline.

Other resources

UTS Student Centres

Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

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 (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

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 both City and Kuring-gai Libraries. Phone (02) 9514 9733

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