Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Nursing and Midwifery
OfferedNot offered in 2014


This unit examines the notion that caring is a central component of nursing theory, research and practice. Theories of caring developed by Watson, Benner, Leininger and others are critically examined. Caring is viewed as linked with socio-cultural values, ethics, spirituality, politics, economics, and, philosophy. Philosophical views are drawn from the existentialists, phenomenologists and feminists. Unit also examines holistic healing modalities, complementary and alternative therapies; individual's accounts of the experience of illness; and caring work in today's health care environment. Students are encouraged to relate caring to human growth as a search for meaning and creativity.


It is anticipated that in undertaking this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Explore the philosophical underpinnings of human caring;
  2. Critically evaluate theories of caring in nursing;
  3. Appreciate how dimensions of holistic caring can enhance practice;
  4. Explain how specific caring-healing modalities can be used to achieve optimal health outcomes;
  5. Discuss issues in caring work in the contemporary health care environment;
  6. Analyse personal accounts of the illness experience and caring;
  7. Evaluate methodologies for researching caring in nursing; and
  8. Critically reflect upon holism, and caring themes and issues in their own area of nursing practice.


Essay (3,000 words) (30%)
Essay (6,000 - 6,500 words) (70%)

Chief examiner(s)


This unit applies to the following area(s) of study