BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Essential Skills for Nursing Practice 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS10061
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is a first year (semester one) 20 credit practice-based unit that provides students with the opportunity to rehearse a range of essential nursing skills such as communication and patient assessment via simulation, practical workshops and fieldwork guided by academics with nursing qualifications in their own field of practice. Students on this unit are will also develop key academic skills that are fundamental to success as a nurse in a contemporary health care setting such as public speaking, record keeping and navigating health databases.

IMPORTANT: The 200 hours undertaken by students on this unit contribute to the 2300 hours stipulated as compulsory by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the completion of an undergraduate nursing programme and as such the hours are closely monitored. Students must attend all scheduled sessions and complete all online work and any missed hours are made up by students in their own time during their practice learning (placement) in semester 2.


This unit aims to provide opportunities for students to:
  • Complete a range of clinical skills including the core skills from the Core Clinical Skills Framework  
  • Develop a range of skills and strategies for effective communication with colleagues and people at all stages of life and with a range of physical, cognitive and behavioural health challenges
  • Develop the fundamental skills for safe management of medicines 
  • Develop a range of patient assessment skills using identified nursing frameworks
  • Develop a range of information technology and health database skills that are required to facilitate effective patient care 

Learning outcomes

Each learning outcomes is linked to the new NMC (2018) Standards of Proficiency

Teaching and learning methods

  • Field specific lab based skills sessions
  • Field specific workshops focused on communication and patient assessment
  • Cross field ‘neighbourhood study’ fieldwork
  • Use of on line simulation tool safeMedicate and e-learning for health modules

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nursing process as a fundamental framework for care and the communication activities that underpin this process.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that nursing practice is guided by a range of laws, policies and regulations and display a commitment to apply these in practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of evidence based, safe and effective nursing care and display a commitment to apply these.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the literacy, numeracy and information technology skills required for academic success, the ability to apply these skills to health related studies and a commitment to developing these skills for effective lifelong learning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how reflexivity can enhance professional practice and a commitment to developing this skill.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of accountable professional practice and display a commitment to abide by this.

Practical skills

  • With specific reference to their field of practice, demonstrate a range of skills and strategies for effective verbal and written communication with colleagues, peers and service users and carers to enable safe and effective nursing assessment and continued care for individuals across the lifespan who may have a range of health challenges.
  • With specific reference to their field of practice, demonstrate the ability to undertake a range* of clinical skills and procedures that facilitate accurate physical assessment and continued evidence based nursing care. This may include:
  • Record and interpret vital signs including pulse, blood pressure, temperature
  • Measure, record and interpret neurological observations
  • Measure and record weight, height and calculation of BMI
  • Collect and observe urine, sputum, stool and vomit specimens
  • Measure and record fluid intake and output
  • Measure, record and interpret blood glucose levels
  • Assess an individual’s nutrition and hydration status; assist with eating and drinking

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate information effectively in a range of accessible ways including verbal and written accounts with both individuals and groups.
  • Reflect on their own performance and that of others, and respond appropriately to support and feedback in order to develop their knowledge and skills
  • Develop strategies to both assess and maintain their own physical and mental wellbeing and seek support where appropriate.
  • Work effectively in a team.

Assessment methods

Completion of identified safeMedicate assessments.

Completion of identified e – learning for health modules.

The completion of both online assessments make up 100% of the assessment for this unit.

Feedback methods

Feedback opportunities for the learning undertaken during the whole of this unit will be available in class.

The summative assessment for this unit is the completion of the identified e – learning for health modules and the completion of identified assessments within the safeMedicate online package.  


Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 28
Lectures 14
Practical classes & workshops 188

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Margaret Prise Unit coordinator

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