Comprehensive Health Assessment of the Older Patient in Rural Healthcare

Build key skills and advance your confidence in the integrated evaluation of older patients.

Informed by world-class research¹ and nursing subjects ranked in the world’s top 100,² our flexible microcredential adds 20 points to your continuing professional development (CPD) while giving you credit towards La Trobe’s Graduate Diploma of Rural Nursing Practice.³

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Date/sFrom 18 September 2023
DurationUp to 40 hours, including assessment
Prerequisites/sCurrent registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). See below for extra requirements.
AssessmentWritten case review – 1500 words
CertificationDigital credential
Fees$850 inc. GST (full price), $495 (subsidised price)
Registrations close22 November 2023

If you’re a new or established nursing professional with a passion for aged care and looking for a flexible online course to advance or refresh your assessment skill set, Comprehensive Health Assessment of the Older Patient gives you the confidence to evaluate older patients, make evidence-based clinical decisions and prioritise care and management.

This microcredential focuses on the unique challenges presented by older patients with multiple health issues and who are at higher risk of adverse events. You’ll gain technical skills such as care planning, risk screening, advocacy in age and advanced physical assessment. You’ll also learn transferrable skills in teamwork, leadership, communication and situational awareness so you can provide collaborative and effective nursing care to older patients.

Course content

Delivered via self-paced, online learning so it easily fits in with your work and life commitments, you’ll be supported via Zoom drop-in sessions, email correspondence and online forums with your educator.

Skills and knowledge attained

After completing this microcredential, learners will be able to:

  • conduct comprehensive health assessment of older patients in diverse contexts
  • integrate assessment and diagnostic findings to make informed clinical decisions
  • prioritise care and management and complete appropriate documentation
  • evaluate risk and appropriately respond to the deteriorating older patient
  • adapt non-technical skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork, and situational awareness to provide effective collaborative nursing care.


  • Physiological Factors Related to Aging
  • Advanced Health Assessment – Primary Survey (Older Adult)
  • Advanced Health Assessment – Secondary Survey (Older Adult)
  • Recognition of Deterioration in the Older Adult Patient and Non-Technical Skills
  • Environment of Assessment (e.g., Acute, residential, home setting)
  • Recording Health Assessments and Contemporaneous Documentation
  • Medication Safety/Polypharmacy
  • Risk Screening
  • Goals of Care (Inc. Advanced Care and discharge planning)
  • Elder Abuse


Written Case review – Graded (A-F), 1500 words (20 hours preparation)

Write up of case review referring to patient data and using evidence-based resources to support discussion.

For health professionals currently caring for older patients:

  • Primary and secondary assessment of an older patient with either respiratory, cardiovascular, or neurological dysfunction.

For health professionals not currently caring for older patients:

  • A case study will be provided with appropriate patient data and students will discuss primary and secondary assessment of this type of patient.

Extra requirements

  1. Broadband internet access and an active email address that can be accessed at home during study periods.
  2. Students must have basic computer literacy skills (e.g. Word or other word processing software).

Further information


T: 1300 135 045


¹ Australian Research Council, 2019, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Outcomes 2018
² Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), 2023, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Nursing
³ This microcredential is one of three 5 credit point health assessment microcredentials. Completing all three microcredentials will provide you with advanced standing towards the Health Assessment subject in La Trobe’s Graduate Diploma of Rural Nursing Practice, subject to meeting all other entry requirements.