nsg3lek law, ethics, nurs account




Credit points: 20

Subject outline

Nursing practice is informed by, and framed within, the principles of law and ethics. The subject begins with an introduction to ethics, including an overview of the ethical theories and principles used in health care. Students are introduced to the law and to the notion of legal systems and will review the sources of law and learn to distinguish between criminal and civil law. The concept of 'duty of care' is explored, along with the potential to breach that duty of care, resulting in negligence. Students will examine the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of nursing and accountability in nursing practice.

SchoolSchool of Nursing & Midwifery

Credit points20

Subject Co-ordinatorRonald Picard

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing in Hong Kong.

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEssentials of law for health professionalsRecommendedForrester, K & Griffiths, D 20093RD EDN, ELSEVIER MOSBY, SYDNEY.
ReadingsThe ethical component of nursing educationRecommendedDe Wolf Bosek, M & Savage, T 2007LIPPINCOTT, WILLIAMS AND WILKINS, PHILADELPHIA.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Understand the ethical and legal nature of nursing practice.

Outline the origins of common and parliamentary laws applicable to Australia, Singapore & Hong Kong. Describe the influence of legislation on nursing practice. Describe the influence of ethical concepts on nursing practice.

02. Identify and apply common ethical theories and principles.

Identify the major ethical theories and principles applicable to nursing practice. Demonstrate an understanding of the major ethical theories and principles. Apply an understanding of ethical theory and principles to the decision making process within nursing practice.

03. Critically examine contemporary legal and ethical issues within nursing practice.

Develop a well evidenced rationale to justify an ethical decision within nursing practice. Develop well evidenced rationales to critique aspects of legally questionable professional practice situations.

04. Critically reflect upon individual values and how these may influence a nurse's practice.

Develop an awareness of personal views through the examination of ethically ambiguous hypothetical situations. Describe the role of conscience and personal values on the part of the health professional in the ongoing care of health care recipients. Apply an understanding of relevant legal, ethical and professional issues that may impact the role of conscience and personal values in the ongoing care of health care recipients.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Hong Kong, 2015, Semester 1, Online


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRonald Picard

Class requirements

Scheduled Online Class
Twelve 1.0 hours scheduled online class per study period and delivered via online.
"In this subject students will be assisted to examine the legal, ethical and accountability issues which impact on the practice of nursing. Individual responsibility of the nurse is emphasised through investigation of professional ethical and legal accountability, and forms of regulation. Current models for ethical decision-making are explored and applied in the analysis of selected ethical problems in nursing practice. Students are encouraged to examine and clarify personal and professional values and beliefs and develop a reflective approach to their practice."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
one 1,500-word assignment or equivalent30
one 3,000-word assignment or equivalent60
online discussion (equiv to 750 words)10