Nursing (NURS) 326

Health Assessment (Revision 7)

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: This course is normally open only to baccalaureate nursing students.

Post LPN BN: Pre-or co-requisite NURS 250

Precluded Course: NURS 326 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for NURS 450.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 326 is not available for Challenge.

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Note: Follow directions on the [Undergraduate Course Registration] form to register in the course. Online course materials cannot be accessed prior to your course contract start date.


Nursing 326: Health Assessment assists nursing students in the development of interviewing and history taking skills as well as skills in physical examination and psychosocial assessment. The collection of data through these skills is the first step in the nursing process: the data are used as the basis of nursing diagnoses and nursing interventions to promote health, prevent illness, or manage illness.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of NURS 326, the student will achieve or exceed the following learning outcomes:

  • Identify the components of a complete health assessment;
  • Identify the equipment and skills required to perform a complete health assessment;
  • Identify developmental and cultural considerations in the performance of a health assessment;
  • Collect and document a complete health history with a healthy adult volunteer;
  • Conduct and document a physical examination with a healthy adult volunteer;
  • Adapt the techniques of health assessment for children and older adults;
  • Identify the relationship between health assessment and the nursing process; and
  • Identify patient teaching and health promotion activities appropriate for a healthy adult volunteer.

Course Structure

  • Unit 1: Health Assessment: Learning About Your Client
  • Unit 2: Health History and Physical Examination: Learning About Your Client's Story
  • Unit 3: Assessment of Skin, Hair, and Nails
  • Unit 4: Assessment of Head, Neck, and Eyes
  • Unit 5: Assessment of Nose, Mouth, Throat, and Ears
  • Unit 6: Assessment of Breasts and Regional Lymphatics
  • Unit 7: Assessment of Thorax, and Lungs
  • Unit 8: Assessment of Cardiovascular System
  • Unit 9: Assessment of Peripheral Vascular, and Lymphatic Systems
  • Unit 10: Assessment of Abdomen
  • Unit 11: Assessment of Musculoskeletal System
  • Unit 12: Assessment of Neurologic System
  • Unit 13: Assessment of Genitalia, Anus, Rectum, and Prostate
  • Unit 14: Putting it All Together: Knowing Your Client


To receive credit for NURS 326, students must complete and submit all of the required assignments and achieve an overall composite grade of a ā€œCā€ (64 percent). Effective January 1, 2010, all papers submitted must follow the guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) (2010).

The assignments and weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Unit Quizzes (Multiple Choice) Health Assessment Teaching Resource Final Examination (Case Studies) Total
30% 35% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Jarvis, C. (2014). Physical examination & health assessment: Second Canadian edition. (A.J. Brown, J.MacDonald-Jenkins, & M.Luctkar-Flude). Toronto: Saunders/Elsevier.

Other Materials

A variety of electronic journal articles and websites are used in the course and paper copies are not included in the course package.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 7, July 12, 2016.

View previous syllabus

Updated July 12 2016 by Student & Academic Services