Nursing (NURS) 442Back to courses | Print page

Gerontological Nursing (Revision 5)

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Delivery Mode:Individualized study online.

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.


Area of Study:Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 328

Precluded Course:NURS 442 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for NURS 4441 in the Athabasca University at Mount Royal College Bachelor of Nursing Program.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 442 is not available for Challenge.

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Nursing 442: Gerontological Nursing provides an opportunity to explore the area of gerontological nursing, a field of nursing that focuses on the care of older adults. The course presents the unique health care needs of the older adult and introduces students to nursing approaches to managing those needs. Ethical/legal issues related to the nursing care of the older adults are explored.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of NURS 442, the student will achieve or exceed the following learning outcomes:

  • Identify the unique health needs of older adults;
  • Identify strategies related to assessment and prevention in the older adult;
  • Explore the importance of families and other social supports;
  • Identify nursing interventions related to a variety of health problems in the older adult;
  • Critically analyze ethical issues related to the care of the older adult; and
  • Identify research questions that remain unanswered both in your personal learning and in the profession of gerontological nursing.

Course Structure

Unit 1: Nursing in an Aging Society

Unit 2: Assessment of the Older Adult

Unit 3: Aging Families

Unit 4: Promoting Well-being

Unit 5: Living with Chronic Illness

Unit 6: Common Chronic Problems

Unit 7: Promoting Mobility

Unit 8: Medication and the Older Adult

Unit 9: Chronic and Acute Pain

Unit 10: Mental Health and Cognition

Unit 11: Legal and Ethical Issues, and Research in Gerontological Care


To receive credit for NURS 442, you must complete and submit all of the required assignments and achieve a composite grade of “C-” (60%). 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:

End of Unit Questions 15%
Conference Postings from Selected Topics 20%
Aging and Chronic Illness Paper 30%
Ethical Issue Paper 35%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Ebersole, P., Hess, P., Touhy, T. & Jett, K. (2012). Toward healthy aging: Human needs and nursing response (8th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Other materials

Students will receive an Access Letter in the course package with instructions for gaining access to this online course. 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 5, January 12, 2012

View previous syllabus


Updated September 09 2013