Nursing (NURS) 400

Adult Health and Health Alterations (Revision 4)

Revision 4 is closed for registrations, see current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisites: This course is open only to Post LPN BN program students. BIOL 235, and Professor approval required.

Prerequisite or corequisite: NURS 250 and NURS 328.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

NURS 400 is not available for Challenge.

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Nursing 400: Adult Health and Health Alterations focuses on the theory and research related to nursing practice with adults experiencing a wide range of acute and chronic alterations in health. With application of health promotion strategies and primary health care principles, emphasis is placed on holistic understanding of the altered health experience and associated interventions. The primary themes threaded throughout the course are professional RN practice and accountability, the patient and family as client, the influence of culture on health and nursing care, the importance of patient education, patient safety, inter-professional collaboration in providing care, and hope and coping in relationship to health alterations. In addition, there is a focus on enhancing digital literacy and acquisition of digital resources for ongoing learning. NURS 400 provides a theoretical foundation for NURS 401.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able to meet or exceed the following:

  • Analyze and evaluate health influencing and health promoting factors for adults and their families who are experiencing acute and chronic alterations in health.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of patient coping patterns related to cultural values, beliefs and practices, comfort and pain, hope, loss, and the illness process, as determined from assessment data.
  • Analyze and synthesize accurate and current knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and complementary therapies when assessing and planning for the provision of patient care in an inter-professional healthcare environment.
  • Demonstrate ongoing professional accountability and responsibility for one’s own learning.
  • Utilize relevant nursing research findings in assessing, planning and evaluating information to provide evidence-based care to acutely and chronically ill adults and their families.

Course Structure

  • Unit 1: Self-Assessment of Existing Knowledge of Adult Health Alterations and Consideration of the RN Role
  • Unit 2: Nursing Process and Practice: Concept Mapping Your Nursing Care
  • Unit 3: Hematology and Immunology Health Alterations
  • Unit 4: Respiratory System Health Alterations
  • Unit 5: Mobility Related Health Alterations and Protective Issues
  • Unit 6: Cardiac and Vascular Related Health Alterations
  • Unit 7: Neurology Related Health Alterations: Cognition, Perception and Sensation
  • Unit 8: Genitourinary and Gastrointestinal System Health Alterations
  • Unit 9: Metabolism and Nutritional Related Health Alterations
  • Unit 10: Evidence Based Comprehensive Health Assessment


To receive credit for NURS 400, you must complete and submit all of the required assignments and achieve an overall grade of at least “C” (64%). Effective January 1, 2010, all written submissions must follow the most current edition of the Publication Manual by the American Psychological Association.

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

Assignment 1: Mastery Level Quizzes 20%
Assignment 2 & 3: Concept maps (2 concept maps valued at 10% each) 20%
Assignment 4: Medication Calculation Quiz 5%
Assignment 5: Midterm Quiz 20%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


Paul, P., Day, R.A. & Williams, B. (2016). Brunner & Suddarth's Canadian Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

A variety of Open Educational Resources (OER) are included in this course. These include scholarly journal articles, text-book chapters, and multi-media resources available free of charge.

Additionally, you can also create your own free reference book shelf! Through your AU library account you have free access to the following e-books:

Online Resources

Ferrell, B., & Coyle, N. (2010). Oxford textbook of palliative nursing (3rd ed.). Oxford, GBR: Oxford University.

Humphreys, M. (Ed.). (2011). Nursing the cardiac patient. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lippincott (2011). Lippincott's nursing guide to expert elder care. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mosby (2012). Mosby’s dictionary of medicine, nursing, & health professions. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Neal-Boylan, L. (Ed). (2011). Clinical case studies for the family nurse practitioner. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Randle, J., Coffey, F., & Bradbury, M. (Eds.). (2009). Oxford handbooks in nursing: Oxford handbook of clinical skills in adult nursing. Oxford, GBR: Oxford University Press.

Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. (2011). Nursing management of hypertension. Toronto, ON: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.

Finally, you will be given access to the Lippincott NCLEX-RN PassPoint website at the beginning of the course. You will use PassPoint throughout the course for your quizzes and for access to test-taking strategies and practice exams.

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.

Open in Revision 4, August 22, 2016.

View previous syllabus