| NURS 520
|| Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
Introduction | 2.0
Course Goals | 3.0
Course Materials | 4.0
Course Structure | 5.0
Course Outline | 6.0
NURS 520 Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
is the first course in a program of study leading to the
Advanced Graduate Diploma: Advanced Nursing Practice or the
Master of Nursing degree.
520 introduces concepts and principles on which advanced nursing practice is
founded. These include competencies of advanced nursing practice, principles
of primary health care and community development, determinants of health,
and evidence-based practice.
Athabasca University’s Advanced Nursing Practice program incorporates two
interrelated components. The first component is community health
development. NURS 520 introduces students to practice frameworks
for community health development that will be applied with communities
throughout the program. The provision of extended health services is the
second component of advanced nursing practice. NURS 520
introduces practice frameworks that students will use in later courses to
diagnose and treat common health concerns of individual clients of all ages.
identify an individual (family physician or masters-prepared health
professional) who will serve as their preceptor in the extended health
practicum of later courses. Students
complete a minimum of 20 hours in the extended health services practicum,
orientation with their preceptors and demonstrating skills in adult health
assessment. As well, students complete a minimum of 20 hours in the
community health development practicum, beginning collection of data about a
After completing this course,
students should be able to:
- discuss the characteristics and
competencies of advanced nursing practice;
- discuss the regulation of
advanced nursing practice within their provincial/territorial/state
- analyse the significance of the
following concepts and principles that form the foundation of advanced
- primary health care
(accessibility, participation, collaboration, health promotion,
- community development
(connective processes, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy, healthy
- determinants of health of
individuals and populations, with particular attention to vulnerable
- critical social theory;
group dynamics and conflict resolution
- relate the above concepts and principles to the extended health and
community health development components of advanced nursing practice;
- discuss the application of
practice frameworks in the provision of extended health services to
individual clients, including frameworks for health assessment, nursing
diagnosis and intervention, clinical decision making, ordering and
interpretation of diagnostic tests, and prescription of medications;
- discuss the application of
practice frameworks in the provision of community health development
services, including frameworks for assessment of community needs and
strengths, diagnosis of priority community health concerns, and promotion
of community health;
- apply practice frameworks within
extended health services and community health development practicum
- identify sources of evidence that
can inform advanced nursing practice, including health indicators,
research, and clinical guidelines;
- consider the significance of
environmental scanning of trends to develop a personal futures scenario of
advanced nursing practice.
is comprised of both Online and Print-based course materials.
- Introduction: Provides essential
information about the course materials, the design of the course,
and the procedures you should follow to complete the course successfully.
- Schedule: Outlines the timing
of course activities
- Units: Contains the seven
units that comprise the course
- Assessment: Outlines the
assignments/evaluation procedures of the course.
- Reference: Listing of required
readings, web sites, and citations included in the units
- ANP Guide: Explains how to
complete the practicum requirements of the course.
The textbooks listed below are used in this course.
L. (2004). Bates' pocket guide to physical examination and history
ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Canadian Nurses Association. (2002). Advanced nursing
practice: A national
framework. Ottawa: CNA.
Chase, S. (2004). Clinical judgment and communication in nurse
Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
Dewar, T. (1997). A guide to evaluating asset-based
Lessons, challenges, and opportunities. Chicago: ACTA Publications.
Fischbach, F. (2004). A manual of laboratory and diagnostic
Gordon, M. (2002). Manual of nursing diagnosis
(10th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby
Kretzmann, J., & McKnight, J. (1993). Building
communities from the inside out: A
path toward finding and mobilizing
a communities assets. Chicago: ACTA
Levine, M., Lexchin, J., & Pellizzari, R. (1998).
Drugs of choice: A formulary for
general practice. Ottawa: Canadian Medical Association.
Robinson, D., & McKenzie, C. (2000). Procedures
for primary care providers.
Robinson, D. (2002). Clinical decision making for
nurse practitioners (2nd ed.).
Vollman, A., Anderson, E., & McFarlane, J. (2004). Canadian community
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
A., Woo, T., & Millard, M. (2002). Pharmacotherapeutics for
practitioner prescribers. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
The course includes Internet access to health-related
Web sites around the world, participation in electronic mail, and computer
conferencing with students from across the country. Students are expected
to connect to an Internet Service Provider at their own expense.
5.0 Course Outline
520 consists of the following 7 units:
Unit 1 - Introduction to Advanced Nursing Practice: Theory and Practicum
Time Frame: Weeks 1 and 2
The first unit “sets the stage” for the remainder of the course. Students study the characteristics and competencies of advanced nursing practice and investigate their province/territory’s approach to regulating advanced nursing practice. Then students study the two components of Athabasca University’s Advanced Nursing Practice program: extended health services and community health development. Students familiarize themselves with the foundations of advanced nursing practice that will be studied later in the course. Finally, students begin preparations for their extended health services and community health development practicum experiences by reviewing the Practicum Guide.
Unit 2 - Frameworks for Advanced Nursing Practice: Extended Health Services
Time Frame: Weeks 3 to 5
This unit introduces practice frameworks and skills that are used in the provision of extended health services to individuals of all life stages: health assessment,
clinical decision making, diagnostic testing, prescribing of drugs, and extended health services clinical skills. In later courses, these are related to common health concerns studied in the courses and applied with clients in the extended health services practicum.
Unit 3 - Frameworks for Advanced Nursing Practice: Community Health Development
Time Frame: Weeks 6 to 7
Unit 3 introduces practice frameworks that will be applied with
communities in assessing community health and identifying areas for
community health development.
Unit 4 - Principles for Advanced Nursing Practice: Primary Health Care and Community Development
Time Frame: Weeks 8 and 9
Unit 4 introduces principles that are the foundation of advanced nursing practice. These are principles of primary health care and community development. In later courses each of these principles is studied in depth to examine how they influence both the extended health services and community health development components of advanced nursing practice.
Unit 5 - Determinants of Health of Populations and Individuals
Time Frame: Weeks 10 and 11
This unit discusses the determinants of health, the many factors that influence health within both health and non-health sectors of society. The determinants of health are presented from a population health approach with a particular focus on the health of vulnerable populations. Much work in advanced nursing practice, particularly in the community health development component, is completed with groups and so this unit examines principles of working with groups. Conflict in an inherent part of group work and the unit concludes with a discussion of conflict resolution.
Unit 6 - Evidence-Based Advanced Nursing Practice
Time Frame: Weeks 12 and 13
Advanced nursing practice is based on evidence, which includes research-based evidence and clinical expertise. This unit introduces students to the meaning of evidence-based practice and identifies various sources of evidence that can be used to inform practice. The implications of this for the student's role are included.
Unit 7 - The Future of Advanced Nursing Practice
Time Frame: Week 14
The last unit of the course helps students develop ideas about possible futures of advanced nursing practice, including both components of extended health services and community health development.
To receive credit for NURS 520, students must achieve a minimum mark of 60% on each element of the assessment structure (conference participation and written assignments)
a course composite grade of at least 60 per cent. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
In addition, students must achieve satisfactory performance
in their practicum experiences.
Feedback regarding conference
participation will be ongoing. Quality of input (not quantity) is
the goal. Feedback will focus on the student's ability to provide organized
and original contributions that reflect analysis and synthesis of
the material presented.
will be measured against the following criteria:
Complete on-line contributions
during the unit conference timeframe.
Respond to online discussions
at least twice each week.
Contribute original thoughts
or ideas to online discussions.
Cite relevant resources
to validate points made.
Demonstrate openness to
divergent points of view.
Be respectful of the perceptions
Integrate material from
previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.
Present responses that
follow the rules of grammar and spelling in the online contributions.
Assignment 1: Self Assessment of Advanced Nursing Practice
Assignment 1 is intended to help students
become aware of how they presently incorporate the competencies of advanced nursing practice into
their nursing practice.
Assignment 2: Application of Principles in Extended Health
In Assignment 2, students relate principles of primary health
care and community development to practice frameworks/models used in
advanced nursing practice.
To archived version.
Athabasca University reserves the right
to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.
Page last edited:
July 14, 2004
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