Nursing (NURS) 609

Historical and Contemporary Trends and Issues in Nursing


Revision 6 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


Welcome to another interesting on-line learning adventure. In this course you will explore specific issues, situations, and trends in nursing, inclusive of those from the 20th century that inform our current situation. As well, you will engage in making projections about future trends and issues based on your knowledge of the current situation. You will learn new skills for exploring and presenting issues and for examining and projecting trends.

Course Goals

Nursing 609 is designed to help students achieve the following course goals:

  1. An understanding of the concepts of trends and issues and techniques to promote discussion of them;
  2. Knowledge of 20th century trends and issues that influenced nursing as we experience it today;
  3. Knowledge of the current key nursing and health system trends and issues, and the influences that shaped them (e.g. social, economic, political, educational, etc.)
  4. Skill in researching, analyzing, and presenting both a trend and an issue;
  5. The ability to discuss and critique presentations about issues and trends.

These course goals constitute the initial direction of the course. You are encouraged to share your thoughts and wealth of nursing experiences with your classmates. In doing so you will gain knowledge from each other. In this way, the course becomes the class's creation since it is through interacting, working together, and reflecting on your experiences and those of others, that this course becomes remarkably meaningful.

Course Materials

NURS 609 is comprised of online course materials.

Online 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: There are 5 units in this course.
  • Assessment: Outlines the assignments/evaluation procedures of the course.
  • Reference: Listing of required readings, websites, and citations included in the units.

Course Structure

Nursing 609 is an asynchronous online course. This means there is no predetermined time of day when you must log on. You are required to log on at least three times a week. However, logging on several times a week is desirable, so that discussion continues back and forth among students. You may add to online discussions as outlined in the information provided about each discussion by your professor/instructor. This course more than any other in your program, will become what you all collectively make of it.

The course professor/instructor will have expectations for online activities. Dates and days will be assigned and communicated to you by email, or as a posting in the Coffee or News Forum. Each professor/instructor organizes the Course, Discussion, and Assignment Schedule(s) individually. Additionally, by the third week of the course, the Debate Assignment Schedule will be posted, discussed in more detail in Unit 1, and in the Assessment Overview.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: Trends and Issues- What are they?
  • Unit 2: Trends and Issues in Nursing: Past, Present, and Future
  • Unit 3: Debating Nursing Issues
  • Unit 4: Trends paper Development and Discussion
  • Unit 5: Wrap Up and Reflection

Assessment Structure

In the MHS and MN: Gen programs, students must achieve an overall program GPA of 2.7 ( B- or 70 percent), to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for each MHS and MN: Gen course is C- (60 percent).

The following course activities will contribute to your course grade, with the percentage weighting of each activity as follows:

Course Activity Weighting
Unit 1 & 2 Forum Discussion 10%
  Due dates as noted in the Course, Discussion and Assignment Schedule(s) provided by your instructor
Debate Assignments  
  1. Debate - Presentation: content, style and timing (25%) 45%
  2. Debate Forum Discussions - Constructively participating in others' debates (10%)
  3. Reflection - Reflection on Performance & Learning paper. (10%)
  Due dates as noted in the Course, Discussion and Assignment Schedule(s) provided by your instructor
Trends Paper Assignments  
  1. Outline - Trend Paper (5%) 45%
  2. Annotated Bibliography - 6 key academic references (5%)
  3. Trend Paper - Showing historic, current and possible future trends and the influencing factors for each identified and supported (25%)
  4. Posting of graded paper online following editing as suggested by instructor (5%)
  5. Trend Paper Forum Discussions - of own and 3 other classmates' papers in online conference postings (5%)
  Due dates as noted in the Course, Discussion and Assignment Schedule(s) provided by your instructor
    Total 100%

APA Formatting

All assignment citations are to follow the most current APA (American Psychological Association) style. Due to the constraints of presenting article titles as live links, APA format is not always used within the Study Guide. Please refer to the most current APA Manual for style direction.

Feedback and Grading of Forum Discussions

Feedback and grading regarding discussion participation will generally be summative. The Quality and Timeliness of required input is the goal. Grading will be based on your ability to provide organized and original contributions as requested, that reflect analysis and synthesis of the material presented.

Feedback on Written Assignments

The feedback you receive on written assignment will be organized according to the following categories:

  • Relevance: How clearly has your central theme been defined? How closely does the subsequent writing relate to this theme?
  • Definition: Have those terms that need to be defined (i.e., technical terms, or terms with meanings that are central to the argument being presented in the paper) been defined in a clear and appropriate way?
  • Organization: Are the topics sufficiently introduced and concluded? Are transitions between ideas clearly and smoothly accomplished?
  • Argument: How coherent are arguments or subthemes? Are the arguments or subthemes sufficiently elaborated? Are the arguments or subthemes clearly supported by illustrative examples and references to external sources where appropriate?
  • Support: Are sources of material acknowledged? Please note that the standard formatting style for the Master of Health Studies program and courses is the American Psychological Association style, most often referred to as APA style.
  • Accuracy and Clarity, Precision: Is the writing sufficiently free of grammatical error and awkwardness to communicate meaning clearly? Are word choices appropriate and accurate? Is the presentation free of error and omission? How succinct and concise is the writing?
  • Originality: Does the writing display an original voice, as opposed to one that relies primarily on the words and voices of others? Is there evidence of original and creative thought?

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.