Nursing (NURS) 614

Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing (Revision 3)


Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 000 *for MN NP and PMD NP students only

Precluded Course: NURS 520

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


NURS 614 Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing will examine four advanced practice nursing (APN) roles: nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Topics such as the education and regulation of APNs and the competencies required in each of these roles will be addressed. Community development and primary health care principles will serve as a framework to explore these advanced practice nursing roles in the Canadian health care context. NURS 000 is a prerequisite for NURS 614 for students enrolled in the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner (MN NP) and the Post Masters Diploma Nurse Practitioner (PMD NP) only.

Course Goals

At the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Delineate characteristics and competencies of APNs, including CNS, NP, NM, NA.
  2. Describe the process of educating and regulating APNs nationally and provincially.
  3. Analyze theoretical and research underpinnings of advanced nursing roles.
  4. Explore principles of community health development (connective processes, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy, and organizational actions), primary health care (accessibility, participation, collaboration, health promotion, appropriate technology) and determinants of health.
  5. Apply concepts related to scope of practice and continuity of care to care of clients across the life span.
  6. Discuss components of APN roles, including expert guidance and coaching, consultation, clinical and professional leadership collaboration, ethical decision-making, advocacy, and change.
  7. Identify sources of evidence that can inform the practice of nurse practitioners, including health indicators, research, and clinical guidelines.
  8. Recognize the influence of cultural norms on the health practices of patients and families.
  9. Apply the community development process in the provision of community health development services, including assessment of community needs and strengths, diagnosis of priority community health concerns, and promotion of community health.

Course Materials


Hamric, A., Hanson, C., Tracy, M. & O’Grady, E. (2014). Advanced nursing practice: An integrative approach (5th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders.

Vollman A, Anderson E, McFarlane J (2016). Canadian Community as partner (3rd ed). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Course Structure

NURS 614 is an asynchronous online course. Students are expected to connect to an Internet Service Provider at their own expense.

Technical Requirements

In order to successfully complete this course, you must own or have ready access to certain computer hardware and software programs. For complete and up-to-date information on the minimum computer requirements required to complete the graduate nursing courses, visit the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies technical site.

Course Outline

NURS 614 consists of 13 weeks grouped into seven units.

Unit 1: Defining Advanced Practice Nursing
Unit one defines advanced practice nursing and introduces the roles included under the APN umbrella including clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist and nurse midwife. Students will examine the history of these roles in Canada and the world.

Unit 2: Examining the Advanced Practice Nursing Roles
Unit two examines the education and regulations of APNs in Canada. The roles of various federal and provincial government and professional bodies in regulating and influencing APN practice will be explored. Students will examine the economics of APN roles in the context of the Canadian Health Care System including various funding and practice models and will gain an understanding of how advanced practice nursing roles are evaluated.

Unit 3: Cultural Competence and Cultural Safety in Health Care
Understanding the influence of culture on health care practices and decision making is an essential component of advanced practice nursing. This unit explores the cultural context of health care and provides students with an opportunity to examine various belief systems as they apply to health care practices.

Unit 4: Community Development Principles and Primary Health Care Principles
In Unit 4, students study a model to promote healthy living and multi-sectorial engagement in community health development initiatives. That model is the "Community as Partner" model and in this unit, students explore the model and being to collect community data to support community health development planning in future courses.

Unit 5: Models and Paradigms of Advanced Practice Nursing
Unit 5 focuses on nursing models relevant to advanced practice nursing. Students will examine selected nursing models and will examine the relevance of these theoretical models to APN practice.

Unit 6: Core competencies of the APN role
Unit 6 focuses on the core competencies underpinning APN roles. Students will explore the concepts of coaching and teaching, consultation, research, leadership, collaboration and ethical decision making.

Unit 7: Interprofessional Practice
Unit 7 will study the concept of interprofessional practice from the APN perspective. You will examine essential competencies such as defining foundations, role clarification, effective communication and conflict engagement skills

Assessment Structure

The assessment structure for NURS 614 is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Your final grade for the course will be a composite mark based on your performance on these course activities. Please read this ENTIRE section

Assessment Item Percentage of Total Grade
Conference Participation and Required Postings 10%
Assignment 1 - Advanced Nursing Practice Role Paper 25%
Assignment 2 - Community Implications Paper 30%
Assignment 3 - Community Health Development 35%
Total 100%

In order to pass NURS 614, you must achieve a minimum mark of 65% on conference participation and a minimum combined mark of 65% on the three written assignments.

If the minimum mark is not achieved on either element of the assessment structure (conference participation or written assignments), then a failing grade will be assigned for NURS 614.

Conference Participation (10%)

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.

Assignment 1 (25%)

Students will be expected to interview an advanced practice nurse and to relate the findings of this interview in a scholarly paper, comparing the role of the advanced practice role to the theoretical components of the role as outlined in the literature.

Assignment 2 (30%)

This assignment builds on the learning in assignment one to look more closely at what is required for the successful implementation of a new advanced practice role in a health care setting. Students will write a maximum 2250 word paper discussing the issue of role clarity, implementation and change management at the local level.

Assignment 3 (35%)

This assignment focuses on Community Health Development and has two separate component. Part A is a requirement to complete an annotated bibliography of 10 current peer reviewed articles providing both a summary and evaluation of each. Part B includes a minimum of three specific community based strategies which could be implemented within health systems and/or communities to successfully address your chosen topic from part A.

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 3, March 4, 2017

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