Nursing (NURS) 324

Concepts and Theories in Nursing Practice (Revision 8)

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

**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.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: ENGL junior/senior (ENGL 255 recommended). Available only to Bachelor of Nursing students or with professor approval.

Post LPN BN Pre/co-requisite: NURS 250.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 324 is not available for Challenge.

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Welcome to NURS 324, an introduction to theory and reasoning in nursing. You will be introduced to several different theoretical frameworks in nursing and to the contributions of selected nurse theorists. You will also be exposed to different perspectives regarding patterns of knowing in nursing, the art and science of nursing, and the ethical principles that guide nursing practice. As you work through the various units, you will begin to articulate and refine your own philosophy of nursing and to evaluate its impact on your own practice. You will consider ethical issues in nursing practice.

Course Objectives

Nursing 324: Concepts and Theories in Nursing Practice is organized around the following general learning outcomes. In completing this course you will:

  1. Articulate and demonstrate the relationship between values, ethics, scholarship, and professional integrity.
  2. Apply ethical theory and ethical decision-making models to your academic conduct and professional practice behaviour.
  3. Compare and contrast the relationship between the art of nursing and the science of nursing.
  4. Describe the relationship between nursing philosophy, nursing theory, and nursing practice.
  5. Articulate your nursing practice philosophy including; knowledge, values, beliefs, standards, theory, and ethical principles.

Course Structure

Nursing 324: Concepts and Theories in Nursing Practice includes 10 units:

  • Unit 1: Academic Honesty and Scholarship
  • Unit 2: Professional Integrity
  • Unit 3: Values Clarification and Development
  • Unit 4: Knowledge, Theory, and Reasoning in Nursing
  • Unit 5: Florence Nightingale and the Art and Science of Nursing
  • Unit 6: Ethical Theories In Nursing
  • Unit 7: Nursing Philosophy
  • Unit 8: Ethical Decision-Making
  • Unit 9: Everyday Ethics In Nursing Practice
  • Unit 10: Issues and Ethics in Nursing Practice


To receive credit for NURS 324, you must complete all of the required assignments and achieve an overall composite grade of C (64 percent).All papers submitted must follow the guidelines of the current APA Publication Manual.

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

Assignment Weight
Assignment 1: Annotated Bibliography 25%
Assignment 2: Philosophy of Nursing Scholarly Paper 35%
Assignment 3: Ethical Issue Scholarly Paper 40%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Burkhardt, M.A., Nathaniel, A.K., & Walton, N. A. (2018). Ethics and issues in contemporary nursing (2nd Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson.

Johnson, B. M., & Webber, P. B. (2013). An introduction to theory and reasoning in nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Materials

A number of additional readings are included throughout the course using Athabasca University's Library Digital Reading Room or the Internet.

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 8, July 12, 2016.

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