Nursing (NURS) 326

Health Assessment (Revision 8)

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

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 326 is not available for Challenge.

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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.


NURS 326: Health Assessment is designed to assist nursing students in the development of interviewing and history taking skills as well as skills in physical examination and psychosocial assessment. The collection of data through these skills is the first step in the nursing process. The data are then used as the basis for the formulation of nursing diagnoses and nursing interventions to promote health, prevent illness, or manage illness.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of NURS 326, the student will be able to

  • Identify the components of the complete and focused health assessments;
  • Identify developmental and cultural considerations in the performance of complete and focused health assessments;
  • Describe and document a complete and focused health history;
  • Explain the components of a physical examination for each body system; and
  • Identify client teaching and health promotion activities.

Course Structure

NURS 326: Health Assessment includes 14 units:

  • Unit 1: Health Assessment: Learning About Your Client
  • Unit 2: Health History: Your Client’s Story and Approach to the Clinical Setting
  • Unit 3: Assessment of Skin, Hair, and Nails
  • Unit 4: Assessment of Head, Face, Neck, including Regional Lymphatic System, and Eyes
  • Unit 5: Assessment of Nose, Mouth, Throat, and Ears
  • Unit 6: Assessment of Thorax and Lungs
  • Unit 7: Assessment of Cardiovascular System
  • Unit 8: Assessment of Peripheral Vascular and Lymphatic Systems
  • Unit 9: Assessment of Abdomen
  • Unit 10: Assessment of Musculoskeletal System and Nutritional Assessment
  • Unit 11: Assessment of Neurological System
  • Unit 12: Assessment of Breasts and Regional Lymphatics
  • Unit 13: Assessment of Male and Female Genitourinary Systems, Anus, Rectum, and Prostate
  • Unit 14: Putting it All Together: Knowing Your Client


To receive credit for NURS 326, students must complete and submit all of the required assignments and achieve an overall composite grade of a C (64 percent). All papers submitted must follow the guidelines of the current APA Publication Manual

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

Activity Minimum Pass Weighting
Assignment 1   30%
Assignment 2 Health Assessment Quiz (unlimited attempts) 100%  
Quiz: Proctor U invigilated. (Students are permitted two quiz attempts)   30%
Final Examination   40%
Total 64% 100%

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

The Quiz will be an invigilated quiz located in the course study guide (the quiz is not booked through the myAU or the Exam Center). It is your responsibility to arrange invigilation directly through Proctor U.

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.

Course Materials


Jarvis, C. (2019). Physical examination & health assessment (3rd Canadian edition) (A.J. Brown, J.MacDonald-Jenkins, & M.Luctkar-Flude). Toronto: Elsevier.

This textbook contains a code essential to access online textbook resources

Other Resources

The course study guide provides access to the video series:

Bickley, L. (2015). Bates' visual guide to physical examination (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams, & Wilkins.

A variety of textbook online study resources, electronic journal articles and websites are used in the course. Paper copies are not included in the course package.

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 17, 2019.

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