Nursing (NURS) 440

Independent Study (Revision 2)

Permanently closed, effective April 25, 2018.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 328

Precluded Course: NURS 440 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for NURS 490.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 440 is not available for challenge.


Students in Nursing 440: Independent Study engage in a guided independent learning experience. Students, in consultation with the course professor, choose a project to investigate and develop and implement a learning contract. This contract outlines learning objectives, a learning action plan and an evaluation plan.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of NURS 440, the student will achieve or exceed the following learning outcomes:

  • Develop a learning contract;
  • Negotiate with the course professor the details of the learning contract;
  • Gain theoretical knowledge about a topic of particular interest/relevance to professional practice or future career goals; and
  • Apply this theoretical knowledge to a nursing practice situation.

Course Structure

The course structure is determined for each student based on discussions with the course professor and is reflected in the course learning contract.


A learning contract and major scholarly paper are required from all students. All other assignments are negotiated by individual students with the course professor, based on the nature and scope of the project chosen. Effective January 1, 2010, all papers submitted must follow the guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) (2010).

To receive credit for NURS 440, you must achieve an overall composite grade of at least “C-” (60%). The criteria for evaluation will be clearly specified in the contract negotiated by the student and course instructor. The assignments and weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Learning Contract 10%
Scholarly Paper Minimum 35%
Negotiated Assignments Minimum 55%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


There are no required textbooks for NURS 440. It is expected that students will consult reference materials, including textbooks, journals, and Internet resources, for information directly related to their learning contract.

Other Materials

A variety of electronic journal articles and web sites are used in the course and 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 2, February 22, 2007.

View previous syllabus

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services