Nursing (NURS) 524

NP: Children's Health

NURS 524 Course Cover

Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 516 and NURS 517, OR NURS 519 and NURS 521 and NURS 518, NURS 526NURS 614, NURS 610.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


NURS524 is an asynchronous, paced online course. Students will complete two assignments and take two multiple choice exams. Students will participate in problem-based learning exercises at regular intervals throughout the course, as well as engage in at least 3 scheduled synchronous on-line videoconferences.

In NURS 524, you will study the primary health care principles of participation and collaboration and the community development principle of empowerment.

You will learn to provide primary health care to children, from infancy through adolescence. The knowledge you gain will include wellness counselling of healthy children, management of acute and chronic conditions of children, and referral of conditions requiring management by other health professionals. You will also consider the community health implications of healthy children, as well as the areas of immunizations, accidental injuries, child maltreatment, and child poverty. You will examine trends in the health of children and study evidence-based health care.

Course Goals

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. critically analyze the primary health care principles of participation and collaboration, the community development principle of empowerment, and the NP competency of consultation and referral, and discuss how these influence the health of clients;
  2. implement strategies to foster participation and interdisciplinary/intersectoral collaboration of individuals and communities in decision-making on health issues;
  3. implement strategies to promote empowerment of individuals and communities in decision-making on health issues;
  4. identify and utilize current recommendations for health promotion and preventative screening in children;
  5. articulate evidence-based clinical services to well children and to those presenting with acute and chronic health concerns, at a level appropriate to a beginning practitioner, including:
    1. health history and physical examination
    2. clinical decision-making
    3. ordering of laboratory and diagnostic tests
    4. prescription of medications
    5. administering treatments or procedures
    6. therapeutic communication
    7. collaborative relationships;
    8. documentation of clinical data, diagnoses, collaborations, communications and treatments, monitoring and follow-up
  6. examine the influence of a child's developmental stages on illness, injury, health promotion and anticipatory guidance needs, and the provision of health care.
  7. demonstrate integration of medical and nursing management of health concerns of children
  8. recognize emergency and urgent presentations in children in the primary care setting and initiate appropriate interventions;
  9. identify referral needs children with health concerns that exceed the scope of practice of a beginning practitioner to other health professionals or other appropriate resources;
  10. review ethical and legal considerations when treating children and infants, including the capacity to give consent, and rights of the child, and rights of the parents;
  11. discuss issues and trends that affect the health of children in a community including child maltreatment;
  12. utilize clinical practice guidelines and review Internet-based sources of information about evidence-based health care for children;
  13. suggest areas for research in nurse practitioner practice with children

Course Materials

NURS 524 comprises online content and electronic course materials.


Maaks, D., Starr, N., Brady, M., Gaylord, N., Driessnack, M. & Duderstadt, K. (2020). Burns' Pediatric Primary Care. 7th Ed. St Louis: Elsevier (eText).

Other Materials

Textbooks and readings from other Nurse Practitioner courses will be used as appropriate.

Course Structure

NURS 524 is an asynchronous, paced online course. Five synchronous Clinical Forums utilizing computer based audio-visual capabilities will occur over the span of the term to discuss clinical issues with the class.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, the student 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.

Students are expected to connect to an Internet Service Provider at their own expense and to secure audio speaker or headphones for the required Clinical Forum events in the course.

Course Outline

NURS 524 consists of the following 8 units:

Unit 1: Nurse Practitioner Practice and the Community Development Principles of Empowerment and Self-Efficacy
In Unit 1, the student will expand on their previous exploration of the community-as-partner approach to community health development by focusing on the principle of empowerment and self-efficacy.

Unit 2: Primary Prevention and Health Promotion of the Well Child
In this unit students will study primary prevention strategies for health and wellbeing of infants, children and adolescents. Anticipatory guidance, health promotion and illness prevention at all stages are explored.

Unit 3: Secondary Prevention, Health Promotion and the Well Child
In Unit 3, students will study the approach to the pediatric client, advanced physical assessment of children of all ages, and pediatric parameters including laboratory studies and diagnostic imaging considerations. Assessment tools for pediatrics are reviewed.

Unit 4: Secondary Prevention: Children with Acute Presentations
In Unit 4, students will study acute illnesses common to children including common presentations, diagnostic testing, differential diagnoses, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments and tips on how to communicate a diagnosis to the family. Emergency presentations are studied with a view to prompt identification and the initiation of emergency care in the primary care setting. Health promotion is integrated.

Unit 5: Tertiary Prevention and Health Promotion in the Primary Care of Children with Chronic Health Conditions.
In unit 5, students will study common chronic illnesses of childhood and the implications of chronic disease on both the child and the family. Diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic disease are covered using a family-centered approach. Strategies for collaborative care planning are discussed.

Unit 6: Special Issues in the Primary Care of Children
In Unit 6 students will explore the following issues and trends in the context of nurse practitioner care in the primary care setting:

  • Prescribing for children,
  • Abuse: sexual/physical/emotional/neglect,
  • Children's capacity to give consent
  • Special considerations of the preterm infant and the late preterm infant
  • Trends in child health: Obesity, chronic illness, poverty

Unit 7: Nurse Practitioner Competency: Ethical Practice
Unit 7 explores the nurse practitioner competency of ethical practice and its impact on decision-making in pediatric care. Ethical issues are discussed from the perspective of the child, the family and the Nurse Practitioner.

Unit 8: Nurse Practitioner Practice and the Public Health Principle of Public Participation and Intersectoral Cooperation
Unit 8 affirms that the care of children and adolescents must include interactions with the family and community; the interactions are participatory and collaborative and facilitate empowerment and self-efficacy. As well, students will explore two other types of professional collaboration: interdisciplinary and intersectoral.

Assessment Structure

The assessment structure for NURS 524 is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. The final grade for the course is a composite mark based on performance on these course activities.

Conference Participation 10%
Assignment 1: Casey Study 1 20%
Assignment 2: Case Study 2 20%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Total 100%

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. Participation in 3 out of 5 of the Clinical forums contributes to the conference participation mark. Mandatory topics and small assignments may also be required within the forums.

Assignment 1: Case Study 1 (20%)

In the two case study assignments you will demonstrate your knowledge of health promotion, illness prevention, and clinical care for a variety of presentations that you might see in the primary care setting. You will also apply your knowledge of appropriate use of diagnostic tests, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments, follow up priorities, and patient education.

Assignment 2: Case Study (20%)

Case 2 will be posted in week 7

Exam 1 (25%)

The examination consists of multiple choice questions covering the content in Units 1 through 4 Part 1.

Exam 2 (25%)

The final examination consists of multiple choice questions and tests content in Units 4 Part 2 through 7.

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.