Nursing (NURS) 526

NP: Adult Health


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 518NURS 610NURS 614

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


This course is part of a program of study leading to the Post Master's Diploma: Nurse Practitioner or the Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner degree.
In Nursing 526: Nurse Practitioner Practice: Adults, students study the following:

  • the primary health care principle of health promotion;
  • the community development principle of advocacy;
  • the nurse practitioner competency of research;
  • the provision of primary health care to adults.

Students learn to provide primary health care to adults including wellness counseling for healthy adults, management of acute and chronic conditions common to adults, assessment and treatment of common mental health conditions, and referral of conditions requiring management by other health professionals. All units are organized through the lens of health promotion and illness prevention at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Clinical Practicum

Students complete a minimum of 140 hours of clinical practice focusing on the health of adults (18-59 years of age). You are required to have a successful clinical evaluation in order to achieve a passing grade; additional hours over and above 140 may be required in order to achieve course objectives. You are encouraged to use the clinical hours in NURS 526 to focus on the care of adults. By the end of NURS 530 you must have logged a total of at least 100 hours in the care of adults.

Course Goals

  1. Critically analyze the primary health care principle of health promotion, the community development principle of advocacy, and the NP competency of research, and discuss how these influence the health of individual clients and communities
  2. Identify and implement strategies to foster the illness prevention and health promotion behaviours of clients
  3. Identify factors that affect health and wellbeing including the determinants of health and the social determinants of health
  4. Identify and utilize current recommendations for preventative screening in the adult population
  5. Utilize clinical practice guidelines and review internet-based sources of information about evidence-based health care for adults
  6. Provide evidence-based clinical services to well adults and to those presenting with common acute and chronic health concerns, at a level appropriate to a beginning practitioner, including:

    a. health history and physical examination
    b. clinical decision-making
    c. ordering laboratory and diagnostic tests
    d. prescribing medication and treatments
    e. administering treatments or procedures
    f. therapeutic communications
    g. collaborative relationships
    h. documentation of clinical data, diagnoses, collaborations, communications and treatments, monitoring and follow-up

  7. Identify and implement care for adult presentations of emergencies in the primary care setting
  8. Articulate, promote and practice evidence-based primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion and illness prevention strategies along the health-illness continuum
  9. Demonstrate integration of medical and nursing management of adult health concerns
  10. Refer adults with health concerns that exceed the scope of practice of a beginning nurse practitioner to other health professionals or other appropriate resources
  11. Review the societal trends and indicators that affect the health of adults
  12. Locate, interpret and apply research to inform nurse practitioner practice

Course Materials

NURS 526 comprises online and print-based course materials.

Online Materials

  • Introduction: Provides essential information about the course materials, the design of the course, and the procedures you should follow to complete the course successfully
  • Schedule: Outlines the timing of course activities
  • Units: Contains the five units that make up the course
  • Assessment: Outlines the assignments/evaluation procedures of the course
  • References: Listing of required readings, mobile resources and websites included in the units
  • NP Student Resources: Includes NP Guide and Preceptor Package and Forms to complete the clinical practicum requirements of the course

Print Materials

The textbooks listed below are used in this course.


Buttaro, T., Trybulski, J. & Polgar-Baily, P. & Sandberg-Cook, J. (2017). Primary Care: A Collaborative Practice (5th ed). St Louis: Mosby.

Recommended texts (not supplied)

Williamson, M. & Snyder, L. (2014). Wallach's Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests (10th ed). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Also available in e-book and mobile formats.

Esherick JS, Clark DS, Slater ED (2016) Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care 2016. New York McGraw Hill Lange

Other Materials

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

Course Structure

NURS 526 is an asynchronous, paced online course. The course instructor and the class members will participate in unit conferences to discuss unit content and related issues. The course includes Internet access to health-related Websites around the world, participation in electronic mail, and computer conferencing with students from across the country.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to participate in the program, each student must own or have ready access to the following minimum computer hardware and software. Students are advised that PCs are the primary equipment supported by Athabasca University's Helpdesk. Only limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms is offered. Students are responsible for their own communication costs such as long distance telephone charges and subscriptions to an Internet node, or any other communications service requirements.

Course Outline

NURS 526 is a paced course over 13 weeks and consists of the following 3 units:

Unit 1:  Nurse Practitioner Practice and the Well Adult 
Focus is the primary health care principle of health promotion as well as explore the concepts, process and involved with advocacy with individuals and communities. Students learn about providing clinical services to well adults including health promotion as well as primary and secondary prevention. Health promotion is discussed through the lens of two foundational Canadian documents that present health promotion from both individual and community perspectives and inform intervention strategies throughout the wellness continuum. The student will learn to employ the "Stages of Change" model in health promotion activities with individuals, and the "Community as Partner" model when working with the health promotion of communities.

Unit 2: Nurse Practitioner Practice: Secondary Prevention, Health Promotion and Episodic Care of Adults with Acute Presentations. 
In this unit, the student will focus on the delivery of clinical health services to adults with common acute health conditions. Health promotion and illness prevention are explored in relation to episodic illness in the adult. The student will also learn to distinguish emergency situations from routine presentations and will review how to initiate and transfer care. Simple wound closure methods are also reviewed in this unit.

Unit 3:  Nurse Practitioner Practice: Tertiary Prevention, Health Promotion and Primary Care of Adults with Chronic Presentations  
In this unit, the student will review the diagnosis, treatment and management of adults with chronic diseases in the primary care setting. Special emphasis is given to hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, COPD and asthma. The student will also explore tertiary prevention and health promotion strategies for adults with chronic conditions along the wellness continuum.  The student will also consider the ANP core competency of research and to locate, interpret and incorporate scholarly research into their practice with adults.

Assessment Structure

The assessment structure for NURS 526 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 your performance on these course activities.

Conference Participation 10%
Assignment 1
Health Promotion Paper
Assignment 2
Case Study
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Total 100%
ALSO: Clinical Practicum Pass/Fail

In order to pass NURS 526, you must achieve a minimum mark of 70% (7/10) on conference participation, a minimum combined mark of 70% (28/40) on the written assignments, and a minimum combined mark of 70% (35/50) on the midterm examination and final examination.

In addition to these activities, you must receive a satisfactory evaluation of the clinical practicum.

If the minimum mark is not achieved on any element of the assessment structure (conference participation, written assignments, exams or clinical practicum), then a failing grade will be assigned for NURS 526. If the student re-registers in NURS 526, then all elements of the course must be repeated (conference participation, written assignments, examinations and clinical practicum).

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 critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of the material presented

Participation Criteria

Participation will be measured against the following criteria:

  1. Complete at least the minimum online contributions during the unit conference timeframe.
  2. Contribute original thoughts or ideas to online discussions.
  3. Cite relevant resources to validate points made.
  4. Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
  5. Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
  6. Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.
  7. Present responses that follow the rules of grammar and spelling in the online contributions.
  8. Complete and submit the participation self-assessment at the end of each unit.
  9. Participate in at least 3 of 5 online synchronous ADOBE class sessions.

Assignment 1: Health Promotion Paper (15%)

The first assignment of the course asks the student to explore health promotion from an advanced perspective through analysis of a health issue in the clinical setting through a community health perspective.   This assignment is designed to help students explore factors that influence health in their community of practice, consider the impact if the social determinants of health and the role of advocacy when working with clients and communities.

Assignment 2: Case Study (25%)

In Assignment 2, students analyze case studies that present an adult health concerns appropriate for a nurse practitioner to assess, treat, and follow up.

Exam 1 (25%)

Exam 1 consists of multiple choice questions and contains content from Units 1 and 2.

Exam 2 (25%)

Exam 2 consists of multiple choice questions and contains content from Units 3.

Clinical Practicum (Pass/Fail)

The student must achieve a satisfactory evaluation to pass the course.

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.