Nursing (NURS) 528

NP: Older Adult Health


Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

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

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


Nursing 528: NP: Older Adult Health is part of a program of study leading to a Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner or the Master of Nursing Degree.

In Nurse 528, students study the Primary Health Care principle of Accessibility, the Community Health Development principle of Healthy Public Policy, and the Nurse Practitioner Competency of Leadership.

Students learn to provide primary health care to older adults, including wellness counseling and health education, management of acute and chronic conditions common to the older adult, and referral to other health care providers. Students learn to incorporate health promotion along the wellness-illness continuum, as well as provide primary, secondary and tertiary illness prevention for older adults. Students examine special considerations and issues in the care of older adults.

Course Goals

By the end of NURS 528 you will be able to

  • critically reflect on the NP competency of leadership and explore the qualities and domains of leadership as they apply to the nurse practitioner role;
  • discuss how public policy affects vulnerable groups and how that, in turn, affects health and health outcomes;
  • identify strategies that can be used to influence the creation of healthy public policies, including policy design, political activity and research in the policy process;
  • identify and utilize current recommendations and tools for preventative screening in the older adult;
  • synthesize the assessment of relevant functional health patterns including fall risk, driving ability, dementia screening, sensory function, mental health and substance abuse screening into the care plan;
  • discuss issues particular to geriatric care including life transitions, caregiving roles, elder abuse, frailty, end of life issues, long term care, iatrogenesis, poverty and isolation, pharmacodynamics and polypharmacy, geriatric emergencies, and health education and health literacy;
  • identify the social and cultural values of older adults in Canada in a way that promotes culturally sensitive care; and
  • demonstrate integration of medical and nursing management of health concerns in older adults by providing evidence-based clinical services to well older adults and to those presenting with acute and chronic health concerns, at a level appropriate to a beginning practitioner, including:
    • health history and physical examination
    • clinical diagnoses and decision-making
    • ordering of laboratory and diagnostic tests
    • prescription of medications and treatments
    • administering treatments or procedures
    • therapeutic communication
    • collaborative relationships
    • documentation of clinical data, diagnoses, collaborations, communications and treatments, monitoring and follow-up;
  • articulate, promote and implement, evidence-based primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion and illness prevention strategies along the health-illness continuum;
  • identify strategies for assessing and addressing accessibility issues within your health region; and
  • determine which populations may have reduced access to primary care based on location, ethnicity, income, health literacy, language and lifestyle.

Course Materials

NURS 528 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: There are fourteen units in this course. Resource lists of required reading, websites and citations are integrated into the Units.
  • Assessment: Outlines the assignments/evaluation procedures of the course.

Print Materials

The following textbook is used in this course.

Ham, R., Sloane, P., Warshaw, G., Potter, J., & Flaherty, E. (2014). Ham’s primary care geriatrics: A case-based approach. (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.

Other Materials

Textbooks and readings from other Nurse Practitioner Practice courses will be used as appropriate. A list of optional additional reference texts is included.

Course Structure

In this course, you will access health-related websites worldwide. You will also participate in email and computer conferencing with other students. Students are expected to connect to an Internet Service Provider at their own expense.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, you 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.

Course Outline

NURS 528 consists of the following 14 units:

  • Unit 1: Leadership and Healthy Public Policy
  • Unit 2: Primary Health Promotion and Illness Prevention
  • Unit 3: Secondary Prevention
  • Unit 4: Unusual Presentations of Illness and Geriatric Emergencies
  • Unit 5: Acute Illness: Central Nervous and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Unit 6: Acute Illness: Gastrointestinal System and Infectious Diseases
  • Unit 7: Acute Illness: Musculoskeletal System
  • Unit 8: Special Considerations in the Care of Older Adults
  • Unit 9: Chronic Disease Management: Nervous System and HEENT
  • Unit 10: Chronic Disease Management: Cardiovascular and Peripheral Vascular System
  • Unit 11: Chronic Disease Management: Pulmonary, MSK, GI and Renal Systems
  • Unit 12: Chronic Disease Management: Endocrine, Integumentary and Hematological Systems
  • Unit 13: Special Topics in the Care of Older Adults
  • Unit 14: The Primary Care Principle of Accessibility

Assessment Structure

The assessment structure for NURS 528 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%
Exam 1 25%
Assignment 1: Case Study 20%
Assignment 2: Case Study 20%
Exam 2 25%
Total 100%

In order to pass NURS 528, you must achieve a minimum mark of 70% on conference participation, a minimum combined mark of 70% on the written assignments, and a minimum combined mark of 70% on the exams.

If the minimum mark is not achieved on any element of the assessment structure (conference participation, written assignments, exams), then a failing grade will be assigned for NURS 528. If the student re-registers in NURS 528, then all elements of the course must be repeated (conference participation, written assignments, examinations).

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.