Nursing (NURS) 678

Nurse Practitioner Practicum III


Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 0

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 516, NURS 517, NURS 518, NURS 522, NURS 524, NURS 526, NURS 528, and NURS 676

Co-requisite: NURS 530

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


NURS 678: Clinical Practicum III is a required course leading to a Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner or a Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner degree. In this course learners consolidate the supervised clinical practice of competencies essential to advanced practice nursing to provide primary health care for clients across the life span. Learners will demonstrate autonomy in decision-making, and critical analysis of organizational and system issues that influence scope of practice, professional accountability, and outcomes.

Clinical Practicum

In NURS 678, learners complete supervised clinical practicum hours focusing on the case management of clients in primary health care setting. Students will have already completed 500 clinical practicum hours prior to entering this course. Refinement of clinical expertise and establishment of role identity as an advanced practice registered nurse are expected outcomes. Clinical decision-making and diagnostic reasoning are mastered by the nurse practitioner leaner. The expectation is that students demonstrate appropriate professional interaction and discussion of clinical experiences, as well as information from reading/studying didactic information.

Emphases are placed on learners having direct patient care experiences that develop the knowledge and skills necessary for primary care and mastering the ability to work independently as a primary care provider. Students complete appropriate focused and comprehensive subjective and objective assessments; use a differential diagnosis process to make clinical decisions; select appropriate interventions including diagnostic tests, medications, and referrals; and document effectively in patients’ health records. Students are also anticipated to develop and demonstrate leadership and professionalism in the course of working with healthcare professionals from a variety of disciples to improve the health status of individuals, families, and communities.

Course Goals

By the end of NURS 678 you will demonstrate:

  1. Integration of medical and nursing management of health concerns by providing evidence-based clinical services 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
  2. Promotion and implementation of evidence-based primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion and illness prevention strategies along the health-illness continuum.
  3. Documentation of clinical data, diagnoses, collaborations, communications and treatments, monitoring and follow-up.
  4. Progressive role development and leadership competency, including effective communication and collaboration in the care of individuals, families and communities.

Course Materials

NURS 678 comprises online and other course materials.


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

Other 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.

Assessment: Outlines the assignments/evaluation procedures of the course.

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 678 consists of the completion of supervised clinical practicum from between 500 and 800 hours. In addition, virtual clinical conferences, asynchronous clinical learning, and access to the clinical experiences facilitated by the Clinical Practicum Coordinators exposure to patients across the lifespan within one to two sessions (i.e., Fall, Winter and/or Spring sessions).

Clinical faculty who are licensed nurse practitioners will provide support in evaluating clinical performance and role development throughout the course term and will interact with students during clinical seminar sessions.

All details regarding the clinical practicum experience are found in the NP Guide located in the NP Student Resource Forum.

Assessment Structure

The assessment structure for NURS 678 is based on the following course activities. The final grade for the course is a pass/fail mark based on your performance on these course activities.

Conference Participation Pass/Fail
Clinical Learning Plan Pass/Fail
Midterm Clinical Evaluation Pass/Fail
Final Clinical Evaluation Pass/Fail

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 1, July 15, 2020.