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Nursing 420

NURS 420: Epidemiology

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing

Credit Hours: (3)

Provides students an opportunity to examine the field of epidemiology and the applications of this content to their professional disciplines


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Students will be exposed to epidemiological terminology and methodologies that are applicable to numerous fields of study. Students will critique the use of epidemiology concepts in professional literature. A computer tutorial will be used to introduce and reinforce concepts that are presented in seminar.

1. Principles of the Practice of Epidemiology

        a. Definition of Epidemiology
        b. Historical Evolution of Epidemiology
        c. Public Health Surveillance
        d. Sources of Data
        e. Uses of Epidemiologic Data in Public Health Practice

2. Biologic and Epidemiologic Concepts

        a. Levels of Prevention
        b. Natural History of Disease
        c. Agent-Host-Environment Triad
        d. Concept of Immunity

3. Methods Used in Epidemiologic Research

        a. Observational Surveys
        b. Analytical Studies
        c. Experimental Studies


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:

The basic format of the course will be a seminar with some didactic content being presented by the faculty, guest speakers, and an accompanying computer tutorial. Students will be expected to come prepared to discuss the assigned topic for each seminar and this preparation will be reflected in a participation grade. Several times during the semester the students will receive "time back" to complete the computer tutorial and view movies that will be utilized to illustrate epidemiological methodologies.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

1. Describe the purpose of population surveillance.
2. Describe the epidemiological approach to problem-solving.
3. Identify the major sources of epidemiological information used to describe characteristics of population aggregates.
4. Distinguish between types of epidemiological studies useful for researching aggregate issues.
5. Use epidemiological terminology to describe the nature of aggregate issues.
6. Critique the use of epidemiological concepts in professional literature.


Assessment Measures

Attainment of course objectives will be assessed by evaluating the student’s ability to:

1. Complete assigned projects in a timely manner.
2. Discuss selected topics presented in seminar.
3. Apply course content in assigned projects.
4. Write an analytic piece incorporating basic epidemiological concepts. 


Other Course Information

Honor Code: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Refer to your Student Handbook for details.

Students with Disabilities: If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO). The DRO is located in Room 32, Tyler Hall, telephone 540-831-6350. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DRO forms and meet with me no later than the second week of the semester.

Attendance: For Attendance policies and other course-related requirements, see School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook and Course Description.


Review and Approval
April 2006 Undergraduate Curriculum Marcella Griggs, Director