Nursing 629

NURS 629: Advanced Health Assessment

Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Program in Nursing, or with Permission of Coordinator of Graduate Program

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours seminar; two hours laboratory

Provides the advanced practice nurse with advanced knowledge and skills related to health assessment and clinical decision-making. The focus is on acquiring, evaluating and refining health assessment data as the basis for the development of a diagnostic problem list. Common normal variations as well as abnormalities and acute and chronic disease characteristic of diverse ethnic backgrounds and age groups in health and illness are emphasized. The laboratory component of the course provides the opportunity to become proficient in eliciting health histories, performing physical examinations and critically examining and documenting health data.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The objectives and content of this course are derived from the School of Nursing’s mission and philosophy, and facilitate achievement of the School’s program objectives. Additionally, the major topics and skills covered in this course are common to major nursing theory textbooks. Current research and advancement in nursing theory and clinical practice also determine course content.

Topical Outline:

1. Interviewing and Health History
2. Assessment of Stressors and Psychosocial Supports
3. Nutrition Assessment Across the Lifespan
4. Health Promotion
5. Assessment of the Client with a Chief Complaint Related to Selected Systems

        a. Integumentary
        b. Head and Neck
        c. Eyes and Ears
        d. Respiratory
        e. Cardiovascular
        f. Abdomen
        g. Musculoskeletal
        h. Neurological

6. Assessment of the Female Reproductive System

        a. Genitalia
        b. Breasts

7. Assessment of the Male Reproductive System

        a. Genitalia
        b. Anus and Rectum
        c. Prostate

8. Integration of the Physical Examination


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Teaching methods will include lecture/discussion, case studies/simulations, demonstration, video tapes and laboratory practice. The laboratory component of the female and male reproductive systems will be with completed using surrogate clients.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Use selected interpersonal theories and strategies to elicit a comprehensive health history from clients with diverse backgrounds, developmental levels and cultures.
2. Evaluate data obtained from the health assessment to differentiate between normal and abnormal findings.
3. Correlate physical assessment findings with underlying pathophysiologic processes.
4. Perform and analyze a nutritional assessment from clients of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
5. Develop a nursing and/or medical problem list from analysis of health assessment data.
6. Present health assessment data concisely and accurately in both oral and written formats.
7. Identify developmentally appropriate health promotion/protection/maintenance practices for clients from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Clinical Competency Outcomes:

1. Obtains an accurate and concise health history.
2. Demonstrates ability to perform an accurate and concise advanced physical examination.
3. Accurately and appropriately modifies the physical exam to focus on specific needs or problems of the client.
4. Correlates physical and health assessment data with pathophysiologic findings.
5. Demonstrates knowledge of advanced health assessment findings of acute and chronic disease or conditions commonly encountered in rural primary care practice settings.


Assessment Measures

  • Quizzes
  • Tests
  • Write-up of Health History
  • HEENT Write-up
  • Write-up of Integrated Physical Exam
  • Performance of Integrated Physical Exam


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
Revised March 1999