Nursing 636

NURS 636: Advanced Family Nursing III: Acute Illness Across the Lifespan

Prerequisite: Admission into the FNP concentration, NURS 620, NURS 628, NURS 629, NURS 631 (or concurrent), NURS 651.

Credit Hours: (5) Three hours seminar; Six hours practicum

This course is designed to prepare the student to practice advanced nursing skills with rural community based clients and families experiencing acute conditions. Emphasis is on analyzing, synthesizing, and applying current family and health care theories, research, and practice related to individuals and families across the lifespan. The focus includes risk assessment, wellness promotion, health protection, health restoration, management of acute conditions, coordination of services, collaboration with other providers, and appropriate referral.


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. Special Health Risks Associated with Early, Middle, and Late Adult Stages

            a. Adult Development
            b. Family Theory and Assessment
            c. Clinical Preventative Services
            d. Physical Activity and Fitness

2. Educational and Community-Based Programs (Centers for Disease Control; Health Resources and Services Administration)
3. Unintentional injuries (Centers for Disease Control)

            a. Wound Management

4. Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (Centers for Disease Control)

            a. Musculoskeletal injuries
            b. Acute eye problems

5. Common acute respiratory and thyroid conditions and infectious diseases

            a. Immunizations and Infectious Disease
            b. Tuberculosis
            c. HIV

6. Common acute dermatologic conditions
7. Acute cardiac problems; (National Institution of Health).
8. Abdominal pain
9. Managing rapidly changing situations


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:

  • Seminar discussions, lecture, guest speakers, student presentations, clinical practice, and written projects.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

1. Demonstrate the synthesis and application of knowledge necessary to assess the client and family holistically.
2. Demonstrate the synthesis and application of advanced nursing and family knowledge, theory and research findings to promote wellness, health protection and restoration.
3. Demonstrate the synthesis and application of advanced nursing knowledge necessary to diagnose, treat, and provide nursing management of common acute conditions for clients and families across the lifespan.
4. Select, implement, and evaluate health teaching and counseling approaches for these clients and families.
5. Evaluate clinical data and therapeutic options to determine effective nurse practitioner management, collaborative management, and/or appropriate referral.

Clinical Competency Outcomes :

The student demonstrates competency in the role of management of health/acute illness status when he/she:

1. Demonstrates critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in clinical decision-making.
2. Assesses, diagnoses, monitors, coordinates, and manages the health status of clients over time and provides primary care.
3. Communicates the client’s health status verbally or in writing, using appropriate terminology and format.
4. Provides anticipatory guidance for expected changes, potential changes, and situation changes.
5. Applies principles of epidemiology and demography in clinical practice.
6. Uses community assessment in evaluating client needs and program planning.
7. Applies/develops a theory-based conceptual framework to guide practice.
8. Applies/conducts research studies pertinent to primary care management.
9. Selects and recommends appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and regimen with attention to safety, cost, invasiveness, implicitly, acceptability, and efficacy.
10. Performs and interprets common laboratory tests.
11. Diagnoses and manages acute and chronic disease while attending to the acute illness experience.
12. Manages rapidly changing situations.
13. Schedules follow-up visits to appropriately monitor clients and evaluate care.

*The term client denotes and individual and/or family. Competencies of nurse practitioner practice adapted from NONPF. Advanced Nursing Practice: Nurse Practitioner Curriculum Guidelines (1990).


Assessment Measures

  • Midterm Examination 30%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Clinical Evaluation P/F
  • Clinical Experience Log/Forms 5%
  • FNP Episodic Clinical write-ups (2) 10%
  • Case Presentation—Class-Oral 5%
  • Primary Care Intervention Plan Paper 15%
  • Class Participation/Accountability 5%

Note: Course requirements not completed on the assigned date will be penalized 5 pts. Per day unless prior arrangements are made.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval
Revised March 1999