Nursing 637

NURS 637: Advanced Family Nursing IV: Chronic 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 and urban community based clients and families experiencing chronic 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 wellness promotion, health protection, management and maintenance of chronic conditions, restoration and rehabilitation, coordination of services, collaborative care 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. Adult Development

        a. Physical activity and fitness (Presidents Council an Physical Fitness and Sports)
        b. Clinical Preventive Services (Health Resources and Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control)

2. Diabetes and Chronic Disability Conditions (National Institutes of Health; Centers for Disease Control)
3. Chronic Dermatological Conditions
4. Heart Disease

        a. Hypertension
        b. Congestive Heart Failure
        c. Angina

5. Chronic respiratory conditions
6. Peripheral vascular compromise
7. Neurological problems

        a. TIA
        b. HA
        c. Stroke
        d. Back pain (National Institutes of Health)

8. Arthritis (osteo/rheumatoid)
9. Mental Health and Mental Disorder

        a. Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration
        b. Confusion, polypharmacy
        c. Tobacco
        d. Centers for Disease Control
        e. Domestic Abuse

10. Cancer (National Institutes of Health)
11. Nutrition (National Institutes of Health; Food and Drug Administration)
12. Oral Health (National Institutes of Health; Center for Disease Control)
13. 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 chronic conditions for clients and families across the lifespan.
4. Select, implement, and evaluate health teaching and counseling approaches for these clients and families experiencing chronic conditions.
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