Nursing Fundamentals Syllabus

Nursing Fundamentals




Module A




Module B



Module A
Unit I –
Introduction to nursing and its application

Central objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to identify the nurse’s caring role as it applies to health care, trace the historical development of nursing, and identify the applications of caring in various healthcare settings.


Behavioral Objectives:
  1. Define nursing.
  2. Define caring.
  3. Compare the concepts of caring and nursing.
  4. Explore the historical evolution of nursing.
  5. Examine nursing in terms of the five primary characteristics of a profession.
  6. Examine the preparation and scope of practice of the various levels of nursing.
  7. Identify the responsibilities of members of the health care team.
  8. Describe the role of the nurse within the health care team.
  9. Clarify the roles and functions of a caring nurse.
  10. Recognize the function of nurse practice acts.
  11. Investigate five current professional nursing organizations.
  12. Identify different health care agencies and services.
  13. Describe the client’s entry and use of the health care delivery system.
  14. Analyze the client’s right to health care.
  15. Identify the client’s rights within the health care delivery system.
  16. Define various views of health.
  17. Interpret the stages of illness behavior.
  18. Recognize each component of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  19. Recall factors that influence the priority of an individual’s needs.
  20. Express the basic nursing implications concerning unmet needs.
  21. Recognize the influence of genuine caring by health care workers on a client’s health status.

Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Introduction to a Caring Nursing Practice
    1. Historical development of nursing
    2. Focus of nursing practice
    3. Educational preparation for nursing practice
    4. Roles, responsibilities, and functions of the nurse
    5. Professional nursing organizations
  2. Health Care Delivery System
    1. Types of health care services
      1. Acute Care Nursing
      2. Public Health Nursing
      3. Community Health Nursing
    2. Types of health care agencies
      1. Hospital, Home Care, Hospice
      2. Adult Day Care, Long Term Care, Skilled Care
    3. The client within the health care delivery system
  3. Concepts of HealtH
    1. Different views of health
    2. Stages of illness behavior
    3. Nursing care for basic human needs


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Module A
Unit Two
Concepts and skills basic to professional nursing practice

Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to describe the nurse’s professional role as a teacher.


Behavioral Objectives:
  1. Outline the teaching-learning process.
  2. Differentiate the characteristics of learning within the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.
  3. Relate the basic principles of teaching-learning.
  4. Differentiate factors that determine readiness to learn from those that determine ability to learn.
  5. Identify methods of assessing the client’s learning needs.
  6. Describe ways to incorporate teaching with routine nursing care.
  7. Utilize basic principles of teaching-learning in implementation of a teaching plan.
  8. Determine the effectiveness of the teaching plan.
  9. Identify various ways in which values, beliefs, and attitudes are formed.
  10. Implement teaching strategies to promote client learning.
  11. Examine the influence of personal and professional values on ethical decisions.
  12. Recognize ethical issues as they arise in nursing practice.
Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. The Nurse as Teacher
    1. Teaching-learning process
    2. Domains of learning
    3. Basic principles of teaching-learning
  2. Teaching Process in Nursing
    1. Assessing client’s learning needs
    2. Diagnosing client’s learning needs
    3. Planning for client’s learning
    4. Implementation of the teaching plan
    5. Evaluation of learning outcomes
  3. Values and Ethics
    1. Personal
    2. Professional
    3. Principles of ethical decision making


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Module A
Unit Three
The nursing process

Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will assist in the implementation of the nursing process that will be validated through appropriate documentation.

Behavioral Objectives:

  1. Define critical thinking.
  2. Examine the steps in the critical thinking.
  3. Define the nursing process.
  4. Examine the five steps of the nursing process.
  5. Explain the purposes of nursing assessment.
  6. Identify methods of data collection as a component of the assessment phase.
  7. Differentiate between subjective and objective data.
  8. Identify normal values for specific lab tests (RBC, HgB, Hct).
  9. Distinguish a nursing diagnosis from a medical diagnosis.
  10. Identify functional health patterns.
  11. Analyze assessment data in relationship to functional health patterns.
  12. Write a nursing diagnosis statement based on NANDA approved nursing diagnosis.
  13. Define the planning component of the nursing process.
  14. Differentiate between a client-centered goal and a nurse-centered goal.
  15. Identify criteria for establishing expected outcomes of care.
  16. List the purposes of the nursing care plan.
  17. Prepare a nursing care plan for a specific nursing diagnosis.
  18. Indicate how the nursing care plan utilizes dimensions of caring practices.
  19. Discuss implementation as a step of the nursing process.
  20. Compare dependent, independent, and interdependent nursing interventions.
  21. Define evaluation.
  22. Define client advocacy as a nursing intervention.
  23. Discuss the process of evaluation as a step of the nursing process.
  24. Describe the steps of reassessment if evaluation indicates that the goal has not been reached.
  25. Review the role of documentation and reports in health team member communication.
  26. Identify the purpose of a health care record.
  27. Explore the parts of a client record.
  28. Describe the importance of health interviewing.
  29. Compare and contrast various types of documentation.
  30. Define confidentiality.
  31. Identify the importance of maintaining confidentiality of clients.
  32. Accurately document implemented nursing care.
Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Nursing Process
    1. Approaches to problem solving
    2. Five-step nursing process
  2. Assessment
    1. Methods of data collection
      1. Interviewing techniques
      2. Nursing health history
      3. Physical examination
      4. Laboratory data
    2. Analysis of data
      1. Functional health patterns
    3. Formulation of nursing diagnosis
  3. Planning
    1. Determination of client-centered goals of care
      1. Establishment of priorities
      2. Expected outcomes
    2. Nursing Care Plan
      1. Purpose
      2. Format
  4. Implementation
    1. Types of nursing interventions
    2. Methods
  5. Evaluation
    1. Review of client outcomes
    2. Modification of existing nursing care plan
  6. Recording and Reporting
    1. Purpose
    2. Criteria
    3. Documentation of standards
      1. Confidentiality
    4. Types of reporting
      1. Change of shift report
      2. Telephone report
      3. Incident (occurrence) report
    5. Types of records
      1. Nursing kardex
      2. Source records
      3. Flow-chart
      4. Narrative charting
      5. Charting by exception
      6. Discharge planning record
      7. Clinical pathways


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Module A
Unit IV
Therapeutic Communication


Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to use therapeutic communication skills to foster caring relationships with clients.

Behavioral Objectives

  1. Define the process of communication.
  2. Determine the differences between therapeutic and non-therapeutic communication.
  3. Identify the phases of a caring nurse-client relationship.
  4. Analyze communication skills that may be helpful in interacting with clients in a caring manner.
  5. Describe the importance of establishing a comprehensive client data base.
  6. Complete a health history on an elderly family member or friend.
  7. Differentiate between social and therapeutic communication.
  8. Distinguish factors that hinder communication.
  9. Determine boundary issues surrounding nursing care.
  10. Identify non-verbal communication methods.
  11. Implement therapeutic communication techniques.
  12. Cite examples of nursing diagnoses related to clients with alterations in communication patterns.


Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Communication
    1. Non-therapeutic
    2. Therapeutic
    3. Techniques
  2. Therapeutic Relationship
    1. Definition
    2. Phases
  3. Nursing Process in Communication
    1. Assessing client’s communication needs
    2. Diagnosing client’s communication needs
    3. Planning for client’s communication needs
    4. Implementation of the nursing care plan
    5. Evaluation of communication outcomes


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Module A
Unit V
Safety Components

Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will identify factors that provide a health promoting, caring, and safe environment and describe the role of the nurse in providing a caring and safe environment.



Behavioral Objectives
  1. Define internal and external environment.
  2. Identify physiologic changes that occur in the elderly.
  3. Describe how unmet physiological needs can threaten a client’s safety.
  4. Indicate factors the nurse should consider in order to provide a caring and safe environment.
  5. Explain nursing measures to reduce hazards in the external environment.
  6. Identify areas of teaching for the elderly that may affect their environmental safety.
  7. Define self-esteem.
  8. Identify factors that threaten a client’s self-esteem.
  9. Correlate a client’s current self-esteem with their level of safety.
  10. Define gerontological nursing.
  11. Summarize the standards of gerontological nursing.
  12. Define sensory deficit, sensory deprivation, and sensory overload.
  13. Differentiate among the processes of reception, perception, and reaction to sensory stimuli.
  14. Identify common causes of sensory alterations in the elderly.
  15. Examine common sensory changes that can occur with normal aging.
  16. Analyze nursing assessment required for clients experiencing sensory deficit, sensory deprivation, and sensory overload.
  17. Define homeostasis.
  18. Examine the body’s defense mechanisms.
  19. Review the agent-host relationship.
  20. Define infection.
  21. Describe the characteristics of each link of the infection chain.
  22. Identify each stage of the infection cycle.
  23. Identify the normal values for WBC.
  24. Explore the nurse’s responsibility in preventing infection and promoting infection control.
  25. Compare medical asepsis and surgical asepsis.
  26. Explain standard precautions (tier one guidelines).
  27. Examine the roles of the registered nurse, practical nurse, nurse epidemiologist, infection control committee, and governmental control agencies in health promotion and disease control.
  28. Indicate factors that precipitate the onset of a nosocomial infection.
  29. Identify nursing assessment of clients susceptibility to infection


Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Components of the Environment
  2. Safety Hazards
    1. Internal Environment
      1. Physiological characteristics
      2. Psychological characteristics
    2. External Environment
      1. Physical
      2. Thermal
      3. Chemical
      4. Electrical
      5. Radiation
      6. Microbial
  3. Gerontological Nursing
    1. Sensory perceptual alterations
    2. Self-esteem & safety in the elderly
  4. Maintenance of Homeostasis
    1. Normal Flora
    2. Body defenses and resistance
    3. Agent-host relationship
  5. Chain of Infection
    1. Infectious agent
    2. Reservoir
    3. Portal of exit
    4. Means of transmission
    5. Portal of entry
    6. Susceptible host
  6. Stages of Infection
    1. Incubation period
    2. Prodromal stage
    3. Stage of illness
    4. Convalescent period
  7. Infection Control
    1. Prevention of infection
      1. Standards of dress
      2. Medical aseptic technique
      3. Standard precautions (tier one guidelines)
    2. Breaking the chain of infections
    3. Standards of infection control
      1. Nurse epidemiologist
      2. Infection control committee
      3. Governmental control agencies
  8. Nosocomial Infection




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Module B
Unit 1
The Promotion of Health and Adaptation to Physiological Stress.


Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to identify the effect of stressors on the individual and identify interventions which will positively promote health and prevent illness.



Behavioral Objectives
  1. Prioritize client data with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  2. Identify behavioral, physical, and emotional indicators of stress.
  3. Investigate the relationship between stress, adaptation, and homeostasis.
  4. Assess clients for the effects of stress, adaptation, or homeostasis.
  5. Discriminate behaviors that promote high level wellness for individuals.
  6. Propose a nursing care plan that will assist a client in regaining homeostasis.
  7. Identify the various functions of the skin.
  8. Determine factors that influence a client’s personal hygiene practices.
  9. Validate the rationale for various types of therapeutic baths or bathing techniques.
  10. Plan nursing care that will promote the privacy of the client when caring for the perineum, hair, feet, and nails.
  11. Investigate types of oral problems, their causes, and related nursing interventions.
  12. Formulate general nursing interventions for skin care.
  13. Determine which clients are at risk for the development of decubitus ulcers.
  14. Plan ways to meet learning/teaching needs regarding personal hygiene.
  15. Analyze assessment parameters regarding clients with skin care or personal hygiene needs.
  16. Identify physical and psychological problems related to immobility.
  17. Analyze the complications of mobility.
  18. Identify nursing interventions implemented to promote a caring environment, physical comfort, and safety for the immobilized client.
  19. Identify nursing interventions that encourage clients to participate in their own activities of daily living.
  20. List the six categories of nutrients.
  21. Analyze factors that influence clients’ dietary patterns and nutritional status.
  22. Assess clients to determine their risk for nutritional problems.
  23. Analyze therapeutic diet types commonly used when a client is ill.
  24. Determine alternate methods for meeting nutritional requirements.
  25. Examine nursing responsibilities for replacing fluid and electrolytes by oral and intravenous routes.
  26. Apply the nursing process in caring for individual clients experiencing fluid and electrolyte imbalance.
Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Human Needs
    1. Physiological needs
    2. Psychological needs
  2. Concept of Homeostasis
    1. Mechanisms of homeostatic control
    2. Limitations of homeostatic control
  3. Concepts of Stress and Adaptation
    1. Psychophysiological response to stress
    2. Dimensions of adaptation
    3. Results of prolonged stress
      1. Stress management for individuals
      2. Stress management for nurses
  4. Concepts of Health Promotion
    1. Self-care deficit: hygiene
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
    2. Impaired physical mobility
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
    3. Alteration in nutrition
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
    4. Alteration in fluid volume
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old


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Module B
Unit 2
The Maintenance of Basic Physiological Processes

Central Objective: Upon the completion of this unit, the student will identify factors that will maintain or improve the individual’s state of health in a caring manner.

Behavioral Objectives
  1. Identify factors that commonly influence urinary elimination.
  2. Investigate common urinary problems involving disturbances in micturation.
  3. Analyze the nursing implications of common diagnostic tests of the urinary system.
  4. Identify types of urine specimens that might be collected when assessing urinary alterations.
  5. Identify normal values for a routine urinalysis.
  6. Describe the characteristics of urine.
  7. List factors that impede or promote urinary elimination.
  8. Apply the nursing process to promote a caring environment when caring for clients with urinary alterations.
  9. Analyze factors that commonly influence intestinal elimination.
  10. Describe nursing implications for diagnostic examinations of the gastrointestinal tract.
  11. Identify factors that promote or impair intestinal elimination.
  12. Apply the nursing process to give caring, safe, and personalized care to those clients who are experiencing intestinal elimination alterations.
  13. Define ventilation, perfusion, and the exchange of respiratory gases.
  14. Define terms associated with the assessment of breathing patterns and abnormalities.
  15. Recognize nursing diagnoses for clients with altered oxygenation.
  16. Describe the techniques for deep breathing exercises, spirometry, percussion, vibration, and postural drainage.
  17. Plan nursing care for individuals requiring various respiratory therapeutic measures.
  18. Define circadian rhythm.
  19. Analyze the benefits of rest.
  20. Describe the two sleep cycles, rapid eye movement (REM) and non REM sleep.
  21. Determine factors that normally promote and disrupt sleep.
  22. Identify components of a sleep history.
  23. Analyze behaviors that may result from sleep deprivation.

Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Alteration in Elimination
    1. Urinary
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
    2. Intestinal
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
  3. Sleep Pattern Disturbance
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old


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Module B
Unit 3
Psychosocial Concerns in Nursing

Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will consider holistic nursing care while promoting healthy psychosocial responses.


Behavioral Objectives
  1. Define self-concept.
  2. Examine Erikson’s developmental theory in relation to the formation of self-concept.
  3. Illustrate stressors that contribute to the development and maintenance of self-concept.
  4. Formulate a nursing care plan for a client with a poor self-concept.
  5. Evaluate possible effects the plan of nursing care has on the client’s self-concept.
  6. Define spirituality.
  7. Examine differences in spiritual beliefs and practices related to health and illness.
  8. Assess cues that suggest a spiritual need.
  9. Examine nursing interventions to enhance a client’s spirituality.
  10. Evaluate the relationship of spiritual health to physiological and psychosocial health.
  11. Define culture.
  12. Examine common characteristics of varied cultures influencing the healthcare practices of groups.
  13. Evaluate personal attitudes, beliefs, and biases related to differing cultures.
  14. Define sexuality.
  15. Evaluate personal attitudes, beliefs, and biases related to sexuality.
  16. Analyze various age groups and their proposed sexual development according to Erikson.
  17. Integrate an accepting, nonjudgmental approach to nursing care regardless of the client’s self-concept, spirituality, beliefs, or culture.
Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Self-Concept
    1. Developmental theory
    2. Alteration in self-concept
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
  2. Influencing Factors on Health Management
    1. Spirituality
    2. Ethnicity
    3. Sexuality


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Module B
Unit 4
Nursing Process Applied to Pain or Loss

Central Objective: Upon completion of this unit, the student will contribute to the nursing process related to the management of pain or loss.

Behavioral Objectives
  1. Define pain.
  2. Identify etiologies and characteristics of pain.
  3. Identify variables that influence the pain experience.
  4. Contrast characteristics of acute, chronic, and nerve pain.
  5. Analyze the assessment process of caring for a client in pain.
  6. Investigate physiological and psychological nursing interventions for pain relief.
  7. Evaluate nursing care related to pain.
  8. Define grief, loss, and dying.
  9. Compare and contrast personal perceptions and client response surrounding grief, loss, and dying.
  10. Discuss variables that influence personal responses to grief.
  11. Analyze nursing interventions surrounding grief, loss, and death.
  12. Identify ethical/legal issues concerning death.
  13. Describe alternative environments for dying clients.
  14. Identify nursing interventions to assist the family of the dying client to cope with their loss.
  15. Select nursing responsibilities following death.
  16. Evaluate nursing care related to death.

Outline of Theoretical Content
  1. Alteration in Comfort: Pain
    1. Nature of pain
    2. Components of the pain experience
    3. Acute and chronic pain
    4. Analysis and management of pain
  2. Loss, Death, and Grieving
    1. The grieving process
      1. Child
      2. Adult
      3. Elderly
        1. young old
        2. old
        3. old old
    2. Grief and loss
    3. Preparation for a nursing role with dying clients
    4. Nursing interventions following death



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