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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Nursing Department
Course Prefix and Number: NURS 311
Course Title: Pathophysiology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This pathophysiology course provides an in-depth study of human pathological processes and their effects on homeostasis. The course is designed to promote the understanding and application of disease processes in the clinical settings. General concepts of disease include etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical significance. Pathophysiological concepts include cell injury, necrosis, inflammation, wound healing and neoplasia. These concepts are applied in a systems-oriented approach
to disease processes affecting musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, renal, nervous, gastrointestinal, immune, hematological, neurological and endocrine systems.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Admission to the RN to BSN program.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following: 

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
By American Psychological Association (Washington, D.C.)
Pathophysiology for the health professions
By Gould, B.E. and Der, R. (Mosby: Elsevier)
Course Objectives

  • To demonstrate critical thinking skills that correlate the abnormal functions of body systems with disease processes.
  • To discuss the impact of health education and promotion related to pathophysiological factors that influence disease processes.
  • To use the principles of clinical research when evaluating clinical manifestations associated with diseased organs.
  • To demonstrate advanced knowledge of pathophysiology as a foundation for nursing management in the health care of clients.
  • To identify pathophysiological phenomena and clinical significance of selected disease processes related to ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic and environmental variables.

    Measurable Learning
    • Explain the role of pathophysiology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
    • Appraise the normal immune system, and the pathophysiology of immune system disorders.
    • Distinguish between benign and malignant tumors, their characteristics, and terminology.
    • Interpret the effects of fluid and electrolyte alterations, and related treatments.
    • Interpret acid-base analysis, including metabolic alkalosis, metabolic acidosis, respiratory alkalosis, and respiratory acidosis, and related compensation physiognomies.
    • Differentiate congenital, genetic, chromosomal, developmental, and multifactorial disorders.
    • Appraise the pathophysiology, etiology, manifestations, diagnostic tests, and treatment for each of the physiological systems.
    Topical Outline:

  • Introduction to pathophysiology
  • Introduction to cellular changes
  • Inflammation and healing
  • The immune system
  • Microbiology and the relationship to infectious processes
  • Malignant and benign tumors
  • Fluid and electrolyte and acid-base imbalances
  • The effects of disease processes that are congenital, genetic, and specific to adolescence,
    pregnancy, and the aging population
  • The roles of immobility, stress, pain, substance abuse, environmental hazards, pharmacology, and complementary therapies in the assessment and treatment of pathophysiological phenomenon.
  • Pathophysiology related to the blood and lymphatic, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, neurological, auditory, visual, endocrine, musculoskeletal, skin, and reproductive systems.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Joyce Gentry Date: November 1, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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