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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Nursing Department
Course Prefix and Number: NURS 313
Course Title: Health Assessment
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This course builds on pre-licensure nursing education to further develop the professional registered nurse for health assessments related to complex medical conditions and diverse populations of patients. By applying the nursing process, the registered nurse will develop assessment skills that expand clinical decision-making with an emphasis on primary and secondary prevention strategies. Assessment across the lifespan related to holistic health will be explored.

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.)
Bates' Nursing Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking
By Hogan-Quigley, B., Paul, M.L. & Bickley, L.S. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)
Course Objectives

  • Explain how health assessment contributes to nursing care with diverse populations and cultures.
  • Analyze how comprehensive health assessment affects clinical decision-making and patient safety.
  • Evaluate the importance of therapeutic communication skills in interactions with patients, colleagues and the health care team.
  • Examine concepts and their relationships: health assessment, nursing process, nursing diagnoses, health promotion, disease prevention, evidence-based practice, holism, advocacy, caring.
  • Discuss documentation of health assessment.
  • Analyze ethical and legal principles that apply to health assessment.

    Measurable Learning
    • Evaluate variations in health assessment strategies for clients who have diverse needs and characteristics (lifespan, culture, health state, health practices).
    • Use health assessment techniques to determine client needs for health teaching and health promotion.
    • Use the client interview to focus and structure further assessment strategies.
    • Integrate various methods and approaches for performing health assessment.
    • Interpret clinical information obtained in health assessment to determine further nursing actions.
    • Discuss communication and documentation of health assessment data.
    • Include health assessment as part of the nursing process in order to manage health outcomes.
    Topical Outline:

  • Critical Thinking in Health Assessment.
  • Interviewing and Communication.
  • Health History.
  • Risk assessments.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Assessment.
  • Nutrition.
  • Physical Examination: Body Systems.
  • Organizing health assessment components.
  • Lifespan Considerations.
  • Community applications.


    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: Linda Claycomb 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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