Catalog: 2014–2015 Catalog Year

NURS 147: Health Assessment Theory

General Information

  • Name: Health Assessment Theory
  • Discipline: Nursing (NURS)
  • Units (Credits): 2
  • Transfer Information: Courses with numbers 100 to 299: This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.
  • Academic Division: Nursing and Allied Health

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

  • Prerequisites: admission to the nursing program or consent of the Nursing and Allied Health director
  • Corequisites: NURS 148

Course Outline

I: Catalog Course Description

Provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge necessary to holistically assess adult and elder patients. Students utilize concepts of previously learned content from prerequisite and corequisite nursing courses including the nursing process and methods of prioritizing to perform nursing assessment and nursing diagnosis. Students learn the difference between a comprehensive assessment, an ongoing/partial assessment, a focused, problem-oriented assessment and an emergency assessment of a resident in a long term care facility. Formerly NURS 200.

II: Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of safe, competent evidence based practice for collecting and validating assessment data that leads to best practice decisions.
  • Explain how bio/phycho/social/cultural and spritual needs form the context for a health assessment.
  • Differentiate methods of inquiry and data organization for normal and abnormal findings for adult or elder patients organized around a head-to-toe assessment of body parts and systems.
  • Describe physical measurement techniques used in comprehensive examination of body systems.
  • Utilize the first and second phase of the nursing process to make professional nursing judgements about a patient's subjective and objective data that will differentiate a nursing concern from a collaborative concern or a concern that needs to be referred.
  • Utilize appropriate communication skills to establish a therapeutic relationship with patients, families, and health care personnel to obtain and communicate subjective and objective data and patient needs.
  • Document accurate assessment information in a concise and clear manner that satisfies legal standards and professional accountability.
  • Explain ethical values and laws that the nurse must be cognizant of while performing a health assessment.
  • Utilize resources efficiently and effectively when preparing the assessment environment, oneself and the patient for the collection of subjective and objective data.
  • Self-direct one's own learning for the expansion of personal knowledge about assessment findings and skills needed for health assessment utilizing information skills plus other resources.
  • Develop a plan to assess and analyze the data about an elder patient using the ABC Model that will help to reduce or eliminate behaviours in dementia that were caused by various antecedents in the environment

III: Course Linkage

Linkage of course to educational program mission and at least one educational program outcome.

The purpose of the Associate of Applied Science degree is to provide employment-related knowledge and the skills necessary to succeed in a chosen field of study.

The mission of the nursing program at Western Nevada College is to meet the nursing educational needs of the service area. The program prepares qualified students to function as entry-level registered nurses and transfer to higher degree programs.

Graduates are prepared to function in a variety of health care settings, providing culturally sensitive, holistic nursing care to individuals and families across the lifespan. The nursing faculty supports graduate competency in an evolving and complex health care environment by facilitating the students' development of clinical judgement, promoting professional behaviors, and fostering the value of lifelong learning.

The Nursing Program Educational Objectives ensure that students who successfully complete the Nursing Program are expected to demonstrate that they can:

  • Utilize the nursing process in a competent and caring manner to safely meet the bio/psycho/social/cultural and spiritual needs of patients across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
  • Integrate knowledge derived from the bio/psycho/social sciences, humanities, and nursing to achieve deliberative and competent decision-making that is grounded in evidence based practice to achieve best practice outcomes.
  • Apply concepts of cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and respect for persons when working with diverse populations.
  • Provide care that reflects the ethical values of nursing within the professional practice standards as well as the legal parameters of the profession
  • Use therapeutic communication skills when interacting with patients and their families

Additionally, the General Education Student Learning Objectives ensure that students who complete programs in occupational areas are expected to demonstrate that they:

  • Have college-level skills in reading, writing, and oral communication appropriate to their degree and/or emphasis
  • Posses suitable technological skills, including computer skills
  • Know the subject matter of their degree to a level that is acceptable to their area of study
  • Are able to acquire the skills and perform the tasks necessary for their employment or career enhancement
  • Have adequate college level mathematical skills


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