Course Number:
NRS 112
Transcript Title:
Acute Care I
Aug 15, 2022
Aug 17, 2022
Total Credits:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture / Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement:
Satisfies General Education requirement:
Grading Options
Default Grading Options
Repeats available for credit:

NRS 111
NRS 230
NRS 233

Course Description

Introduces the learner to assessment and common interventions (including relevant technical procedures) for care of patients across the life span who require acute care, including normal childbirth. Considers disease/illness trajectories and their translation into clinical practice guidelines and/or standard procedures in relation to their impact on providing culturally sensitive, patient-centered care. Includes classroom and clinical learning experiences. Prerequisites: NRS 111, NRS 230, NRS 233.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Conduct a culturally and age appropriate health assessment and interpret health data focusing on physiologic, developmental, and behavioral parameters of the disease trajectory, normal childbirth, and acute exacerbations of chronic conditions and their resolution, and the patient response to acute conditions/processes.
  2. Develop plans of care that are family/patient-centered, developmentally and culturally appropriate, using evidence including clinical practice guidelines and integrative literature reviews to implement care plans safely for patients with common acute conditions/processes.
  3. Identify potential legal and ethical issues related to patient decision-making and informed consent in acute care settings.
  4. Apply ANA Code of Ethics and nursing values to care of patients.
  5. Use therapeutic communication skills in the development of relationships with patients, families, & the care team.
  6. Identify roles of the nurse within the healthcare team as well as roles of all members of the healthcare team, patients, and families.
  7. Discuss need for delegation of patient care with experienced nurses.
  8. Demonstrate professional behaviors in all interactions with members of the healthcare team, including peers, faculty, and staff.

Suggested Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Multiple choice exams
  • Lab performance evaluation
  • Clinical performance evaluation
  • Papers

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content


  1. Introduction to Concepts of Acute Care Nursing:
    • Maximizes potential for recovery; occurs in atmosphere of change and urgency; potential for instability and requires frequent reassessment; exacerbations of chronic conditions are common considerations
    • manage common symptoms such as acute pain and acute anxiety,
    • follow evidence based procedures for performing skills safely,
    • use expected illness trajectory,
    • monitor progress toward recovery, occurrence of complications and patient's response to interventions.
    • Environments of care
    • Illness trajectory
    • Clinical Judgment Model
    • Care Planning (priorities are based on safety needs; family-centered, developmentally, culturally and age appropriate; evidence based protocols and guidelines; includes management of pathophysiological processes)
    • Communication (documentation; SBAR; interprofessional and patient/family)
    • Teaching (requires knowledge of patient in context of family and culture; pre and post-operative; discharge teaching; strengths-based nursing practice)
    • Legal (HIPAA; informed consents; privacy)
    • Ethical (American Nurses Association (ANA) code of ethics,)
    • Evidence-based best practices, e.g. core measures and National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) including Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)
    • Delegation
  2. Perioperative Nursing
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Pre-operative Care
    • Intra-operative Care
    • Post-operative Care
    • Complications
    • Pain physiology, assessment and management
    • Immobility/Braden scale
    • Development-based reactions to hospitalization/preparation for procedures (across the lifespan)
    • Discharge instructions and follow up
    • Situation Background Assessment Recommendation (SBAR)
    • Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)
  3. Maternal Child Nursing
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Uncomplicated childbirth
    • Postpartum care
    • Neonatal care
  4. Cardiovascular Alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS; Myocardial Infarction and unstable angina)
    • Heart Failure, acute exacerbation
    • Electrophysiology/Basic ECG
    • Respiratory Alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Pneumonia
    • Acute infections
    • Asthmatic crisis
    • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  5. Endocrine Alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Thyroid disorders
    • Parathyroid disorders
    • Adrenal disorders
    • Pituitary disorders
  6. Renal/Genitourinary alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Cystitis
    • Pyelonephritis
    • Acute glomerulonephritis
    • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)/Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
  7. Neurological Alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Headache (types)
    • Seizure management
    • Epilepsy
    • Stroke
  8. Gastrointestinal Alterations
    • Apply concepts of acute care nursing
    • Problems with ingestion and elimination
    • GI disorders, such as: GI bleed; peptic ulcer; appendicitis; biliary system disorders; bowel obstruction

Department Notes

See OCNE Megacase List and Minimum Skill Set by end of Year 1 List

See OCNE universal CCOG for additional information on course content