NURS 4626 – Caring for the Acutely Ill at the University of

NURS 4626 Caring for the Acutely Ill
Course Description
This course introduces nursing care required for individuals across the lifespan who have been diagnosed with acute physical or mental conditions. Emphasis is on using the evidence-based practice for professional collaborative management of acute illness. A variety of clinical experiences will be used to apply caring, evidence-based, professional nursing care for persons experiencing acute illnesses. The focus will be on managing acute conditions, preventing complications, patient safety, and quality care.
NURS 3615 & NURS 3617
Successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in NURS 4329.
Course Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Professionalism: Demonstrate and apply professional and ethical behavior including professional accountability and responsibility in the acute care setting

2. Patient-Centered Care: Differentiate an individualized plan of care for patients who are acutely ill and for patients of special populations in the acute care setting.

3. Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP): Synthesize and apply evidence-based practice to evaluate and improve patient outcomes in the acute care setting.

4. Informatics & Technology: Apply the use of technology and information systems to support best practices in the delivery of comprehensive care to adult patients in the acute care setting and their family

5. Quality Improvement: Critique the effectiveness of quality improvement using a systematic data-guided approach in the acute care setting

6. Teamwork and Collaboration: Appraise the effectiveness of teamwork and mutual respect within the interdisciplinary team including different communication styles in the acute care setting.

7. Wellness and Prevention: Recognize the benefits of health and wellness-based initiatives, and prevention of further complications in promoting healthy outcomes for patients with acute care condition

8. Leadership: Differentiate between leadership styles and how each impacts professional practice in the acute care setting.

9. Safety: Appraise safety and quality measures implemented in the acute care environment

10. Strengths: Analyze how Strengths (signature talent themes) influence the role of the student nurse and clinical decision-making.

Grading Policy and Criteria
Specific guidelines and grading criteria for all assignments are in the Modules. Final grades for the course will be determined based on the following point assignments:
A – 90-100
B – 80-89
C – 75-79
D – 60-74
F – Below 60
Final course grades less than 75 are not rounded up.
The simple average of all exam grades including a final must first be at or above 75% in order to pass the course. Once the student has achieved a simple exam average of 75% or higher, course grades will be determined based on the weighted calculation of exams and other required course work.
Late policy: At faculty discretion, 5% will be deducted each day an assignment is past due unless prior arrangements have been made with your course faculty. Extenuating circumstances may apply.
Repeating a Course
Students repeating this course may not use previously submitted assignments nor utilize the same patients for an assignment. Submitting the same or slightly modified assignments from previous semesters is considered self-plagiarism and is subject to academic discipline, including failing the assignment or the course.

Criteria for Evaluation:
Percentage of Grade:

Exams (4 unit exams and 1 final exam @ 15% each)

ATI Practice and Proctored Exams (see ATI grading policy below)

ATI Weekly Quizzes (25 questions per week)

Pre-Simulation Quizzes

Interactive Case Studies

Medication Calculation Exam (Must obtain 100% required to pass)

Clinical Care Plan (Must obtain 80% or higher to pass clinical)

Clinical Evaluation

Important Course Dates:
Required Textbooks/Materials
Lewis, S., Dirksen, S., Heikemper, M., & Bucher, L. (2020) Medical-surgical nursing: Clinical management for positive outcomes (11th ed.) St. Louis, Mosby.  ISBN 978-0-323-55149-6
Halter, M. J. (2018) Varcarolis’ foundations of psychiatric-mental health nursing: A clinical approach (8th ed.) St. Louis, Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-323-38967-9
Recommended textbooks/materials:
Study Guide for Lewis’s Medical Surgical Nursing 11th edition
ATI Resources (books and electronic content found on


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