Course Description

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand upon basic health assessment skills and includes strategies for history taking and for physical, functional, developmental, and psychosocial assessment that recognizes and includes normal individual, cultural, and developmental variations and pathophysiological changes across the lifespan.

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Comprehensive and focused data collection, and physical examination strategies culminating in a differential diagnosis will be addressed. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screening, ordering, performing, and interpreting laboratory, radiographic, and other diagnostic data, as well as an introduction to Subjective/Objective/Assessment/Plan (SOAP) note format documentation and record keeping is included.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Perform, and document both a comprehensive and a focused history and physical examination for patients across the lifespan. (PLO 7, 9)
  2. Organize data obtained in the history and physical examination to create a differential diagnosis. (PLO 1, 7, 9)
  3. Modify history-taking strategies and combine specific physical examination techniques to delimit the patient’s chief complaint. (PLO 3)
  4. Prepare and document a risk assessment of the client including lifestyle and other risk factors. (PLO 7)
  5. Associate historical data and assessment findings with physiologic changes and/or underlying pathology. (PLO 6, 7, 9)
  6. Associate signs and symptoms of underlying psychopathology using appropriate psychological assessment tools.(PLO 9)
  7. Create a beginner-level plan of care for health maintenance and disease prevention for clients across the lifespan. (PLO 6)
  8. Accurately and professionally document all findings, interactions, and interventions provided during the patient visit, including but not limited to diagnosis, therapeutic treatment, patient education, and follow up planning. (PLO 4)

Required Materials

American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. Spiral Bound Edition. ISBN 978-1433832161

Bickley, L. S. (2016). Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. (12th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott. ISBN: 9781469893419

Bickley, L. S. (2013). Bates’ Pocket Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. (8th edition). Philadelphia:Lippincott. ISBN: 978469338488

Hagan (2017). Bright Futures Pocket Guide (4th Edition). American Academy of Pediatrics. (ISBN 9781610020220) OR download the free text pocket guide from AAP at: http://brightfutures.aap.org/3rd_Edition_Guidelines_and_Pocket_Guide.html

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2017). Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS). Version 3.10.26.  Free application; please download platform appropriate to your mobile device. http://epss.ahrq.gov/PDA/index.jsp

Hipposoft LLC (2017). Physical Exam Essentials, version 3.0. Mobile application; please download platform appropriate to your device.

Shadow Health (2018). Meet Tina Jones: Your digital standardized patient. Specific enrollment instructions will be provided.

Society of Teachers in Family Medicine (STFM) (2017). Shots. Free application; please download platform appropriate to your mobile device. http://www.immunizationed.org

Course Description

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand upon basic health assessment skills and includes strategies for history taking and for physical, functional, developmental, and psychosocial assessment that recognizes and includes normal individual, cultural, and developmental variations and pathophysiological changes across the lifespan.

Students will apply comprehensive and focused data collection along with physical examination strategies to determine a differential diagnosis. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screening, ordering, performing, and interpreting laboratory, radiographic, and other diagnostic data, as well as an introduction to Subjective/Objective/Assessment/Plan (SOAP) note format documentation and record keeping is included.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to complete the following, which align with the Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) in parenthesis:

  1. Perform and document both a comprehensive and a focused (SOAP-format) history and physical examination for patients across the lifespan. (PLO 7, 9)
  2. Organize data obtained in the history and physical examination to create a differential diagnosis. (PLO 1, 7, 9)
  3. Modify history-taking strategies and combine specific physical examination techniques to delimit the patient’s chief complaint. (PLO 3)
  4. Prepare and document a risk assessment of the client including lifestyle and other risk factors. (PLO 7)
  5. Associate historical data and assessment findings with physiologic changes and/or underlying pathology. (PLO 6,7,9)
  6. Associate signs and symptoms of psychopathology using appropriate psychosocial assessment tools. (PLO 9)
  7. Create a beginner-level plan of care for health maintenance and disease prevention for clients across the lifespan. (PLO 6)
  8. Accurately and professionally document all findings, interactions, and interventions provided during the patient visit, including but not limited to diagnosis, therapeutic treatment, patient education, and follow up planning. (PLO 4)

MSN Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing, the student will be able to:

Goal: Literacy 

  1. Evaluate and apply evidence-based findings to advanced nursing roles.
  2. Integrate cultural competence into advanced nursing roles.
  3. Integrate the Master Essential’s and specialty standards into the advanced nursing role.

Goal: Communication 

  1. Compose professional written communication for advanced nursing roles.
  2. Speak professionally in advanced nursing roles.
  3. Demonstrate the advanced nursing role through leadership, collaboration, and caring science to improve health outcomes.

Goal: Reasoning 

  1. Evaluate and apply quantitative and qualitative data to validate and guide decision making relevant to health outcomes.
  2. Integrate ethical reasoning into advocacy and decision making.
  3. Objectively evaluate and synthesize information in advanced nursing roles.

Course Grades and Assignments Breakdown

Graded Item# of AssignmentsPointsTotal Points%
Class Participation and Preparation85404%
Immersion Participation and Assignments*160606%
History & Body System Exam Videos & Documentation**64527027%
Shadow Health Weekly Modules  72014014%
Weekly Unit Quizzes 714.310010%
Diagnostic Worksheet1  47404.7%
Group Collaboration(Lab Worksheet)110101%
Live Head-to-Toe Physical Assessment**118318318.3%
Signature Assignment Final Examination (HESI)115015015%
Total1000100%
*Immersion attendance is required to pass this course and continue to the next course. 
**Students must pass each video exam with a grade of 84% or higher. Remediation will be offered to those not performing at this level or higher. This includes the health history interview, all body systems exams, and the final head to toe exam. 

Assessment And Measurement: Grading Scale

PointsLetter GradeIndicator
95-100ASuperior
90-94.99A-
87-89.99B+Above Average
84-86.99BMSN Requirement
80-83.99B-
0-79.99FFailure

Instructional and Evaluation Strategies

This course is organized into 8 weekly modules. The student’s performance will be assessed by the work they do in the course – including participation in the synchronous session meetings and discussions that are a part of the lessons. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate their learning throughout the course.

Categories of evaluation may include:

  • Participation in class discussions, whether online discussion forums or synchronous meetings
  • Exams or quizzes
  • Essays, case studies, research papers, etc.
  • Presentations, including videos, powerpoints, posters, etc.
  • Projects, group or individual
  • Reflections or journals

Students can expect faculty to fairly evaluate this work using the rubrics or other scoring methods provided in the course. This is intended to provide you with feedback and specific guidance that will enable you to take ownership of your learning.

How to be Successful in this Class

  • Be prepared: read the assignments and contribute to our learning community.
  • Plan ahead: create a personal calendar for your course work and life events. Don’t fall behind. But if you do, contact your instructor for their help. Successful students are proactive students.
  • Communicate: if you don’t understand something, ask for clarification from your instructor. Use the class forum. Message your classmates. Email your advisor in D2L. Use your USU email account. Communication in a virtual community is key!
  • Explore Resources: Visit the Library Corner for your research needs and information support. Contact helpdesk@usuniversity.edu for technology assistance. Use Brainfuse for online tutoring and homework help.
  • Keep your eye on the goal: GRADUATION!

Course Calendar

WeekReadings/ContentAssignment/Discussion/TestsDue Date 
1Communication, Health History Interview and Risk Assessment DocumentationCourse Welcome VideoBates’ Ch. 1-4Health History Example WorksheetsLectures/Slides on Health History InterviewDr. J. Nishikawa demo video on ROSArticle: JNP on ROSRead HESI exam information Synchronous Class MeetingVideo: Perform health history and submit write up of history and risk assessment Week 1 QuizDiscussion: Introduction Shadow Health:Digital Clinical Patient OrientationConversation Concept LabHealth History ModuleRead and acknowledge syllabus and policiesRush order supplies from Apparel Pro if not yet obtained
Tuesday 5:30 PMMonday 11:59 PM

Monday 11:59 pmWednesday/SundayMonday 11:59 pm




Monday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pm
2Special Populations, Immunizations, NutritionModule OverviewBates’: Chp. 18,19,20Bright Futures Guide Ages 1-12Slides: Assessing Growth Across the LifespanSlides: Geriatric AssessmentReview current Immunization schedule from CDC website (or consult Bright Futures guide)Infant Exam Checklist and videosSynchronous class meetingWeek 2 QuizSubmit names and contract for group project Shadow Health:MusculoskeletalRemediate any non-passing assignments in week 1
Tuesday 5:30 pmMonday 11:59 pmMonday 11:59 pm 
Monday 11:59 pm
TBD by instructor
3Abdominal System, GI & GUModule OverviewPowerPoint Slides on AbdomenBates’ Ch. 11,13,14,15 Abdominal Exam video demo by Dr. J. Nishikawa, DNPSynchronous Class Meeting Week 3 QuizBody System Video and Exam Documentation Shadow Health:Abdominal Concept LabGastrointestinalFocused Exam: Abd PainImmersion assignments and SOAP due (Group A only)
TBDMonday 11:59 pmMonday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pm



Monday 11:59 pm
4HEENTModule OverviewBates’ Ch. 7HEENT demo by Dr. J. Nishikawa, DNPArticle: HEENOTWeek 4 QuizVideo exam and write up with full SOAP note for HEENT systemShadow Health:HEENTMonday 11:59 pmMonday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pm
5Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Systems, Breasts/lymph systemsModule OverviewBates’ Ch. 8,9,10,12Review Breast/Lymph PowerpointReview Thorax/Lung PowerpointCV exam demo by Dr. Nishikawa, DNPLung/Thorax demo exam demo by Dr. Nishikawa, DNPSynchronous Class Meeting Body systems video and write ups for Cardio and Pulmonary/Thorax (2 videos; 1 for each system) as well as write ups of each systemWeek 5 QuizShadow Health:Respiratory Concept LabRespiratoryCV Concept LabCardiovascularSchedule your head-to-toe physical exam with your instructorImmersion assignments and SOAP due (Group B only)Tuesday 5:30 pmMonday 11:59 pm




Monday 11:59 pm




TBD
6Neurologic system and  Mental HealthModule OverviewBates’ Ch. 5,17Neurologic exam demo by Dr. J. Nishikawa, DNPSynchronous Class Meeting Week 6 QuizBody system exam video and write up with full SOAP note  for Neurologic system Shadow Health:NeurologicMental Health Prepare and schedule for HESI exam with ProctorUTuesday 5:30 pmMonday 11:59 pm

Monday 11:59 pm

Monday 11:59 pm

Monday 11:59 pm
7Musculoskeletal, Skin/Integumentary, and HESI examModule OverviewBates’ Chp. 16, 6Dermatology SlidesView Recorded Lectures: MS exam by Dr. J. Nishikawa, DNPSynchronous Class Meeting Week 7 QuizBody systems video exam and findings write up for musculoskeletal system HESI exam Tuesday 5:30 pmMonday 11:59 pmMonday 11:59 pm

Sunday noon end of week 7  to Tuesday noon in week 8
8Laboratory Findings and Head-to-Toe AssessmentModule Overview

Discussion: Diagnostic AssignmentShadowHealthComprehensive ExamDiagnostics Assignment (Group Project)Peer Eval for group workHead-to-Toe Exam if not already doneTurn in any incomplete work (as agreed on by prior approved extension)End of Course SurveyWednesday/Monday
Monday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pmWednesday 11:59 pm
Monday 11:59 pm

Monday 11:59 pm

Late Assignments: Late work is not accepted for full credit unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor, or a VERIFIABLE emergency (serious illness requiring emergency room or hospital admission, accident, or natural disaster). Technological issues are not considered valid grounds for late assignment submission. This policy does not apply to assignments due on the last day of the session; work submitted after the final course due date may not be considered and you may need to take an incomplete in the course.  For incomplete grade requests for the course session, please refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures page and contact your academic advisor. 

With professor’s approval, late submissions of an assignment due each week will be accepted based on the following grading criteria. For this course, requests for extensions must be made at least 48 hours before assignment due dates via D2L or regular email.

  • 1-3 days late: 5% deduction from the total points
  • 4-7 days late: 10% deduction from the total points
  • >7 days late: as negotiated with exceptional medical/personal reasons

Without professor’s prior approval, late submissions will be accepted with the following penalties:

  • 1-3 days late: 10% deduction from the total points
  • 4-7 days late: 20% deduction from the total points

> 7 days late: ZERO credit will be given