Introduction to Nursing
This course is designed to provide keys for success in the nursing program and in the field of nursing after graduation.
The course begins with exploration of self to enhance the student's self-awareness of strengths, personal identity and self-esteem issues.
The student must recognize personal needs for success, with application of time management strategies, and study skills. The focus of personal adjustment in the role of student nurse, with growth in knowledge and understanding for a career in nursing, is the foundation of this course.
Beyond self-awareness, study skills are of pivotal importance for the personal adjustment to the role of student nurse. The student participates in discussion of how to study, a variety of learning techniques and test-taking techniques. Computer assisted learning places the student in the drivers seat to master skills. The unit related to study skills is enhanced with a an introduction to critical thinking skills as a foundation for good decision making.
Applying critical thinking concepts to one's personal life, as well as one's career, enhances the validity of decisions. With the goal for the student practical nurse to "think like a nurse," this effort begins in this course and continues throughout the program. Critical thinking skills are nurtured and refined during both the theory and clinical components of the entire program.
Recognizing that the student must not only "think like a nurse," but also understand the language of a nurse, medical terminology is introduced. This introductory focus emphasizes learning of root words, prefixes and suffixes for application in future courses. Medical terminology is a continuing need for the growth of the student practical nurse's knowledge base.
Communication strategies are studied for the student to maximize relationship building with peers, associates and clients. Effective communication includes learning skills related to cultural considerations. Over the span of the program, communication skills are refined beyond purposeful communication. Students increase communication skills by utilizing a variety of communication techniques to become therapeutic communicators with peers, associates and clients.
Nursing Principles & Practice
The theory and clinical components of this course prepare the student to begin meeting client needs in the clinical setting. Nursing theory related to human needs, homeostasis, and human development is presented. The student is introduced to cultural and ethnic diversity as influences upon the human life cycle. This material is applied throughout the program as clients are followed through the human life cycle.
Clinical skills are mastered in relation to human needs. Clinical simulations include instructor demonstrations and hands on practice of specific skills. Students demonstrate mastery of skills in both lab simulation and actual facilities. Group discussion exercises promote critical thinking skills related to client needs. Purposeful communication to promote therapeutic goals is recognized in available role models and practiced in client interactions. Application of the nursing process to determine client needs and to prioritize nursing actions is stressed. Students acquire the basic skills needed for documentation, ethical behaviors and personal responsibilities. Accountability for actions is stressed throughout the course.
This course presents fundamental information in the areas of anatomy, physiology, physical science and microbiology. The basic information in the course is a foundation and supporting framework for the addition of more complex material relevant to safe, effective nursing care, including cultural considerations, throughout the curriculum. Changes in body structure and function throughout the life cycle are addressed.
Nursing Considerations for Drug Therapy
This course presents basic information needed to provide safe, effective nursing care to clients receiving drug therapy. The theoretical component includes principles of computation, drug sources and usage, drug classification and reference sources and the legal requirements for prescription and administration of drug therapy. The simulated clinical component includes instructor demonstration, student practice with accurate return demonstration of medication administration procedures as specified on a performance checklist. Likewise, venous access and intravenous management of fluid/medication administration and responsibility (as defined by the PA State Board of Nursing) are addressed. Students acquire the documentation skills pertinent to the administration of medications including controlled drugs. The knowledge base acquired in this course prepares the student to evaluate client response to specific medications, safely and accurately administer prescribed medications, and communicate medication-related information to clients appropriately throughout the curriculum. Students learn to identify the cultural and ethnic variables that could impact the administration of medications. Best practices are employed for safety in administration of drugs by maintaining currency, from published articles to minimize medication errors.
A responsible, ethical approach to this subject is stressed and students are held accountable for their actions and behavior at all times. Students utilize critical thinking with the nursing process for therapeutic medication administration.