N5220 - Professional Issues

Delivery Mode: Web Course
Credits: Three credit hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the BN (Post-RN) program, English 1xx3 and N2230

Overview:This is a senior level course that has few formal course pre-requisites. In deciding when you should take this course as you develop your program plan be aware that students are expected to display the ability to think analytically, to be independent learners, and to be resourceful with a minimum of assistance from the course professor. Writing skills, library use skills and presentation skills are expected to be at a high level and well established.


This course reviews the historical development of the nursing profession and facilitates discussion of factors influential in its evolution. Content will focus on the current status of nursing, ethical issues, and the profession's impact on health care delivery. Selected categories of nursing theory, their impact on practice, and education will be analyzed in relation to major issues and future trends in nursing.

Course Objectives

Knowledge Environment

  • Explore what the public expects of nurses and the nursing profession
  • Discuss the issues and the ways in which nursing is portrayed by the media


  • Explore how professional characteristics are developed during the transformation from non-nurse to professional nurse

Competency Communication

  • Explore how our nursing practice is regulated to ensure that the public is safe from harm
  • Explore some of the trends being introduced to ensure continuing competency of registered nurses and how these relate to one's own competence to practice


  • Explore aspects of our ethical conduct as a professional nurse
  • Develop skills in analyzing media-presented issues related to the nursing profession and the practice of nursing using an issues analysis framework

Attitudes Colleagues

  • Explore issues that enhance or create barriers to true interdisciplinary


  • Explore branches of Canadian law that directly apply to our practice of nursing
  • Explore some legal cases to view issues in nursing that may be challenged on a legal basis
  • Discuss current trends in nursing related to expanded roles of nursing and of advanced nursing practice


  • Explore what it means to be a professional and to reflect on the characteristics of one's behaviour that demonstrates professionalism
  • Explore individual professional issues affecting your area of nursing practice

Course Content

Unit 1: Professionalism and the Nurse

Unit 2 : Socialization into Nursing Professionalism

Unit 3 : Establishing the Parameters of Professional Nursing

Unit 4 : How to Evaluate Our Own Professionalism

Unit 5 : Nursing Professionalism and Ethical Conduct

Unit 6 : Nursing Professionalism and Legal Tenants

Unit 7 : Nursing Issues Within the Discipline

Unit 8 : Nursing Issues and Interdisciplinary Practice

Unit 9 : Nursing Issues and Public Expectations

Unit 10 : Nursing Issues and the Media

Unit 11 : Strategies for Dealing With Nursing Issues

Evaluation Components

Professional Issues Assignment — 30%

Portfolio Assignment — 40%

Discussion Forum Participation - Weekly throughout the semester 30%


School of Nursing

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000