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NURS 5000/6000/7000 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

NURS 5000/6000/7000 - Theoretical Foundations

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course provides the student with the theoretical foundations for advanced nursing. The focus of the course is on the critical components of contemporary nursing knowledge; exploration of the nature of theory development in nursing; examination of relevance of concepts from basic and applied sciences; analysis and evaluation of nursing and related theories; and relevance of theory in terms of impact on professional nursing practice, and individuals, families, groups as clients in health care systems.

Course Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course the student will:

  1. Differentiate between the components, structure, and methods of developing theories/models.
  2. Critique theories and models from nursing and other disciplines for use in professional nursing practice.
  3. Use clinical reasoning skills to apply theories/models in advanced nursing practice in a variety of environments.
  4. Use theory development strategies to improve the safety and effectiveness of nursing and health care.  
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the TN eCampus MSN program or permission of Coordinator.

Course Topics:
  1. Introduction to Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
  2. Theory and Science Development
  3. Ways of Knowing
  4. Concept Development and Analysis
  5. Theory Development, Analysis, and Evaluation
  6. Chaos theory, Complexity Science, and Paradexity
  7. Nursing, Related, and Non-Related Theories
  8. Application and Impact of Theoretical Nursing Knowledge in Practice
Specific Course Requirements:


Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Marriner-Tomey, A., & Alligood, M. R., (2010).  Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed.).  St. Louis, MO:  Elsevier.  (ISBN 978-0-323-05641-0)

Peterson, S. J., & Bredow, T. S. (2013).  Middle range theories:  Application to nursing research (3rd ed.).  Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.  (ISBN 9781608318001)

Walker, L. O., & Avant, K. C.  (2010).  Strategies for theory construction in nursing (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall.  (ISBN 9780132156882)

American Nurses Association. (2015). Essentials of nursing practice package . Atlanta, GA: Author. PUB# FNDN2015. This package contains the three documents listed below at a discounted rate.

  • American Nurses Association (2015). Guide to Nursing’s social policy statement: Understanding the profession from social contract to social covenant .Silver Springs, MD: Author. ISBN 9781558102705
  • American Nurses Association (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretative statements. Silver Springs, MD: Author. ISBN 978-1-55810-599-7
  • American Nurses Association (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Author. ISBN 978-1-55810-619-2

Assigned periodicals, documents, position statements, and Internet online articles.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

There are no tests in this course.

Grading Procedures:

If barriers or challenges to progress in this course are encountered, the student must discuss those issues with the course faculty prior to the achievement of a final grade in this course.

Grading Scale:

Percentage Range

Assigned Grade









under 70%



Assignments and Projects:

Discussion Board

Participation in online class discussions (25%). Each discussion board question is graded on the basis of 10 points for completeness of the answer that is referenced from the literature and the textbook, writing in APA format with in-text citations, and responses to two of the postings of colleagues.  There is an ungraded Summary and Reflections question on the Discussion Board at the end of each module.  Students are expected to post a response to the summary and reflections question. One point/day will be deducted for postings after the due date. 

Concept Analysis Paper (25%) (Criteria for grading located at end of syllabus)

This purpose of this paper is to analyze a concept relevant to the student's nursing practice.  

Middle Range Theory Critique Presentation (30%) (Criteria for grading located at end of syllabus)

Students will select a middle range theory to critique in a 20-25 slide PowerPoint presentation. 

Application of Middle Range Theory to Practice Poster (20%)  (Criteria for grading located at end of syllabus)

The purpose of this assignment is to use the same middle range theory used in the presentation to construct an electronic scientific poster using a template that succinctly describes the model, the most salient evidence to support its application to practice, proposed clinical guidelines for application, and succinct, persuasive statement of why this theory should be applied to practice. 

Graded Items


Percentage of Course Grade

Discussion Board Questions and Assignments (Essential Attributes in Module 5).

  • There are 14 discussion board questions that are each graded on the basis of 0-10 points.
  • The Essential Attributes assignment (Module 4) is a dropbox assignment that is graded on the basis of 0-20 points.
  • Each one of the 15 (14 Discussion Board and Essential Attributes Dropbox Assignment is worth 1.67% of the course grade


(170 points)

Concept Analysis Paper


(100 points)

Middle Range Theory Critique Presentation


(100 points)

Middle Range Theory Application Poster


(100 points)


Class Participation:
Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 25, 2018