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NURS 5406/6406/7406 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

NURS 5406/6406/7406 - Healthcare Data Analysis and Evidence Based Practice

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course introduces the most frequently-used statistical techniques for analyzing healthcare data. The course explores concepts related to complex data analysis within the healthcare environment and will focus on healthcare practice outcomes for quality improvement.

 The statistical topics studied in this course include:

  • data management
  • descriptive statistics
  • reliability and validity
  • hypothesis testing
  • analysis of variance
  • correlational and linear regression analysis
  • Chi-Square
  • nonparametric methods
  • survival analysis and formal presentation of the results
Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  • Identify sources of data within healthcare information systems
  • Explore benchmarks and data resources for application to healthcare delivery.
  • Apply outcome and evidence based management principles to informatics practice.
  • Demonstrate data analysis strategies for informatics and/or patient care problem identification.
  • Use data collection and analysis tools.
  • Choose reliable and valid measures to analyze data.
  • Construct a valid survey tool for data collection of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Translate data to information for analysis and conversion to knowledge. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the TN eCampus MSN program. MSN students: NURS 5002 & 5402.  MSPS students: STATS

Course Topics:

I. Impact of information systems on data availability in healthcare settings. 

  1. Types of data – raw and scrubbed
  2. Determining data validity
  3. Determining data ownership
  4. Following ethical and privacy standards in data analysis 

II. Accessing healthcare data resources 

  1. Organizational informatics solutions/systems
  2. Population studies
  3. Quality initiatives and data benchmarks 
  4. Data warehouses and data mining tools

III. Data collection strategies and tool development for improving informatics practice

  1. Quantitative strategies
  2. Qualitative strategies
  3. Data validation strategies for data entry

IV. Use of data analysis tools

  1. Statistical software applications such as SPSS, SAS, & Excel
  2. Process improvement tools
  3. Data drilling with pivot tables
  4. SQL Report applications such as Crystal Reports

V. Statistical analysis of healthcare data

VI. Presenting information and conclusions from data analysis

VII. Benchmarking data for healthcare improvement

  1. Regulatory and accrediting agencies
  2. Quality-based agencies

VIII. Outcomes of data analysis and reporting

  1. Outcome management in patient care delivery
  2. Quality benchmarks for organizational improvement
  3. Evidence based practice 


Specific Course Requirements:

Digital literacy is expected for this course. Should a student need to supplement their skills, free Microsoft  online tutorials can be found here

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:

Choose an intermediate level Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Access) resource that is aimed at your learning style. I recommend going to a bookstore and spending some time reading several of these references to determine if the mix between text and pictures meet your needs. Depending upon your level of experience, you may choose to purchase individual resources if you already function at the intermediate level in several of these applications. You will use this throughout the curriculum. 

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:

All course requirements are submitted online. 

Grading Procedures:

During the course students will explore informatics theory and practices as a foundation through on-line lectures, guided readings, and a variety of learning activities. Some learning activities contribute to the final course grade, while others are designed to assist the student with content mastery. All graded learning activities will include a grading rubric to detail for students how the activity will be graded.

Students will have opportunities for discussion of content with students and faculty via discussion forums. 

Grading Scale:


Assignments and Projects:

The following learning activities will be introduced during the course. All due dates are listed in the calendar.

  • 20% Process Improvement Analysis & Tool
  • 20% User Satisfaction Survey Tool
  • 20% Focused Data Mining for a selected healthcare delivery problem
  • 25% Evidence Based Informatics Solution Evaluation
  • 15% Class Participation in Discussion Activities

Details about these assignments are found in the appropriate course modules. All written work must display the writing skills of a professional. Assignments submitted with grammatical or spelling errors will not be accepted. 

Class Participation:

All students are expected to actively participate in online class discussions as presented. The aim is to encourage interaction among students and faculty, not simply to present information. Student responses to discussion questions must be substantive, that is, thoughtful and analytical. Because the D2L system has its own way of formatting material posted on the discussion feature, the student will not be expected to strictly follow APA guidelines for online submissions. However, the student is held to academic and professional standards of writing style and the use of proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. 

Late Policy:

Late Policy: Assignments are not accepted after the due date unless prior arrangements are made in advance of the due date. This course is demanding, so it is imperative that you stay on target with your progress!

Students are expected to:

  • Check the course calendar for the due dates of assignments.
  • Check the course home page and FAQ frequently. 

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 May 14, 2018