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NURS 5525/6525/7525 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

NURS 5525/6525/7525 - Advanced Critical Care Nursing

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course focuses on advanced concepts related to multi-organ/system function and dysfunction. Physiology, assessment, pathophysiology, system failure, and clinical management of major body systems are addressed. 

Course Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Summarize normal function and structure of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, neurological, GI, hematological and integumentary systems.
  2. Identify appropriate nursing assessment and management for patients with complex cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, neurological, GI, hematological and integumentary alterations.
  3. Describe the major pathophysiology underlying common complex disorders of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, neurological, GI, hematological and integumentary systems.
  4. Describe indications for and associated nursing interventions for patients undergoing diagnostic procedures of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, neurological, GI, hematological and integumentary systems.
  5. Summarize clinical indications and nursing management of hemodynamic monitoring and other specialized equipment used in the care of critically ill patients.
  6. Analyze data obtained through specialized assessment equipment and laboratory tests used to evaluate the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, and endocrine systems in critically ill patients.
  7. Evaluate current evidence for practice in caring for patients with complex alterations of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, and endocrine systems. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the TN eCampus MSN program; pre- or co-requisites: NURS 5101, NURS 5102, NURS 5103, NURS 5104.

Course Topics:
  1. Cardiovascular System
  2. Pulmonary System
  3. Renal System
  4. Endocrine System
  5. Neurological System
  6. Hematological and Immune Systems
  7. Integumentary System
  8. Multisystem Dysfunction
  9. Advanced Roles in Critical Care 
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:

Supplemental periodicals and journal articles assigned by instructor. 

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 through the course dropbox. Assignments submitted through email will not receive course credit. 

Grading Procedures:
Pain Learning Activity5
Discussions (8 required - 2% each)16
Critical Path Group Activity14
Neurological Disorders Paper10
Case Studies (4 required - one each for CV, Resp, GI, Endocrine - 10% each)40
Multisystem PowerPoint Presentation15
Total percent100


Grading Scale:


Assignments and Projects:

Module 1 - Pain learning activity (two-page paper)
Modules 2, 3, 6, & 7 – Case Study
Module 4 – Neurological Disorders Paper (6 pages excluding title, abstract and reference page)
Module 5 – Group Critical Path Activity
Multisystem PowerPoint (10 slides)

Students are expected to analyze current treatment modalities, engage in health promotion activities, and evaluate clinical research applications. Assignments/activities are posted within each module. All work must be posted to the correct dropbox for credit. No credit will be given to assignments incorrectly posted. Dropbox posting date will be used for identification of late assignments. All work is expected to be that of the student alone unless specifically identified as a group project. Plagiarism is unacceptable and is considered an act of academic misconduct. 

Class Participation:

Students are expected to actively participate in all interactive aspects of the course. Student must check the course bulletin board frequently for announcements, and students must actively participate in threaded discussion events. Each discussion question posted will be assigned a date by which the student must respond. All students are encouraged to interact on the discussion board with each other and the faculty. Students are required to respond to all discussion questions. Responses to discussion questions must be substantive, reflect the readings, thoughtful, and analytical.

Students must participate in ALL module group discussions. Discussions are expected to demonstrate an understanding and synthesis of course material. Responses must be substantive and add to discussions in an educational manner. I agree responses or postings that only pose questions with no presentation of research based information will not count for credit.

Discussions will be graded as follows:

  • One (1.5) points for material that contributes substantive value to understanding the subject, thoughtful, analytical, reflects the readings and meets posted criteria. One research based reference (research study) is required in APA format in addition to other references you may use for the initial post. Initial post word count minimum of 250 own words (references, quotes, and inclusion of your own name will not be included in word count). Response post must be a minimum of 150 own words (references, quotes, and inclusion of your own name will not be included in word count)
  • One half point (0.5) for material format (sentences are complete, clear and precise; sentences are well constructed and grammatically correct; rules of grammar, usage and punctuation are correct; words are precise and unambiguous; spelling is correct; and all references are in APA format).
  • No (0) credit will be given if information does not meet stated requirements.
  • No early or late postings will be given credit. Discussion postings must be dated within the timeframe for each module. There are no makeup dates for postings. See course calendar for module dates. 
Late Policy:

Students are expected to:

  • Check the course calendar for the due dates of assignments.
  • Check the course news section on the home page frequently for announcements.

Late assignments/papers will have the assignment grade reduced 10% (10 points) at any time after the due time the first 24 hours and another 10% (10 points) at any time during the second 24 hours (e.g., paper due 5am on a given day - if received at 6am on that day paper will be assessed a late penalty of 10 points; paper received 26 hours past due date and time will be assessed a 20 point penalty). Penalties are in addition to points that may be lost from assignment grading. After 48 hours, late assignments will receive a zero grade and will not be accepted. No make-up assignments will be given. 


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 28, 2017