NPN 101 Fundamentals of Nursing Syllabus





Catalog Number:          NPN 101                                         

Credits:                           7 credits

Lecture Hours:             5 per week

Skills Lab Hours:         2 per weeks for 9 weeks

Clinical Experience:    8 per week for 8 weeks




Course Description: 

Each human being is presented as a unique individual constantly responding to internal and external stimuli.  The nursing process is emphasized as students apply principles of physical, biological and social sciences.  Basic nutrition and pharmacology are introduced.  Elements of health and disease are presented.  Basic concepts of nursing are introduced and basic nursing skills are taught and practiced in the nursing lab.  The course will be presented in two sections (concepts of nursing and fundamental nursing care) concurrently.  Corequisites:  NPN 100, NPN 111, NPN 121, BIO 240, BIO 243, and ENG 096 or ENG 101.



deWit, S.C.  (2009).  Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts & practice.  St. Louis: Saunders.

Karch, A.M.  (2008).  Focus on nursing pharmacology (4th ed.).  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions (8th  Edition).  (2009). St. Louis: Mosby, Inc.

Nix, S. (2009).  Williams’ Basic Nutrition & Diet Therapy, (13th ed.).  St. Louis:  C. V. Mosby Company.

Taylor, C., Lillis, C., LeMone, P., & Lynn, P.  (2008).  Fundamentals of Nursing: The art & science of  nursing care (6th ed.).  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins with skills CD-ROMs


Learning Strategies:

In-Class Questions



Unit Examinations                   77%                                                                                                          

Comprehensive Exam             23%                     

 A separate letter grade for the clinical practice course will not be given.  A satisfactory or unsatisfactory designation will be indicated on clinical evaluations.  If a satisfactory designation is given, the student will receive the grade that he/she made in the NPN 101 Fundamentals of Nursing course.  If an unsatisfactory designation is given, the student will receive a failing grade in the NPN 101 Fundamentals of Nursing course.

Course Outcomes:

After completing the course requirements for NPN 101, the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize each person as a unique individual, continually responding to stimuli in his internal and external environments.


  1. Recognize the impact of economic, political, social, and demographic forces on the delivery of health care.


  1. Recognize the nurse’s role as patient advocate and support the patient’s autonomy in making health care decisions.


  1. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of the relationship between age and stage of development on the patient’s position on the health-illness continuum and adaptation to changes in health status.


  1. Utilize fundamental therapeutic communication and caring behaviors with patients and significant support persons.


  1. Recognize that communication is an interactive process through which there is an exchange of information that may occur verbally, nonverbally, in writing, or through information technology.


  1. Discuss the effect of the physiological, psychosocial, spiritual, environmental, and ethnocultural variables on the patient’s position on the health-illness continuum.


  1. Describe the principles of basic nursing care and actions related to vital signs, physical assessment, asepsis, infection control, and elimination.


  1. Discuss the principles of nutrition and how it relates to patients with specific health problems.


  1. Discuss the principles of pharmacology and how it relates to patients with specific health problems.


  1. Recognize that caring interventions are those nursing behaviors that assist a patient in meeting his needs within an environment of hope and trust where a patient’s choices and lifestyle are respected.


  1. Identify ways that nurses demonstrate caring behaviors.


  1. Describe the basic principles and nursing actions involved in the treatment of pain, sleep disorders, wound care, and perioperative nursing.


  1. Utilize information technology and other appropriate resources in preparation of course assignments.


  1. Utilize critical thinking to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate the care given to assigned patients and families by beginning application of the nursing process.


  1. Apply standards of care while planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care.


Students with Disabilities

St. Charles Community College makes every effort to accommodate students with disabilities.  If a student has a need for special accommodations, please contact the Office of Accessibility, 636-922-8247.  Requests for accommodations must first be processed through this office located in SC 133.





Please refer to the Practical Nursing Handbook for policies concerning Instructor Office Hours, attendance, and grading scale.


Section 1:  Concepts of Nursing (Monday class)


1.   Communication

Describe the communication process and factors influencing communication.
Discuss ways in which people communicate nonverbally.
Identify effective therapeutic techniques.Identify non-therapeutic techniques which hinder communication.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 21


2.   Nursing Process

Describe the nursing process and each of the five steps.
Discuss the types and sources of data used in assessment.
Define nursing diagnosis including its parts.
Identify guidelines for writing nursing diagnoses.
Develop a plan of care with measurable outcomes and related nursing interventions.
Prioritize patient health problems.
Describe variables that influence the way a plan of care is implemented.
List guidelines for implementation.
Describe evaluation, its purpose, and its relation to the other steps of the nursing process.
Use the patient’s response to the plan of care to modify the plan as needed.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


3.   Safety

Identify factors that affect safety in an individual’s environment.
Identify patients at risk for injury.
Describe nursing intervention to prevent injury to patients in healthcare settings.
Evaluate the effectiveness of safety interventions.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 26


4.   Health & Illness

Define health, illness, and wellness.
Discuss models of health and illness.
Describe the factors affecting health and illness.
Discuss the human dimensions and basic human needs.
Describe the levels of preventive care.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 3 

Stress & Adaptation

Define stress, adaptation, and homeostasis.
Discuss methods to regulate homeostasis of the body.
Describe indicators and effects of stress on the body.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 42 

5.   Cultural Diversity

Discuss concepts of cultural diversity.
Describe cultural influences on healthcare.
Discuss cultural factors that affect nursing care.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 2


6.   Nutrition

Briefly discuss the digestive process.
List the six classes of nutrients explaining the significance of each.
Describe nutritional changes throughout the lifespan.
Discuss dietary modifications required by various religious and ethnic groups.
Identify basic types of diet therapy.
Describe nursing responsibilities regarding nutrition and diet therapy.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 36, Nix Chapter 1-5, 7-12, 17


7.   Health Teaching

Define the teaching-learning process.
Discuss factors affecting patient learning.
List and describe steps in the teaching-learning process.
Define the learning domains and appropriate teaching strategies.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 22


8.   Documentation

List guidelines for effective documentation.
Identify abbreviations and terms commonly used in charting.
Describe the purposes of patient records.
Compare and contrast different methods of documentation.
Discuss various methods of reporting.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 17


9.  Healthcare Delivery Systems

Describe healthcare settings and services.
List and define the members of the healthcare team.
Discuss the various methods of healthcare delivery.
Identify the financial aspects of healthcare.
Describe trends and issues in healthcare delivery including evidence based practice.
Discuss admission and discharge procedures.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 8, 9


10.  Loss & End-of-Life Issues

List and define types of loss.
Describe the grief process and the stages of grief.
Compare the various definitions of death.
List the clinical signs of approaching death.
Identify ethical and legal issues concerning end-of-life care.
Describe nursing responsibilities after death.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 43 


Identify three spiritual needs common to all people.
Describe spiritual influences on everyday living, health, and illness.
Discuss spiritual beliefs and practices of the major religions practiced in the United States.
List factors that influence spirituality.

Reading:  Taylor Chapter 46


Section 2:  Fundamental Nursing Care (Thursday class)


1.   Vital Signs

Explain the physiologic processes involved in the homeostatic regulation of temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure.
Compare and contrast factors that increase or decrease body temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure.
Identify sites for assessing temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.
Know the normal ranges for body temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter 24


2.   Asepsis/ Infection Prevention

Explain the infection cycle and nursing interventions used to break the chain of infection.
List the stages of an infection.
Identify patients at risk for developing an infection.
Identify factors that reduce the incidence of health-care associated infections.
Describe strategies for implementing CDC guidelines for standard and transmission-based precautions when caring for patients.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter 27


3.   Activity/ Exercise

Describe the role of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems in the physiology of movement.
Identify variables that influence body alignment and mobility.
Differentiate isotonic, isometric, and isokinetic exercise.
Describe the effects of exercise and immobility on the major body systems.
Identify principles of proper body mechanics.
Identify principles of safe patient handling and movement techniques when positioning, moving, lifting, and ambulating patients. 

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter 33


4.   Physical Assessments/ Diagnostic Tests

Explain the purposes and types of health assessment.
Identify the guidelines for conducting a health history.
List the key points for preparing the patient and environment for a health assessment.
Identify the techniques for the sequence of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation during a physical assessment.
Identify how to document significant health assessment findings in a concise,descriptive manner.               
Understand the purpose and preparation for selected diagnostic tests.
Describe nursing responsibilities before, during, and after diagnostic procedures.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter 25


5.   Pharmacology

Discuss drug legislation in the United States.
Describe the difference in drug names, types of preparations, and types of medication orders.
Identify selected drug classifications and actions.
Understand the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Understand the implications of adverse effects, toxic effects, drug interactions, idiosyncratic effects, and drug allergies.
Identify essential patient information necessary to establish a medication history.
Identify the six rights of administration.
Identify factors influencing drug action in the body.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapters  28, 29                        
                Karch  Chapters  1, 2, 3, 4, 6


6.  Sleep/ Pain

Describe the functions and physiology of sleep.
Identify variables that influence rest and sleep.
Identify the age-related variables in the sleep cycle.
Describe common sleep disorders and assessment keys.
Describe nursing strategies to promote rest and sleep.
Describe specific elements of the pain experience.
Identify factors that may affect an individual’s pain experience.
Identify the differences between acute and chronic pain.
Identify  “referred” pain.
List the components of a complete pain assessment.
Identify the correct use of nonpharmacologic pain relief measures and different treatment modalities.
Discuss the use of analgesic agents to produce the desired level of pain relief without causing undesirable side effects.
Discuss the importance of teaching and counseling skills to empower patients to direct their own pain management programs.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter  34, 35
                 Karch  Chapters  16, 25, 26, 28


7.   Urine Elimination

Describe the physiology of the urinary system.
Identify variables that influence urination.
Identify the components of a urinary elimination history, methods for assessing urinary elimination problems.
Identify diagnostic testing related to abnormal and normal urine constituents, and urine specific gravity.
Instruct how to promote normal urination, facilitate use of the toilet, bedpan, urinal, and commode; perform catherizations, assist with urinary diversions, apply an external catheter, and irrigate a catheter.
Describe nursing interventions that can be used to manage urinary incontinence effectively.
Describe nursing interventions that can prevent the development of urinary tract infections.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter  37 

8.   Bowel Elimination

Describe the physiology of bowel elimination.
Identify variables that influence bowel elimination.
Identify the components of a bowel elimination history, methods for assessing elimination problems, and appropriate diagnostic testing.
Identify appropriate nursing interventions to promote regular bowel habits.
Identify comfort measures to ease defecation, and appropriate nursing interventions for incontinence, constipation, diarrhea, and flatus.
Identify appropriate nursing actions and interventions when administering cathartics, laxatives, and antidiarrheals.
Identify appropriate nursing actions and interventions when administering enemas, rectal suppositories, rectal catheters, performing digital removal of stool, and designing a bowel training program

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter  38                                 
                Karch  Chapter  50, 51, 52, 58


9.   Skin/ Wound Care

Describe the functions of the integumentary system.
Describe factors affecting skin integrity.
Identify wound classifications and the RYB system.
Identify the common types of drains.
Describe the processes involved in wound healing and factors that affect it.
Discuss the processes involved in the development of pressure ulcers and those at risk for developing pressure ulcers.
Describe the various stages of pressure ulcers.Identify nursing interventions to prevent pressure ulcer formation in adults.
Identify the terms used to assess and document the condition of wounds.
Discuss appropriate dressing changes for the different types of wounds.
Discuss therapeutic methods of hot and cold applications.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter  32                                 
                Karch  Chapters  8, 9, 11


10.  Perioperatve Nursing

Describe the surgical experience, including perioperative phases, classifications of surgery, types of anesthesia, and ambulatory surgery.
Discuss informed consent and advance directives.
List the components of a preoperative nursing history and physical assessment to identify patient strengths as well as factors that increase the risks for surgical and postoperative complications.
Identify nursing interventions to prepare a patient physically and psychologically for surgery.
Identify assessments and interventions specific to the prevention of complications in the immediate and early postoperative phases.

Reading:  Taylor  Chapter  30