It is in every student to feel a mixture of excitement and apprehension once school starts. As you go over the curriculum, you will notice different course numbers like N100, NURS102, NCM100, etc. You instantly get this dizzy sensation in your stomach that you might be embarking on a difficult course.
Whatever college or university you go to, the premise of the nursing courses stay the same. The only difference will be the incorporation of the colleges’ or university’s vision and mission statements and philosophy of education that will make their nursing program more unique than others.
The purpose of this article is to give you a general knowledge on what you will be learning on the different nursing courses during the first and second years of your nursing school.
Theoretical Foundations in Nursing
This course deals with the meta-concepts of a person, health, environment and nursing as viewed by the different theorists. Likewise, it includes non-nursing theories such as systems, developmental and change theories. It presents how these concepts and theories serve as guide to nursing practice. It further deals with health as a multi-factorial phenomenon and the necessary core competencies that the nurse need to develop.
When you begin your nursing studies, it is important that you must know the different theories (or schools of thought) in nursing practice. These theories were developed by nurses as well. It was grounded on what they believed how nursing care should be practiced.
You will get to know the personality profile of these theorists and be inspired of their work as a professional nurse. Who knows, you just might be the next nurse theorist in line to present a new nursing theory.
Anatomy and Physiology
This course deals with the physiologic concepts, principles and basic anatomical structure.
Although you have taken this in high school, the discussions are now geared towards the different mechanisms/processes/systems involved in the different body systems.
This is a basic nursing course since it will give you the foundation on the different body structures and functioning before you study the different medical conditions. Passing this course will provide you an easier learning experience in the advanced courses like Pathophysiology and Medical-Surgical Nursing.
Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
This course provides the students with the overview of nursing as a science, an art and a profession. It deals with the concept of man as a holistic being comprised of bio- psycho- socio and spiritual dimensions. It includes a discussion on the different roles of a nurse emphasizing health promotion, maintenance of health as well as prevention of illness utilizing the nursing process. It includes the basic nursing skills needed in the care of individual clients.
This course gets every student excited because finally, they will learn the different nursing procedures like admitting a patient, making the nursing care plan, performing wound care, drug administration, giving food to patients via nasogastric tubes (NGT), inserting a Foley catheter and other technical stuffs that nurses do.
This course usually includes laboratory hours, i.e. you will have the chance to perform demonstrations and counter-demonstrations on the different nursing procedures before you are allowed to perform them on patients in the hospital or any other health care settings.
Therefore, you will be evaluated in the theoretical aspect (classroom lectures) and skills performance (laboratory hours). Your chances of passing this course will highly depend on the degree of competence that you display during demonstrations.
Community Health Nursing
This course focuses on the care of population groups and community as clients utilizing concepts and principles in community health development. It also describes problems, trends and issues of the country and global health care systems affecting community health nursing practice.
Nurses do not only practice in the hospital and takes care of sick people. Their role in the community is also very important in health promotion and disease prevention. This course will be able to prepare you for a practice in the community setting.
Microbiology and Parasitology
This course is designed to assist students in the study of important microorganisms and parasites. It explains the physiology and pathogenic properties of bacteria, fungi and viruses as an introduction to disease causation, their biology, the infections they cause, host response to these infections and their mode of transmission, prevention, treatment and nursing responsibilities. The laboratory experiences provide specimen collection, handling and processing of specimens for isolation and identification of microorganisms and parasites involved in the infectious processes.
Another basic course, microbiology and parasitology will prepare you in understanding what are the different microorganisms involved in a disease. The knowledge that you will gain here will prepare you in the clinical practice as to how to manage a patient inflicted with a specific microorganism, and preventing the spread and occurrence of the said disease.
This course will also prepare you in studying the different drugs or medications that will treat the disease.
Nutrition and Diet Therapy
This course deals with the study of food in relation to health. It covers nutrients and other substances and their action, and interaction and balance in relation to health and diseases and the process by which organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilizes and excretes food substances. It will also focus in the therapeutic and food service aspects of the delivery of nutritional services in hospitals and other healthcare institutions.
Different patients require different nutrition and diets specific to their medical condition or health status. This course will introduce you to the different diet therapies doctors order for the patients.
It is important that you should have knowledge on nutrition because nurses are involved in the giving of food to patients admitted in the hospital. Nurses also conduct health teaching on specific foods to take and avoid which is necessary for recuperation and disease prevention.
This course deals with pharmacodynamics, pharmakokinetics, clinical/therapeutic uses and toxicology of drugs. Emphasis is given on how a drug works to anticipate when giving a drug to a patient are of paramount importance since nursing responsibilities include administering drugs, assessing drug effects, intervening to make a drug more tolerable, and providing teaching about drugs and the drug regimen.
Doctors prescribe medicines to the patients; nurses administer these drugs. But it is not enough that you only follow doctor’s orders and not be knowledgeable on the drug that you are administering.
This course will introduce you to the many classes of medications and you will be learning about their actions, dosages and method of administrations, side effects and complications, and most importantly the nursing implications to the drug.
Nursing Ethics and Jurisprudence
This course deals with the principles and right conduct as they apply to the nursing profession. It reinforces the nurses’ ideals and motives in order to maximize the affectivity of their service. Furthermore, a discussion on all the legal rules and principles affecting the practice of nursing is included. It also includes the interpretation of all these rules and principles and their application to the regulation of the practice of nursing.
In order to protect your profession as a nurse, this course will help you behave and act what an ideal nurse should be. In addition to this, you will know the different laws, legal rules and principles specific to the nursing practice.
Without such information can place you at risk of losing your license as a registered nurse.