Relational Practice: Introduction

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
NURS 2116
Relational Practice: Introduction
Health Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
4 hours/week
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

It is the intent of faculty to facilitate student learning, and promote critical inquiry, reflection and analytical reasoning through a variety of learning processes such as role-play and interaction analysis, client care studies, and reflective exercises.

Course Description
In this course, students develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills for respectful, compassionate and ethical relational nursing practice, the foundation for health promotion. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between health as a socio-environmental construct and the importance of nurses being responsive to the uniqueness of people and their contexts. In addition, students develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills required for effective participation in learning groups. Major course concepts are: self-awareness, partnership, relationship building, relational capacities, diversity and relational power. Course learning processes include interaction analysis, analysis of client care situations and reflection activities.
Course Content

In this course, establishing a relational nursing practice is the focus of discussion. Concepts and essential content that will be addressed relative to these topics are listed below. In addition, the core curriculum concepts are integrated into this course.


Relational theories

  • Socio-environmental perspective
  • Pragmatic perspective


Multiple forms of knowledge and relational practice





  • Identity
  • Perception
  • Values and beliefs
  • Emotions



  • Fitness to practice



  • Reciprocal, evolving


Therapeutic nurse-client relationships


Relationship building processes, such as

  • Respect
  • Genuineness
  • Empathy
  • Self-disclosure


Relational capacities, such as

  • Authenticity
  • Intentionality
  • Mutuality
  • Reciprocity




Uniqueness of persons


Diversity and context, including

  • Personal
  • Socioeconomic
  • Spiritual
  • Cultural
  • Political
  • Historical


Promoting and constraining factors associated with relational practice

  • Trust
  • Compassion
  • Structural
  • Personal


Ethics of care

  • Boundary setting


Verbal and nonverbal communication skills and interviewing techniques


Group process and conflict resolution models/forming learning groups


Relational power


Promoting civility in challenging relationships

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the understanding that relational practice is a respectful, compassionate, and ethical partnership between the client and nurse and that this partnership is the basis for health promoting nursing practice.
  • Use multiple forms of knowledge to inform relational practice.
  • Identify the effects of their values, beliefs and attitudes on relationships with others and apply this understanding in building effective relationships with clients and in learning groups.
  • Relate with others in ways that reflect an understanding of relational power.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with therapeutic relationships and effective interpersonal communication with clients, with an emphasis on adults and older adults.
  • Demonstrate the understanding that honoring diversity requires the nurse to understand the uniqueness of clients who affect and are affected by their environments.
  • Reflect on interactions with others to develop a deeper understanding of self, others and relationships, and to further develop relational capacities.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of factors that promote or constrain relational practice.
  • Apply knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with relational practice in client care simulations.
  • Develop a plan for self care, to promote and maintain fitness to practice.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College Evaluation Policy.  A course evaluation schedule and other course evaluation information are provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester.  This is a graded course. 

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester. 


Students in the BSN program are required to maintain a passing grade of 65% (C+) in all courses in order to progress in the program.

Which Prerequisite