Relational Practice: Engaging with Families

Health Sciences
Course Code
NURS 3316
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course builds on knowledge and processes for relational nursing practice introduced in the previous Relational Practice course. Students integrate and apply relational processes and knowledge of family theory to facilitate health promoting partnerships with families. Using a relational perspective and an ethic of caring, students participate in interactive classroom activities, reflexive exercises, and examine theories, methods, and research relevant to the topics.
Course Content

In this course, engaging with families, promoting partnership, and reflecting on relational 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 in this course.  


  • Definition
  • Forms
  • Social trends and issues affecting families
  • Health and health promotion
  • Common, predictable and emerging health challenges and transitions

 Theoretical foundations and tools

  • Family systems theory
  • Family developmental theory
  • Structural-functional theory
  • Family assessment and intervention models
  • Genogram and ecomap

 Family nursing

  • Definition
  • Family-centered care
  • Family (systems) nursing
  • Family as context
  • Barriers/issues/trends


  • Diversity
  • Models of cultural assessment
  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural safety
  • Cultural humility


  • Social determinants of health
  • Oppression
  • Stigma and shame
  • Abuse

 Emotional intelligence

  • Emotional labour

 Relational capacities

  • Authenticity
  • Intentionality
  • Mutuality
  • reciprocity

 Relational inquiry

  • Shared meaning

 Relational power

  • Family power hierarchy and decision-making
    • Affective family functioning (conflict, stress) 
    • Health care system
    • Nursing’s position


  • Agency and action of client and nurse
  • Advocacy
  • Mindful leadership


  • Family communication patterns and processes
  • Respect
  • Nonviolent communication (e.g. promoting civility)
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 group discussion, role-play and interaction analysis, client care studies, and reflexive exercises.

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. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate awareness of issues and trends relevant to family nursing and consider implications for their practice with families.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how historical, social, economic, political, cultural and other personal and contextual factors shape families’ experiences of health and health care.
  • Critically examine barriers or challenges to enacting relational nursing practice with families/family members.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how various family theories inform the provision of safe, competent and compassionate nursing care with families/family members.
  • Apply knowledge, skills and attitudes to facilitate the development of nurse-family partnerships for promoting health and preventing illness/injury using a relational perspective.
  • Employ critical reflection to examine own development of relational practice with clients and families.
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. 


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for NURS 3316
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2024