Curriculum Guideline

Psychiatric Nursing Concepts III: Living with Episodic Health Challenges I

Effective Date:
Course Code
PNUR 3301
Psychiatric Nursing Concepts III: Living with Episodic Health Challenges I
Nursing - Psychiatric
Health Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Is Active
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

It is the intent of faculty to facilitate student learning, foster ways of knowing and promote critical thinking through a variety of teaching/learning methods including lecture, audio-visual aids, group discussion, case study analysis, computer assisted learning programs and group and/or individual research and presentations.

Course Description
This course examines a person’s experience with episodic variances in wellness throughout the life cycle and their impact on client system stability and harmony. Health care trends related to primary prevention are built upon from semesters. The Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing conceptual framework is expanded upon and applied to the health assessment of the individual client. Human pathophysiology and pharmacological management related to selected exemplars will be integrated within this course. The course will provide opportunities for the ongoing development of professional relationships and for the understanding of legal and ethical issues of psychiatric nursing practice.
Course Content

In this course, within the context of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing’s philosophy and conceptual framework, students will focus on developing the psychiatric nursing role and promoting health in clients through an understanding, acquisition and utilization of psychiatric nursing theory.

Specific concepts that will be addressed are: 


  • Physiological Variable
    • Metabolism
      • Variances in endocrine function: immunity
    • Oxygenation
      • Variances in respiratory function: shock
    • Circulation
      • Variances in circulatory functioning: perioperative 
    • Cellular Dynamics
      • Variances in responses: cancer
    • Elimination
      • Variances in bladder and bowel functioning: benign prostatic hypertrophy
    • Mobility
      • Variances in mobility: hip and knee athroplasty
    • Reproduction
      • Variances in reproductive: cervical and uterine cancer
    • Neuro-sensory
      • Variances in neuro-sensory functioning: acute pain
    • Protection
      • Variances in protection: bone and tissue repair, inflammatory and immunity
  • Psychological Variable
    • Integration: as an organizer for the assessment of self-concept, emotions & cognition
    • Problem-solving in psychiatric nursing
    • Patterns of communication
    • DSM-5 (as a tool for assessment)
      • Exemplars:  Variances in responses: anxiety, bipolar disorders, personality disorder, aggressive behavior
        Variances in self integration:  self-destructive behaviours
  • Sociocultural Variable
    • Relationships; significant others
    • Continued awareness of diversity issues
  • Spiritual Variable
    • Purpose & meaning
    • Interconnectedness
    • Faith
    • Forgiveness
    • Religion
    • Creativity
    • Transcendence
  • Developmental Variable
    • Growth
    • Lifespan
    • Transition


  • Wellness-Illness Continuum
  • Holism
    • Primary Prevention
    • Variance from Wellness
    • Prevention as Intervention:
      • Health Promotion:
        • Preventative health practices to various episodic health challenges
        • Promoting health practices to enable the person to increase control over and improve their own health
        • Health promotion to allow the person to make informed choices
  • Universal experiences: Crisis, Hope, Comfort, Loss, Power, Integrity, Resiliency
  • Professional Values & Professional Caring
    • DCPN & College policies
    • Professional attributes: Compassion, Comportment, Commitment, Conscience, Competence, Confidence, Collegiality
    • Legal & Ethical issues, client rights & guidelines
    • Change theory
    • Professional role, professional nurse-client relationships
    • Interprofessional collaboration
    • Cultural competence
    • Advocacy
  • Health Care Delivery System


  • Application of pharmacological principles to exemplar


  • Application of the conceptual framework to episodic health challenges to:
    • Variables
    • Client system
    • Basic structure, process, function
    • Environment
    • Health, Wellness-Illness continuum
    • System stability/Harmony
    • Prevention as Intervention
    • Stressors, stability
    • Recovery
Learning Outcomes

Students will continue to develop their understanding and application of the Douglas College Department of Psychiatric Nursing conceptual framework and the Psychiatric Nursing curricular threads (wellness-illness continuum, professional values, professional caring & health care delivery system), and within the context of the environmental, health and psychiatric nursing domains, to integrate the care of the person domain (client system, psychological, physiological, sociocultural, spiritual & developmental variables) for clients experiencing acute variances in wellness. Students will acquire and begin to apply knowledge pertaining to pathophysiology and pharmacology concepts related to selected illness exemplars.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.


This is a graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.