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Relational Practice: Introduction

Course Code: NURS 2116
Faculty: Health Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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.

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 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.

course prerequisites

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.


NURS 2111 AND NURS 2112 AND NURS 2113 AND NURS 2114

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.