COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Relational Practice: Engaging with Families

Course Code: NURS 3316
Faculty: Health Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course builds on knowledge and processesfor relational nursing practice introduced in the previous Relational Practice course. Students integrate and apply relationalprocesses and knowledge of family theory to facilitate health promoting partnership 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


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

 Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional labour

 Relational capacities, such as

  • 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)

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 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.

course prerequisites

NURS 2211 AND NURS 2212 AND NURS 2213 AND NURS 2215 AND NURS 2217

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 3311 AND NURS 3312 AND NURS 3313 AND NURS 3315

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.

noticecurriculum notice

There is an upcoming curriculum change scheduled for .
View upcoming changes