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Nursing Art & Science: Vulnerable Populations

Course Code: NURS 3411
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, a population health approach is taken in addressing the nursing care of vulnerable populations. This includes persons with common, predictable and emerging mental health issues and substance use disorders.Students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudesthat enable them to engage respectfully withclients’ and provide safe, competent, compassionate and holistic nursing care in mental health and community settings.

Course Content

In this course, a population health approach is taken in addressing vulnerable populations including those with mental health challenges and substance use disorders. In addition, vulnerable populations’ lived experiences of health, healing, health promotion and preventionare emphasized.  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.

Population Health

  • Application of principles of population health in nursing practice
  • Application of nursing practice initiatives to achieve a healthy society

Mental health initiatives

  • Provincial
  • National
  • Global


  • Advocacy
  • Marginalization
  • Stigma
  • Discrimination
  • Cultural safety
  • Inclusiveness
  • Respect
  • Recovery
  • Hope
  • Resilience

Nurse’s role

  • Prevention
  • Health maintenance
  • Living with health challenges
  • Recovery
  • Client-centered care  
  • Nursing practice decision-making

Vulnerable populations

  • Mental health challenges (chronic/persistent and acute)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • First Nations people
  • Sexual Orientation, sexual identity and inclusion
  • Violence and abuse

Community health issues

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 lecture, group discussion, debate, client-based scenarios, and use of electronic resources.

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 knowledge, skills and attitudes required for safe, competent, compassionate, and holistic care for vulnerable people including those with common, predictable and emerging mental health challenges and substance use disorders, and those in a community context. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to formulate evidence-informed nursing practice decisions through critical inquiry, reflection and analytical reasoningin planning care for vulnerable people in mental health and community settings.
  • Apply previously learned knowledge and integrate new knowledge from a variety of sources to expand their understanding of peoples’ experiences of vulnerability.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of their role as a member of an inter-professional team working with vulnerable individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • Critically reflect on public mental health policy and population health issues and trends, and consider the implications for nursing practice.

course prerequisites

NURS 3311 AND NURS 3312 AND NURS 3313 AND NURS 3315 AND NURS 3316

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 3412 AND NURS 3413 AND NURS 3415 AND NURS 3417

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 .
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