|Lake Superior State University
Department of Nursing
NU 436 CONTEMPORARY NURSING ISSUES
2 credits (2,0)
Lynn Gimpel-Kabke RN, MSN, CNS
Prerequisites: All required junior nursing courses or NU
360 for BSN completion students.
Course analyzes contemporary and future issues involving the professional
nurse. The course further explores role socialization from nursing
student to BSN prepared nurse. Course reviews the legal responsibilities
and professional regulation of nursing practice. Selected social,
ethical, political, economic, and legal issues will be examined.
1. Demonstrates competencies of critical thinking and reflective
practice when making decisions
relate to contemporary professional issues.
2. Evaluates the effects of legal, ethical, and economic
issues on health care.
3. Actively participates in the political process.
4. Integrates professional, individual, and cultural values when
analyzing ethical and moral issues in
5. Appreciates the importance of continued education and active
participation in professional
organizations as an integral component of
the nursing role.
6. Analyze the legal ramifications of one's actions and responsibilities
in professional practice.
7. Demonstrate leadership behaviors in marketing oneself and
the nursing profession.
8. Integrates research findings in analyzing contemporary issues
and trends influencing the quality
of health care.
9. Synthesizes theoretical/empirical knowledge from nursing,
the physical and behavioral sciences,
and the humanities in analyzing contemporary
10. Explores transition from student role to professional nurse.
Textbooks: (latest edition)
Hamilton, P. M. (
). Realities of Contemporary Nursing ( ed.).
Menlo Park, California:
Bernzweig, E. P. (
). The nurse's liability for malpractice ( ed.).
St. Louis: Mosby.
Michigan Board of Nursing and Michigan Nurses
Association ( ). Legal and professional
regulation of nursing practice in Michigan. Okemos: Michigan Nurses
1. Participation in all class activities, discussions,
and study group sessions.
2. Students are expected to complete all assigned reading(s)
in textbooks, assigned articles,
computer program assignments, and/or
other assignments prior to each class. Students are
expected to come to class prepared to
discuss the scheduled topic and actively participate in
all seminar sessions.
3. Class attendance and participation is required.
Unexcused absences on test or presentation
days will result in a zero on that test
or presentation. For an excused absence, the professor
must be notified in advance and must
approve the absence.
4. Students are expected to comply with the University
statement regarding academic honesty
(see LSSU Catalogue and the Department
Nursing's Student Handbook). Any evidence of
plagiarism will be investigated.
5. All assignments are to be typed and double spaced.
Required reference for papers is the
Manual of the American Psychological
Association (APA), 4th edition, 1994. APA format is
required for the Senior Critical Analysis
6. Please make a copy of all work and submit both the copy
and the original. The original will be
graded and returned to the student.
The copy will be retained in the department files.
7. Assignments are due on designated dates. Late
papers will receive a zero grade unless other
arrangements have been approved by the
professor. All assignments must be turned and
must be completed at a satisfactory level to pass the
1. The course syllabus represents the best estimate and
projection of the course content, scope,
and sequence. In the case of extenuating
circumstances, events, and the discretion of the
professor, the course syllabi is subject
1. Methods of instruction include: seminar format,
small group work, lecture for selected
material, discussion, videos, computer
programs, debate, guest speakers, and other methods
to promote collaboration, critical thinking,
2. The student is expected to possess the following skills/behaviors
a. Takes initiative to seek out
information, conducting own searches and using literature/library
b. Respect other student's views
on topic, especially when they conflict with your own
c. Ability to identify similarities,
differences and major concepts about an issue.
Written Senior Critical Analysis Paper
Presentation of Paper (or alternative project)
Letter to Legislator
Satisfactory attainment of all course objectives is required.
Written Senior Critical Analysis Paper:
Each student will submit a paper concerning an legal, ethical or political
issue confronting professional nursing today. This paper is NOT a
report on a clinical issue. The student must do a computer literature
search in the library to obtain current research and information on the
topic. The student will then meet with the professor to (1) discuss
the selected topic; (2) review the literature search; and (3) review
student's outline on chosen topic prior to week six of the semester.
It is the students responsibility to set up this appointment with the professor.
The Senior Critical Analysis Paper must contain an in-depth critical
analysis of the topic which includes both positive and negative components
of the issue (50%). Include a section discussing your personal opinions
and concerns on the topic (20%). A recommendation for resolution
of the issue/problem or action plan must be given (20%). The text
of the paper will be at least 7 pages, but no more than 10 pages using
APA format (10%). This paper is due the 12th week of the semester
on Wednesday, 1700. Do not forget to submit a copy.
Presentation of Senior Critical Analysis Paper:
Each student will present a summary of his/her senior paper as scheduled
by the professor and students. Presentation of senior papers will
be open to the campus. Invitations will be designed by students and
distributed to enhance attendance. Grading of senior paper presentations
will include peer evaluation, worth 10% of the final grade of the presentation.
The length and scheduling of the presentations will be negotiated.
An alternate project can be suggest by students or faculty. The
project is selected by majority vote. The project must be related
to political or legal issues in nursing, including promoting professional
nursing. The project will be student driven, the professor's role
is to advise and facilitate the creative process. Committees will
be formed and workload shared within the group(s). Students will
form the committee structures, design project outcomes, and create the
final product. Grading will consist of 1) self and peer evaluations,
and 2) evaluation of the final product by faculty and others.
The 10-15 minutes of each class will be devoted to world news.
During this time students are expected to present current issues occurring
in the news, whether it is local, national, or global. These issues
may or may not be directly related to health care.
Letter to the Legislator:
Being politically active is an essential part of being a nurse.
This exercise gives the student an opportunity to be politically active.
This assignment will be done in small groups. The group will select
a current issue of concern to them and nursing today. After researching
the topic, the group will draft a letter that will be sent to the appropriate