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Course Outlines

NSHA 7100

High Acuity Specialty Nursing Theory 1

School School of Health Sciences
Program High Acuity Nursing Specialty
Course Credits 4
Minimum Passing Grade 75%
Start Date September 07, 2021
End Date November 26, 2021
Total Hours 60
Total Weeks 12
Hours/Weeks 5
Delivery Type Other
CRN 34077

Acknowledgement of Territories

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Instructor Details

Name Jean Dehaan
E-mail Instructor to provide
Location TBD
Office Hours Instructor to provide

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to the high acuity nursing specialty and the role of the high acuity nurse. The participants will focus on expanding their ability to think critically and engage in participatory relationships; examine the concept of health and explore their understanding of health in order to promote health for high acuity patients and families. The participants will explore the lived experience of an acute illness (e.g. COPD and respiratory insufficiency) while applying the theory of oxygen supply and demand, comprehensive assessments, and ethical clinical decision-making within the high acuity nursing practice environment.

Course Learning Outcomes/Competencies

Course learning outcomes:

  • Differentiate high acuity nursing practice from current practice with respect to the role of the nurse, context of practice, nature of illness and experience of the patient.
  • Formulate conclusions about cellular oxygenation and end-organ perfusion using the oxygen supply and demand framework.
  • Complete a comprehensive assessment to determine appropriate care for a high acuity patient.
  • Recognize cues to form judgments about potential and actual problems for high acuity patients.
  • Prioritize interventions for complex high acuity patients informed by the situated clinical decision-making framework.
  • Interpret arterial blood gases within the context of the high acuity patient.
  • Form accurate conclusions about oxygen supply and demand theory in relation to respiratory disorders (pneumonia and COPD).

Learning Resources

Learning Hub NSHA 7100 course

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria % Comments
High Acuity Practice Discussion Forum: Participation 10 In order to progress in the program, the student must achieve 75% on each evaluation component, and an overall mark of 75% for the course.
Oxygen Supply and Demand Exam 30
Assignment 1: Comprehensive Assessment Assignment 20
Assignment 2: Clinical Decision-Making in High Acuity Practice 10
Respiratory Insufficiency/COPD Exam 30
Total 100

Other information

Late Assignments

The penalty for late assignments is 5% per day past the due date. Extensions may be granted but must be requested AND confirmed at least 72 hours in advance of the assignment due date. If an extension is granted and the assignment is still late, the penalty is 10% for the first day and 5% for each subsequent day. All extensions and penalties will be granted or enforced at the discretion of the instructor and program head.

Note on Audio/Video Recording

As part of evaluation, learning and debriefing, you may be recorded, both audio and video, during simulation lab experiences. All recordings are stored at BCIT, not shared to third parties and deleted upon course completion.

Statement for prior learning assessment

Prior Learning and Assessment is a way for students with applicable work and academic experience to apply that knowledge toward earning credits without taking additional classes. If you believe that you have applicable prior work and academic experience, please contact the program directly:

Jean Dehaan
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 8911

For more information on BCIT's PLAR process, please visit:

Course Schedule and Assignments

The evaluation component of this course is completed through two assignments, two exams and evaluation of discussion forum participation. Please refer to course module for complete details. There are due dates for each of these evaluation processes. A loss of marks penalty will be applied for assignments submitted late. You may, however, negotiate alternative due dates with your tutor if necessary. Assignments submitted by negotiated due dates will not have penalty marks deducted. Please refer to the Late Assignments policy in the previous section for details.

A description of each assignment and evaluation criteria are included. Each assignment has been created to help consolidate your understanding of the material covered in each module. Please review your responses within the assignments prior to submission to ensure that you have addressed all of the evaluation criteria for that particular assignment.

BCIT Policy

Any student who needs special assistance in the event of a medical emergency or building evacuation (either because of a disability or for any other reason) should promptly inform their course instructor(s) and Accessibility Services of their personal circumstances.

Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination:
The BCIT community is made up of individuals from every ability, background, experience and identity, each contributing uniquely to the richness and diversity of the BCIT community as a whole. In recognition of this, and the intrinsic value of our diversity, BCIT seeks to foster a climate of collaboration, understanding and mutual respect between all members of the community and ensure an inclusive accessible working and learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion is a supportive resource for both students and employees of BCIT, to foster a respectful learning and working environment. Any student who feels that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment (personal or human rights-related) can confidentially access this resource for advice and support. Please see Policy 7507 – Harassment and Discrimination and accompanying procedure.

Students should make themselves aware of additional Education, Administration, Safety and other BCIT policies listed at

Guidelines for School of Health Sciences

No school specific policies, please refer to main BCIT Policy.


I verify that the content of this course outline is current.
Kristie Walters, Instructor on behalf of Jean Dehaan, Program Head
July 30, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed.
Jean Dehaan, Program Head
August 11, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed and complies with BCIT policy.
Kathy Kennedy, Associate Dean
August 11, 2021

Note: Should changes be required to the content of this course outline, students will be given reasonable notice.