Basic Nursing Skills

Basic Nursing Skills


Fall 2010
08/23/2010 - 12/12/2010

Course Information

Section 001
T 08:00 - 11:00
EVC8 8362
Yolanda Hall

Section 001
T 08:00 - 11:00
EVC8 8362
Kristin Benton

Section 001
T 12:00 - 16:00
EVC8 8248
Kristin Benton

Office Hours

  • M T W Th
    Eastview Office 8263
    Tues 11-12
    Wed 12-1; 2-3
    Thurs 11-1
    & by Appt only Mon. 9-2
    **Please call or email 48 hours in advance for an appt.

Course Requirements

Fundamentals of Nursing Skills (4-3-3)

VNSG 1423



Course Overview


I.           COURSE DESCRIPTION: Basic Nursing Skills. Mastery of entry level nursing skills and competencies for a variety of health care settings. Utilization of the nursing process as the foundation for all nursing interventions. VNSG 1423 is a lab course that meets one day a week for three hours of didactic (lecture) and four hours of laboratory practice. This gives a total of 48 contact hours of didactic (lecture) and 64 contact hours of laboratory practice for the semester. Skills: P Prerequisites: BIOL 2404, HPRS 1206, and HPRS 2300. Corequisites: VNSG 1400 and VNSG 1160. Course type: W




A.   Learning Resources to include:


1.       Kozier, Erb, Berman and Snyder(2008). Fundamentals of Nursing: Concepts, Processes, and Practice (8th ed). Prentice Hall


2.       Perry & Potter (2010) Clinical Nursing Skills & Techniques, Mosby, (7th ed). Elsevier


  1. Smeltzer, S. & Bare, B. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (12th ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott


  1. Deglin, J. & Vallerand, A. (2010) Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses (12thed.) Philadelphia: F.A. Davis


  1. Nursing lab practice.




A.   Learning Activities are listed in the course modules and may include lecture, discussion, oral presentation, audio-visuals, reading articles, textbooks, critical thinking exercises, role playing, video taping, and practice in simulated labs. Additional activities may be on the Blackboard course site.


             B.   Students are responsible for reading all assigned materials, participating in all learning activities, and answering all objectives. The instructor may not cover each individual objective in class, but will cover the essence of the material. The student is responsible for all material presented in the class regardless to whether it is in the text or not.


IV.               Throughout the syllabus, objectives may be highlighted with a “C” and/or “S.”

“C” denotes objectives which meet Differentiated Entry Level competencies.

“S” denotes objectives which meet SCANS competencies.




Bloom’s Taxonomy


Faculty use Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as a tool to define the thinking skills instructors expect from students and for helping to establish congruence between the learning objectives and the exam questions asked.


The cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. There are six major categories: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; they start from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can take place.


The practice of vocational nursing requires the application of all levels of cognitive ability. Exam questions are written utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy at increasingly complex levels. Module objectives and the corresponding exam questions for Level I will reflect knowledge, comprehension and application of information, concepts, and principles relevant to the course. The ability to recall the information is important, however, exam questions will assess more than the ability to memorize information. In Level II, the majority of the questions will be at the comprehension and application level. In Level III and IV the majority of exam questions are written at application, analysis or higher levels.


This progression is congruent with the level of questions asked by the NCLEX-PN and the competencies required by the entry level vocational nurse.




All candidates for licensure are required to meet set requirements that include passing an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry level vocational nurse. That exam is the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

In addition, licensure candidates in Texas are required to pass a jurisprudence examination to obtain licensure. For more information about this exam, visit the Texas Board of Nursing website at:


The NCLEX Test Plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the licensing examination. The Vocational Nursing program uses the test plan as a guide to exam development. The VNG program exams are developed to mirror the test plan and consist of items that use Bloom’s taxonomy for the cognitive domain as a basis for writing items.


The content of the NCLEX Test Plan is organized into four major Client Needs categories. Two of the four categories are further divided into a total of six subcategories:

Safe and Effective Care Environment

  • Coordinated Care
  • Safety and Infection Control


Health Promotion and Maintenance


Psychosocial Integrity


Physiological Integrity

  • Basic Care and Comfort
  • Pharmacological Therapies
  • Reduction of Risk Potential
  • Physiological Adaptation


Faculty will provide more information about the test plan and cognitive levels during the class orientation. For more detailed information, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing at



A.   Students will be tested from module objectives. Test questions will be matching, multiple choice, short answer or essay questions. Test questions may also include pharmacology, dosage calculation (s), and pharmacological knowledge of medications that are commonly used in the healthcare setting. Tests will be scheduled on-line in the nursing computer lab unless indicated otherwise.


B.   There will be NO make-up examinations on module exams; the final examination may be made up ONLY at the discretion of the faculty teaching the course. An absence from a scheduled examination will be counted as a zero. The final exam grade may replace the lowest exam grade.


C.   Students are expected to complete the examination in the allocated time frame unless the student has special needs which have been communicated to the VNG faculty by the Office of Students with Disabilities. A test plan is provided at the beginning of the semester, the number of test items may vary across levels. Faculty will communicate the time limits for the exams before the student begins each exam. The VNG faculty adopted the following general guidelines related to time allotments for exam items: 1.36 minutes per item (this mirrors the time allotted by the NCSBN for the NCLEX-PN).


D.   Test Review: A time for students to review the results of exams will be provided on the schedule and/or students can see their results by making an appointment with their faculty advisor or one of the level faculty. Students are not allowed to copy test questions during test review. If a student feels their answer to a test question should be considered as an acceptable answer, he/she must submit a written request along with supportive documentation to the instructor, within one week after reviewing the examination. It is up to the discretion of the instructor whether or not to give the student credit for the test item. Only the student who submits the written request will receive credit for the test item if the instructor decides to do so.


E.   Any student who engages in any form of cheating (scholastic dishonesty) will be subject to the dismissal from the program.


F.   Examination and Grading


1.       Theory


a.     A grade of C (77%) is required to pass the course. Examinations account for 60% of course grade. Skills performance account for 30% of course grade. Participation accounts for 10% of course grade.


b.     Objective Examination


(1)  Module Exam..............................................     = 40%







(2)  Comprehensive Final...................................     = 20%


                                                                                                                                                  = 60%  

c.    Skill Performance

(1)  Skill Performance........................................     = 20%


(2)  Skill Practicum............................................     = 10%

                                                                                                                                                  = 30%  

d.   Participation

(1)  Class Participation.......................................     = 10%

                                                                                                                                                  = 10%  


                                                                                                                                 TOTAL  = 100%  


2.    Skills Performance:


a.    Students will be evaluated on designated nursing skills. A score of 77% is required on each skill performance check-off to pass the course.


b.    A student who is absent on the day of a check-off will receive a zero “0” and that will count as an attempt at the skill check-off. A student who fails to achieve a 77% on a skills check-off or was absent for the check-off must:

  • Make arrangements to practice the skill in the skills laboratory.
  • Complete a retake within one week of the original check-off.


                If the student is unsuccessful in achieving a 77% on the second attempt, he/she will be placed on probation unless they are not eligible for probation. On the third attempt, the skill will be videotaped. If the student is unsuccessful on the third attempt, the student will be withdrawn from the program.


c.    A Skill Practicum will be given at the end of the course. The skills Practicum can be a combination of skills covered and checked-off during the semester.


*The highest grade that can be made on a retake of a skills check-off is 80%.


             G.    VNSG 1423 PARTICIPATION GUIDE


The faculty of the Vocational Nursing Program feels strongly that classroom participation is an important element in your education.

For this course, VNSG 1423, the following measure will determine your participation grade (worth 10% of the final course grade).


At random times during the semester, you may be asked to take out a piece of paper and answer a short discussion question pertaining to the lecture for that day or given a prepared quiz. This answer will be graded on a pass/fail basis for its content. You will receive a “100” for the day if you turn in a satisfactory answer and a “0” for the day if you turn in an unsatisfactory answer and/or I do not have a paper from you. At the end of the semester, your participation grades will be averaged and that average will compromise 10% of your final course grade.


These questions are intended to stimulate the thinking and learning process that occurs during class time. No questions/answers will be accepted after 11 AM the day of class. NO EXCEPTIONS.


H.    In calculation of final course grades, the grades will be rounded up if 0.5 or above and rounded down if below 0.5.


Scholastic ratings are determined by the student’s performance in the theoretical and clinical components of the curriculum. To maintain satisfactory standing in the Vocational Nursing Program, a student must maintain a “C” (77%) or higher in each theory course, and must be rated satisfactory in each clinical rotation and course.

The minimal acceptable grade in each nursing theory course is a “C” (77%). The scoring of less than “C” (77%) will result in a failure to progress.

The following grading system is observed in the Vocational Nursing Program:


Letter Grade


Numerical Grade











Unable to Progress




69 and below



Not computed



Not computed

**An “I” may be given to students who are progressing satisfactory toward completion of course objectives but are unable to fulfill all course requirements because of extenuating circumstances.

A grade of “I” cannot be carried beyond the date in the following semester established by the College. The Department Chair will approve a change from “I” to a performance grade (A, B, C, D, F) for the course prior to the deadline.


I.      Austin Community College policy does not permit posting of grades. Test scores will be given to each student after each examination.


J.      Regular attendance in the simulated learning lab is an important factor in student success. Students must be present and participate in order to meet the learning objectives presented in class. Absences in excess of 8 hours in the simulated lab may result in the student being placed on probation or withdrawn from the program.


K.    Students are responsible for obtaining materials and information missed in class. If a demonstration is missed, the student must make an appointment with a VNG faculty for an individual demonstration.




A.    Attendance: Nursing is a practice discipline. Attendance at scheduled classroom, clinical, and laboratory experiences reflects accountability and is required for professional growth. Students must be present in order to meet the learning objectives of the classroom, or laboratory experience. Students not present when attendance is taken will be marked absent.

B.    Classroom Expectations: As adult learners in the community college experience, several classroom expectations exist. These foster respect and professionalism.

  1. Please arrive for class before start time. The doors will be closed at the start of class. Interruptions are not helpful to the learning environment, therefore if you arrive after the start time and the door is closed, please wait outside the room and quietly enter only at the next break.
  2. Cell phone use in the classroom is prohibited. Please keep all cell phones/pagers on “silent” mode.
  3. Food/drink in the classroom is prohibited by ACC policy. Please do not bring open containers of food/drink into the classroom.
  4. Please be respectful of your classmates by listening to/participating in the classroom topic and not chattering or whispering during the class time.
  5. Breaks will be given routinely by the lecturer of the day.


C.    Withdrawal, Incompletes, Academic Freedom and Student Discipline – see VNG Student Handbook


Adding or dropping a course (schedule changes): Students may add or drop a course before open registration ends or during the session’s official schedule change (add/drops) period. See the course schedule for information on add/drops procedures, deadlines, and tuition refunds.


Withdrawing from a course: Students may withdraw from one or more courses prior to the withdrawal deadline by submitting a request form to Admissions and Records. Withdrawal deadlines are published in the academic calendar. Withdrawal courses appear on the student’s record with a grade of W. Until a student is officially withdrawn, the student remains on the class roll and may receive a grade of F for the course.


Students are responsible for understanding the impact withdrawing from a course may have on their financial aid, veterans’ benefits, international student status, and academic standing. Students are urged to consult with their instructor or an advisor before making schedule changes.


Per state law, students enrolling for the first time in fall 2007 or later at any Texas college or university may not withdraw (receive a W) from more than six courses during their undergraduate college career. Some exemptions for good cause could allow a student to withdraw from a course without having it count toward this limit. Students are encouraged to carefully select courses; contact an advisor or counselor for assistance.


D.    Scholastic Dishonesty: Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to, tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations, and homework. This also includes “coaching” a fellow classmate in the execution of a skill check-off. Any student found to have engaged in scholastic dishonesty will be subject to progressive disciplinary action.


E.     Office of Students with Disabilities: Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of each semester.



             Level I- Successful completion of HPRS 1206, HPRS 2300, and BIOL 2404

             Level II- Successful completion of VNSG 1160, 1115, 1304, 1400, and 1423.

             Level III- Successful completion of VNSG 1509, 1461, and 2331.

             Level IV- Successful completion of VNSG 1510 and 2462.




Specific behavioral objectives are listed in each module.




The student must satisfactorily meet all behavioral objectives and acquire a course grade of 77% according to the testing and grading criteria.




Upon completion of this course the student may contact ACC’s Continuing Education to make arrangements to complete requirements and take the test to become a Certified Nursing Aide through the Texas Department of Health.


  1. Kozier, Erb, Berman and Snyder(2008). Fundamentals of Nursing: Concepts, Processes, and Practice (8th ed). Prentice Hall.
  2. Perry & Potter (2010) Clinical Nursing Skills & Techniques, Mosby, (7th ed). Elsevier
  3. Smeltzer, S. & Bare, B. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (12th ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott
  4. Deglin, J. & Vallerand, A. (2010) Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses (12thed.) Philadelphia: F.A. Davis

Course Subjects

Course Modules:

  1. Vital Signs
  2. Handwashing & Isolation
  3. Safety in Healthcare Settings
  4. Physical Restraints
  5. Body Mechanics
  6. Moving  and Positioning Clients
  7. Range of Motion
  8. Basic Wound Care
  9. Assisting with Feeding Adult Clients
  10. Assisting with Elimination/Perineal Care
  11. Personal Hygiene
  12. Bedmaking
  13. Physical Assessment
  14. Bandages and Binders
  15. Intake and Output
  16. Medication Administration
  17. "   "
  18. Parenteral Medication Administration
  19. Maintaining Intravenous Therapy
  20. Applying Heat and Cold
  21. Admission, Transfer and Discharge

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

The student, upon completion of VNSG 1423 will be able to:

A.   Demonstrate competency in basic nursing skills by identifying the steps in the nursing process and how each relates to nursing care. Exploration of the role of the Vocational Nurse as the provider of care in a variety of healthcare settings.


C, S 7.3         1.       Provide a safe environment for clients, staff, and visitors within the healthcare setting by constantly being vigilant for unsafe conditions that may be a threat to the safety of others.


C; S 7.2, 7.3   2.       Applying the concepts of mental health in the use of restraints on clients.


C; S 7.2, 7.6   3.       Apply the principles of proper body mechanics so as to conserve energy and decrease the potential for strain, injury, and fatigue for the nurse and to promote the safety of the clients.


C, S 7.2         4.       Demonstrate proper positioning, repositioning of clients in bed and placement of clients in special positions required for examination and therapy; all using proper body mechanics.


C, S 7.2         5.       Apply the concept of range of motion exercises using proper sequencing and joint positioning to maximize joint mobility.


C, S 7.2         6.       Apply the diagnosis, client capabilities, and limitations; demonstrating safe transfer from various devices and settings and ambulations using appropriate safety devices.


C, S 2.3         7.       Assessment of nutritional status in providing feeding to clients who are unable to feed themselves independently.


C, S 7.2         8.       Demonstrate proper assistance of clients in the use of bedpans or urinals according to client’s needs in a manner that is not only hygienic, but maintains client dignity.


C                 9.       Demonstrate application of commonly used bandages and binders correctly.


C                 10.     Demonstrate proper preparation of beds for hospitalized clients.


C; S 3.1, 3.2   11.     Demonstrate correct measurement and recording of client’s temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure accurately and safely.


C, S 7.3         12.     Utilization of critical thinking in examining vital signs which deviate from the normal parameters.


C, S 3.2         13.     Compile data to accurately calculate a client’s intake and output of fluids.


C, S 7.2         14.     Demonstrate the administration of enemas and vaginal irrigations safely and effectively.


C, S 7.2         15.     Demonstrate competency in the appropriate and safe application of heat and cold therapy.


C, S 7.2         16.     Demonstrate use of the nursing process and critical thinking in the administration of oral medications to clients safely.


C, S 7.2         17.     Demonstrate the use of the nursing process and critical thinking in the administration of medications by alternate routes: topical, otic, nasal, dermatological, vaginal, and rectal.


C, S 7.2         18.     Demonstrate the use of the nursing process and critical thinking in the administration of medications by parenteral routes: subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intradermal.


C, S             19.     Demonstrate, verbalize, and utilize knowledge of beginning pharmacology as it applies to medications commonly used in the healthcare setting. Apply dosage calculation concepts in the administration of medications and delivery of care.


C, S 3.1, 3.2   20.     Perform a beginning-level assessment of individual client, systematically collecting data and being able to recognize deviations from normal parameters.


C, S 3.2         21.     Demonstrate maintenance of intravenous infusions correctly with comfort and safety for clients.


C, S 7.6         22.    Application of the processes of admission, transfer, and discharge of the client; utilizing the nursing process.


C, S 3.1         23.    Demonstration of the appropriate hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of microorganisms.


C, S 3.1, 3.2    24.    Apply principles of isolation (airborne, contact, and droplet) and standard precautions to prevent the spread of infection of potentially infectious microorganisms to clients, visitors, and healthcare personnel.


                       25.    Apply principles of aseptic technique in the performance of basic wound care.


C, S 2.1   B.   Identification of the role of the Vocational Nurse in the implementation of client care.


C, S 7.2   C.   Identify the steps in the nursing process and how each relates to nursing care.


C           D.   Demonstrate caring behaviors in the delivery of care to clients.


  1. Discuss the delivery of basic nursing skills in a variety of healthcare settings.


  1. Emphasize professional values in the provision of nursing care.


C, S 2.6   G.   Provide safe culturally sensitive care to clients of diverse backgrounds.