Gerontological Nursing with Practicum

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Jule Lindsay RN, BScN, MN

Course Director Name:  Jule Lindsay RN, BScN, MN  

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information: ext 3118  Course Director Contact Information: ext 3118

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Mon,Tues,Wed 0900am-1200Noon-,Fri  0900am-1000am

Course Support:   Cecilia George McSween ext. 3095, Kandis Roberts, 3769

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course provides students with a comprehensive examination and understanding of the aging process including the broad structural and societal issues regarding aging. The normal physical, psychosocial, and cultural aspects of the aging process will be explored. Students will explore methodological research and theoretical issues of aging; interdisciplinary perspectives on aging; social aspects, and health care needs of the elderly. The role of the nurse and implications for promoting health in the least restrictive environment will be explored. It will include discussions of geriatric syndromes, complexity of co-morbidities while managing health outcomes. Students will be given the opportunity to bring theory and practice together in a practicum within the community and other settings.

Course Objectives: 

  1. Identify physiological, psychosocial, and emotional changes which occur with the aging process. 
  2. Identify risk factors and variables associated with the incidence of health care problems among the elderly.
  3. Discuss cross-cultural theories, concepts and issues of aging including attitudes toward aging, old age, variations in health status, and health care seeking behaviors

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the most common gerontological theories useful in improving health care for the elderly.
  2. Describe the most common conditions affecting older adults.
  3. Explore positive approaches to the complex and challenging aspects of providing care for and with older people, both in hospitals and other institutional settings and in their own homes.
  4. Use appropriate theories of nursing practice to develop an adequate care plan.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

NPO-1 Integrates nursing and health care knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide safe, ethical and effective patient centered nursing care, representing the patients’ preferences, values, and needs within the context of their families, communities and the health care delivery system. (Nursing practice)

NP0-2. Demonstrate a level of professionalism that is congruent with the inherent values, ethics, and behaviors of the discipline of nursing. (Professional conduct) 

NP0-6. Utilizes appropriate communication and interpersonal skills to engage in, develop and disengage from therapeutic relationships with individuals and groups. (Communication)

NP0-7. Utilizes critical thinking skills and professional judgment to inform decision-making in the delivery of health care. (Clinical decision making and intervention)

NP0-8. Identifies one’s own professional development needs by engaging in reflective practice in the context of lifelong learning and to participate in processes to shape the health care delivery systems and advance the profession. (Professional reflection and visioning)

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:

Text: Essentials of Gerontological Nursing, Meredith Wallace, 2007 Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care, Mauk, Kristen L 2017

Supplementary Readings/Resources: See SAKAI

Course Grading Requirement:


Written Assignments 








Class Presentations      








Essay - Scholarly Paper




Engagement Tool        







Reflective Analysis  



Weekly Assessment Tool









Course Requirements:

Students will be required to:

  1. Be prepared for classes by doing the required reading necessary for class.
  2. Engage in classroom discussions in a respectful manner.
  3. Engage in active listening skills during class.

Course Schedule




In class



-Introduction to Gerontological Nursing

-Review of course outline   

-Discuss stereotypes about ageing  -Dementia care  


Case Study  



Discuss/Explore Biological Theories of Ageing


Define/Explore concepts of:    




-Free Radical Theory

-Telomere Theory  


 Case study  

Class presentation  

Each group will discuss the significance of the Theories to the care of the Elderly.  

-Mutation Theory vs Cross-Linkage Theory    

-Autoimmune Theory vs Genetic Theory  

-Nutrition Theory vs Cell Theory  

  -Stress Theory vs Replacement Theory  


Functional Changes in the Elderly  Population  







-Discuss Functional

Assessment -Discuss Geriatric Assessment -Explore Functional Changes:  

-Digestive system  

-Immune system  

-Endocrine system  

-Musculoskeletal System 

Concept map  




Theories of Ageing





-Activity Theory  

-Continuity Theory  

-Life –Course Theory  

-Maslow’s Hierarchy  

-Erikson’s Theory  

-Havighurst’s Theory  

Concept map


Palliative Care:

-End of life planning  


Grief  and Bereavement:  

-Kubler-Ross Model  

-Engle’s Grieving Process   

-Myths of Grief  

-Strategies to initiate discussions on death  

-Bill of Rights for the dying   



Class Presentation  Each group will present on one of the following topics:  

 -Palliative care for the dying patient. 

 -Euthanasia (Active)  

-Euthanasia (Passive)  

-Invasion of


Guidelines for presentation   

-Define terminology  

-Discuss Ethical/Legal issues  regarding topic  

-Discuss Nursing Implications/Considerations  

-Family/ Care giver Stressors



Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Issues that affect the elderly   



 Ethical Issues:  

-Decision making capacity/Competency


-Principles of Beneficence/Non Maleficence  -Informed consent - Legal Issues:  




Individual Scholarly Paper   

Discuss and analyze the impact of economic, political, social and demographic forces on the delivery of health care system in Grenada.  

Guidelines for Assignment  

  1. Introduction: Outline the purpose and focus of topic.   
  2. Background: Research and summarize  topic.  
  3. Discussion: discuss research findings. How does this affect the elderly? How does this impact the family? How does this affect the community?  IV.            Conclusion: Reworded statement about your topic.  

-APA Format  

-2000 words  

-Times New Roman  

-12 Font  

-Cover page/Reference



Physiological Changes in the Elderly  



-Discuss the effects of physiological changes on the elderly:  

-Musculoskeletal System   

-Renal Changes  


-Genitourinary system  

Case Study/Concept Map

Class Presentation:  

Each group will discuss the effects of aging on the following systems:  

  1. Cardiovascular System 
  2. Respiratory system  
  3. Integumentary system  
  4. Nervous system  

   Guidelines for Presentation

  1. Define disease condition.  
  2. Discuss signs and symptoms.
  3. Nursing considerations.  
  4. Community Resources   Health Promotion Strategies






 Health Promotion and Maintenance:  Physiological

Health Concerns

Benefits of a Healthy Life Style:  

-Regular exercise  

-Weight reduction

-Immunization for influenza  

-Smoking cessation  



 Class Presentation  

Each group will choose and present on a health promotion/maintenance topic in the Elderly Population; topic must be approved by teacher.  

Suggested topics but not limited to:  

  1. Heart disease  
  2. Cancer  
  3. Nutrition  
  4. Sensory Impairment  

Guidelines of Presentation  

  1. Define disease condition.
  2. Discuss signs and symptoms. 
  3. Prevention of disease condition 
  4. Nursing considerations.
  5. Nursing interventions.  
  6. List community Resources


Biological assessment of the Elderly  Population  




-Sleep disorders in the

Elderly (Insomnia)  

 -Activity and Safety  

- Fall Prevention  



-Case Study


Case Study  Concept-Map


Cognitive Changes in the Elderly  Population  





-Mental Health Assessment  

-Mini-Mental State Exam  


Class Presentation 

Each group will present on:  

1.Alzheimer's    disease  

2.Vascular dementia  

3.Parkinson's disease  

4.Lewy bodies disease   

Guidelines for


1.Define disease condition.  

2.Discuss signs and symptoms.   

3.Nursing considerations.  

4.Community Resources 

5.List Diagnostic Tests



Psychological Changes of the Elderly Population

-Elderly Abuse  

-Financial Abuse


-Teaching older adults     

Case Study/ Concept Map  


Class Presentation  Each group will present on one of the following topics:  

-Physical Abuse  

-Emotional Abuse  

-Sexual Abuse  





 Guidelines for Presentation   

-State definition of topic  

-Discuss risk factors for elderly abuse

 -State signs and symptoms of Elderly Abuse  

-Prevention strategies of Elderly Abuse  

-Reporting  Elderly Abuse 



Nutrition and Elimination in the Elderly Population

Discuss factors affecting  Nutritional/Elimination Status Assess Nutritional Status:  

-Screen for Malnutrition  

-Discuss Mini Nutritional Assessment

-Nutrition-Drug Interaction  

-Religion-Based Dietary Restrictions  


Group Assignment/Presentation Nutritional Assessment  

-Students will list meals provided to patients in the clinical settings during clinical hours. Discuss dietary intake, caloric values, fluid intake etc.

-Compare the constituents of the patient’s intake of food to the National Food Pyramid.  

-Explain the importance of maintaining a balanced diet in the Elderly Population   

-Consider factors that affect their Nutritional Status.    

-Provide health teaching to patients based on findings.  

-Students will write 2-3 pages of their findings and present to class.


Life Transition:   

Relationship with Family and Elderly   

 -Advanced directives  

-Durable power of attorney  

-Dimensions of endof-life care  


Class Presentation   

Each group will present on one of the following topics:  

-Hospice care  

-Assisted Suicide  

-Funeral planning 

-Care of the body after death  

Guidelines for Presentation:  

-Define terminology  -Discuss Ethical/Legal issues  regarding topic  -Discuss Nursing Implications/Considerations  

-Family/ Care giver Stressors


Course Wrap-Up

Course Review

Case Study  

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.