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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Doris M. Boutain
NURS 561
Seattle Campus

Selected Topics in Comparative Nursing Care Systems

In-depth examination of the literature pertinent to major theoretical issues in cross-cultural nursing and healthcare systems. Seminar with analysis and discussion of selected topics and readings. Implications for research and healthcare stressed.

Class description

This seminar course will introduce you to the concept of community health care systems. The course will begin by reviewing how health care is often defined as a service delivery system to individuals, families and populations within communities. We will then analyze the circumstances and conditions in which community members themselves become health providers. We will explore how community members care for each other and promote the health of the community at large. We will analyze sectors that contribute to community health, including healthcare, non-for-profit, business, government and faith-based organizations. Emphasis is placed on the leadership attributes needed by advanced community health nurses to work effectively in community health systems.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction


Discussion of case studies will the primary method used to teach the course. Course readings will be used to complete the following course objectives.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Use systems thinking as a framework for defining, assessing, critiquing and evaluating community health care systems.

2. Outline how hospital, public health, tribal, family and social-kinship systems of health care influence community health.

3. Explore how health disparities are created and addressed at the community, population, institutional and policy levels.

4. Describe factors that influence the effectiveness of community health systems, such as financing, governmental regulations, patterns of care underutilization and overutilization, and community economic development.

5. Evaluate factors that inspire community health care system change from the perspective of health care consumers, payors, clinicians and organizations.

6. Articulate the leadership attributes needed by advanced community health nurses to work effectively in community health systems.

Course Units Unit I: Analytic Frameworks for Assessing Community Health Systems

In unit I, you will be introduced to theories for understanding community health systems, disparities in healthcare delivery and health, and systems-based leadership.

Unit II: Components and Stakeholders in Community Health You will then critique components of community health care systems in unit II. You study how public health, private, nonprofit, community member, tribal, and business stakeholders contribute to community health.

Unit III: New Directions in Community and Public Health Systems

In unit III, you will be introduced to current innovations in community health care systems that involve public health, tribal collaborations, family and social-kin networks, organizations and businesses. You will study new directions in community and public health systems, and assess what is needed to address disparities in healthcare delivery.

Recommended preparation

Course Text

Smedley, B., Stith, A., and Nelson, A. (2002). Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Board on Health Sciences Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

The text can be accessed for free at Copies of the text are also available for purchase in the University of Washington Bookstore, South Campus Center.

Readings are on E-reserve for your use.

Class assignments and grading

Course Assignments

50% Community Health Systems Analysis Annotated Bibliography 30%, graded In-Class Presentation 20%, credit/no credit

25% Facilitator Theme Analysis 10% on a week of your selection, credit/no credit 15% in week 8, credit/no credit

25% Webboard Challenge (initial thoughts emails and webboard postings)

Grades will be a numerical letter grade

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Doris M. Boutain
Date: 09/23/2005