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NURS FPX 6107 Assessment 1 Curriculum Overview, Framework, and Analysis

Student Name

Capella University

NURS-FPX 6107 Curriculum Design, Development, and Evaluation

Prof. Name


Curriculum Overview, Framework, and Analysis

This assessment is based on evaluating the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) curriculum offered by Duke University, which is accredited as high-ranked in BSN degree programs. This assessment will further delve into the mission and courses’ description and integrate professional standards into students’ learning outcomes. Furthermore, recommendations are made to update the healthcare knowledge within the curriculum, and an evaluation is performed based on theoretical frameworks and the organizing design of the curriculum. 

Organization and Curriculum Context, Learner Population, and the Need

Duke University School of Nursing is one of the leading schools in the United States, ranked the second-best nursing school in 2023. The university is well-known for educating the future transformational leaders in the nursing field. The programs in the nursing school cover international healthcare issues and foster evidence-based practices within the students. The curriculum identified for this assessment is Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). The learner population for the program is students with a bachelor’s level degree or higher.

A BSN is a full-time, accelerated, and campus-based program that helps students become leaders in nursing. The program’s focus is to prepare students related to health promotion and prevention, clinical leadership, and providing culturally appropriate, evidence-based care to the patients in clinical areas (Duke University School of Nursing, n.d.). The need for the accelerated BSN curriculum at Duke University is indispensable to address the issue of nursing shortages by preparing highly skilled nurses within a short span of 16 months. This program is intended for students who aspire to become change-makers within the healthcare industry, thus generating an efficient workforce for clinical areas (Duke University School of Nursing, n.d.). 

Mission Statement, Course Descriptions, and Content Critique

Mission Statement 

The mission statement of Duke University School of Nursing is the expansion of justice in healthcare and promoting health equity by preparing nurse leaders and innovators through their comprehensive nursing programs. The purpose is to improve health outcomes by providing excellent education related to nursing and clinical practices.

Course Descriptions

The major courses within the ABSN curriculum include; 

  • Health Assessment and Foundations for Nursing Practice Across the Lifespan: This course covers the fundamental knowledge and skills of performing health assessments and providing care to patients of all ages. 
  • Physiologic Homeostasis and Principles of Pharmacology: This course provides a comprehensive overview of nurses managing homeostatic changes. Further, it covers the pharmacological concepts to promote overall health. 
  • Professional Nursing: Evolution as an Evidence-Based Clinician: The course provides knowledge regarding nursing research and utilizing evidence-based practices in professional areas. 
  • Community and Public Health Nursing: This course imparts knowledge regarding health promotion, disease prevention, and providing healthcare accessibility to the population and communities. 
  • Professional Nursing: Evolution as an Effective Team Member: This course enables the students to become efficient nurse leaders by providing knowledge of leadership skills and effective management. 

Other courses are based on theoretical knowledge of health concepts in children, adolescents, and their families. Some courses in the final semesters include nursing management of adults, older adults, and their families and caring for patients with multiple and complex health problems. One major critique of these courses is that most of the content is theoretical and doesn’t cover practical aspects. While learning nursing skills, leadership, and management plays a crucial role in the progress of a nursing career, practice will help newly qualified registered nurses embark on their professional journey. Thus, clinical placements are essential for students to become competent before entering the professional world (Saifan et al., 2021). 

Professional Standards, Guidelines, and Competencies

Professional standards and the guidelines provided by academic bodies must be incorporated into the nursing curricula to make courses credible in the educational sector. Duke University’s ABSN program, one of the best-ranked program, claims credibility.

According to the standards established by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for baccalaureate education, nursing curricula must include a solid educational foundation to provide nurses with essential clinical and theoretical knowledge, knowledge and skills related to leadership, patient safety, and quality improvement must be incorporated in the courses’ content, evidence-based practices must be highlighted and integrated in professional nursing education, knowledge regarding health promotion for population and communities must be imparted, and nursing students must be prepared for generalized nursing practices and patient care for patients across the lifespan.

NURS FPX 6107 Assessment 1 Curriculum Overview, Framework, and Analysis

Similarly, the four significant competencies of entry-level professional nursing education comprise wellness and disease prevention, maintenance of chronic diseases, palliative care, and care for patients across all lifespans in all healthcare settings (AACN, 2008; AACN, 2021). Individual courses in the ABSN program from Duke University presented prior are designed according to these professional standards and competencies, as evidenced by the course descriptions.

Besides, the technical standards established by the Duke University School of Nursing are aligned with the AACN essentials of acquiring fundamental knowledge, developing communication and leadership skills, applying evidence-based practices into clinical areas, and incorporating professionalism while caring for patients. These standards prepare students to care for patients efficiently, considering their roles and responsibilities as registered nurses (Duke University School of Nursing, n.d.). 

Student Learning Outcomes and Integration of Professional Standards

The learning outcomes established by Duke University for ABSN program are as follows: 

  • The graduate will be able to contribute to nursing practice by using available evidence to create innovative and evidence-based solutions to clinical problems. This outcome is related to the professional standard of AACN, emphasizing scholarship and evidence-based practices (AACN, 2008). 
  • Graduate nurses can perform comprehensive clinical competencies, make critical judgments, promote health and disease prevention, advocate for patients’ health and wellness, and provide safe and quality healthcare to diverse communities and populations. This outcome aligns with the standards and nursing scope of practices established by the American Nursing Association, focusing on protection, prevention, and health optimization (ANA, n.d.). 
  • Nurses will provide care taking into account holistic aspects of human health, which include social determinants of health, cultural and economic factors, promoting healthy living, and addressing healthcare disparities. This outcome aligns with the AACN’s professional competency of providing patient-centered care to all individuals across all life spans in all settings and promoting the health wellness of the individual (AACN, 2021). 
  • Graduates will be able to apply leadership skills and competencies in their clinical areas based on the professional standards of AACN to provide high-quality care and foster accountability in healthcare settings. 

Summary of the Process to Update Healthcare Knowledge and Justification

Curriculum revisions are an integral part of academic institutions to remain aligned with the expanding pool of healthcare knowledge. Since the need for evidence-based practice is increasing, there is a greater need to update the ABSN program offered by Duke University. The process that can be used to update healthcare knowledge includes steps. Firstly, the curriculum revision begins by performing a comprehensive need analysis to identify the areas of improvement. This need analysis may involve reviewing current evidence-based knowledge, evolving healthcare policies and regulations, and considering feedback from faculty and students regarding the existing educational content (Oermann, 2019).

This step also includes curriculum mapping, where specific courses, modules, or learning objectives are determined, requiring modifications per the latest healthcare knowledge. Then, a team of experienced nursing educators, healthcare experts, and curriculum designers are engaged to update the existing curriculum, reflecting the newest healthcare research, policies and regulations, and best practices.

A pilot implementation should be carried out after faculty training through training sessions and resources. This pilot phase will become a foundation for further adjustments and improvements in the curriculum before final implementation. However, the process doesn’t end here and would require constant curriculum evaluation. Successful academic results and student and faculty feedback can be used as evaluative methods. This process’s iterative and comprehensive nature makes it a helpful resource in revising the curriculum; thus, continuous improvements within the university are essential to maintain academic excellence. 

Explanation of the Organizing Design and Theoretical Framework

Organizing Design

The courses within the ABSN program at Duke University follow the organizing design of modular systems. Modulization is dividing a single degree into smaller components covering various educational aspects, making the degree holistic (Dejene, 2019). The modular approach at Duke University is focused on specific subject areas, such as fundamentals of nursing across all lifespans, community and public health nursing, pediatrics and adolescent health, family health, gerontology, and caring for patients with complex health problems (Duke University School of Nursing, n.d.). This design provides structure to the curriculum and exposes students to each component of holistic nursing education. 

Theoretical Framework or Model

Several theories or nursing models could have been integrated into the ABSN program. However,  the assessment covers one of them. Tanner’s Clinical Judgment Model focuses on critical thinking and making judgments in clinical areas. This model includes four steps: noticing a situation, interpreting the scenario, responding with appropriate actions, and reflecting on the responses (Manik & Callaway, 2023). One of the core objectives of the ABSN program is to prepare students to make clinical judgments using critical thinking skills to create innovative and effective solutions for patients’ problems. 

Historical Overview of Organizing Design and Theoretical Model

The modular system has its roots in various educational philosophies like behaviorism and instructional design. This system gained popularity in the middle of the 20th century when educational institutions identified the need for flexible and efficient education, especially for higher education and professional training institutes. Since the model provides flexibility, it is adapted in ABSN programs to ensure students are able to learn in their personalized ways. Duke University’s mission of inclusivity of students from diverse backgrounds is one of the core advocating points to adapt a modular system allowing a more individualized and efficient approach to learning, enabling students of various backgrounds to learn and grow together without being discriminated against for individualized factors (Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). 

Tanner’s Clinical Judgment Model was developed in 2006 to support newly graduated nurses in their orientation period. The model includes four aspects; observing and gathering relevant information from the clinical areas (noticing), (interpreting) the data collected to understand the importance and areas of improvement, deciding on appropriate actions based on the interpretations (responding), and evaluating the outcomes of the responses (reflecting) (Manik & Callaway, 2023). Duke University utilizes these components of Tanner’s model to promote experiential learning, reflective practice, and the development of clinical judgment abilities within the students to ensure they are ready to experience the multifaceted and evolving nature of clinical settings. 

Significant Components of Organizing Design and the Model

Modular System Organizing Design:

The major concepts of this organizing design involve breaking down the curriculum into different modules based on specific nursing topics. ABSN curriculum list clearly presents that the degree program is divided into several aspects of nursing care. For example, while the semester one caters to fundamental nursing care education for people across all lifespans, semester two covers nursing care of children, adolescents, and child-bearing families.

Moreover, it also prepares students with the concepts of community and public health nursing. Similarly, semester three is about adults and gerontology nursing (Duke University School of Nursing, n.d.)Such an approach ensures that students are well-prepared and have mastered every aspect of nursing care before advancing their nursing careers. This design enhances learning outcomes, simplifies the delivery of the content, enables students to grasp the content efficiently, and aligns with the program’s goal of preparing students for nursing practice in a condensed timeframe.

Tanner’s Clinical Judgment Theoretical Model

Tanner’s Clinical Judgment Model focuses on critical concepts of noticing, interpreting, responding, and reflecting in nursing practice. In an ABSN curriculum, this model is essential to develop clinical judgment and critical thinking skills rapidly. Since ABSN students are future registered nurses, it is essential for educational institutions to install necessary clinical judgment abilities so that they are able to identify patients’ concerns and address them appropriately. One of the learning outcomes of Duke University’s ABSN course is to prepare graduates for making critical judgments and advocating for their patients’ well-being. This particular outcome is related to Tanner’s model where students are adequately prepared for this role. 


AACN. (2021). The essentials: Competencies for professional nursing education 

AACN. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education. 

ANA. (n.d.). Nursing scope of practice 

Dejene, W. (2019). The practice of modularized curriculum in higher education institution: Active learning and continuous assessment in focus. Cogent Education6(1), Research Article. 

Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). ABSN curriculum.

Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). Accelerated bachelor of science in nursing. 

NURS FPX 6107 Assessment 1 Curriculum Overview, Framework, and Analysis

Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). Duke School of Nursing’s ABSN program earns top spot in U.S. news & world report rankings while championing health equity. 

Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). Technical standards.  

Duke University School of Nursing. (n.d.). Diversity, equity, and inclusion | Office for Institutional Equity

Manik, M. J., & Callaway, P. (2023). The implementation of Tanner’s clinical judgment model and the Indonesian version of the Lasater clinical judgment rubric in the clinical setting. Applied Nursing Research73, 151725. 

Oermann, M. H. (2019). Curriculum revision: Making informed decisions. Nurse Educator44(1), 1. 

Saifan, A., Devadas, B., Daradkeh, F., Abdel-Fattah, H., Aljabery, M., & Michael, L. M. (2021). Solutions to bridge the theory-practice gap in nursing education in the UAE: A qualitative study. BMC Medical Education21(1), 490. 

NURS FPX 6107 Assessment 1 Curriculum Overview, Framework, and Analysis