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HA 521 Special Topics Independent Study in Healthcare Services
Dennis, Kay S.

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


HA 521 Special Topics:  Nursing Dimensions of Healthcare Leadership


F1P 2006 DLA


Dennis, Kay S.


Adjunct Faculty



Office Hours

Anytime, via

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 23-October 15, 2006

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Required: Collaborate for Success! Breakthrough Strategies for Engaging Physicians, Nurses, and  Hospital Executives. Kenneth H. Cohn. ACHE Management Series. 2007. ISBN 13:978-1-56793-252-1.

Additional required readings will be made available online or through commonly available public sources including the Park University Library. 

Recommended: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 5th ed. American Psychological Association. 2001. ISBN 1-55798-791-2 pbk; 1-55798-810-2 spiral-bound.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

Nursing care is a major force in healthcare delivery and leadership. The course will focus on how nursing systems are organized and the leadership roles that nurses play in healthcare delivery systems. Current and evolving leadership roles of the nursing profession will be explored within the context of healthcare systems.

Educational Philosophy:

As an educator I am a guide and facilitator of mastery learning. I use teaching strategies and techniques that integrate the life experiences and interests of my students. I strive to support learning by (1) creating an organized, positive, and interactive learning climate, (2) focusing attention, (3) clarifying performance expectations through applying Bloom's Taxonomy, rubrics, examples, dialogue, and timely feedback, (4) inducing transfer of knowledge, (5) encouraging reflection, and (6) assessing achievement. In return, students are expected to participate actively in a timely, courteous manner, offer their best effort, and shoulder the responsibility for their own learning.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. 1. Describe the various educational pathways for pursuing a nursing career and a healthcare leadership career from a nursing perspective.
  2. 2. Differentiate among scope of practice, credentials, and levels of nursing staff, from unlicensed personnel through advanced practice nurse.
  3. 3. Identify the foremost U.S. nursing organizations and their importance to healthcare.
  4. 4. Discuss organizational climate and healthcare leadership in relation to professional nursing.
  5. 5. Analyze working conditions, risk management, nurse shortages and staffing issues and their effects on healthcare costs and delivery and patient outcomes.
  6. 6. Discuss legal issues, mandatory continuing education, collective bargaining, and compensation, with implications for healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  7. 7. Describe historical and contemporary nurse-physician relationship dynamics.
  8. 8. Explain the evolving collaborative leadership relationship that administrators will share with nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals in future healthcare delivery systems.
  9. 9. Compare and contrast healthcare systems in the United States and other developed nations with respect to nursing leadership and nursing roles.
  10. 10. Synthesize an innovative model of interdisciplinary healthcare leadership to address the needs of the mid-21st century.
Class Assessment:

The requirements of this course are designed to increase knowledge of the subject matter and oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills. For each graded component a rubric is provided. Class weeks run Monday-Sunday, thus all assignments are due Sundays by midnight. Grades will be posted within one week of submissions.

1.   Participation. (25%) Discussions in an online class are similar to those in the traditional class that meets weekly, yet our findings show that graduate level seminar courses are more successful when ideas have time to incubate. Reflection is key. Thus students are expected to participate at least 4 days each week. Plan for a first post no later than each Wednesday. Our discussions will center on assigned readings plus those shared by students. Respond to the posted topics, interact, and raise issues of related interest. Contributions should be substantive rather than statements of agreement. Be respectful of others' opinions. Use proper English spelling, grammar, and punctuation as opposed to Internet slang. A grade for participation will be posted at mid-term and at end of course.

2.   Search and Summarize. (25%) The field of healthcare leadership is changing daily. No single information source can provide all that one needs to stay abreast of important issues and trends. Yet collectively, students in a learning community can distill much from the wide array of public media. At scheduled intervals during the term, students are to locate a relevant, current publication. It may come from a scholarly journal, magazine, newspaper, or the Internet; a variety of resources should be explored. Each item is to be summarized and critiqued for its merits and relevance to the current week's objective(s). These summaries will be posted for sharing and discussion. Papers are due Sunday of weeks 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8.


3.   Interview. (25%) This activity is intended to strengthen students' interpersonal acumen and reporting skills during investigation of a topic of personal interest. Identify a local practicing healthcare leader. Conduct a 30-60 minute in-person interview covering instructor-approved topic(s). Record the interview if possible. If geographic location makes a telephone or email interview necessary, contact the instructor no later than week 2 of the course to discuss. Consult the rubric for details on this assignment. Papers are due Sunday of week 5.


4.   Position Paper. (25%) How can a healthcare leader evoke necessary change in our healthcare delivery systems? This assignment is intended to solidify one's grasp of a controversial issue and to improve skills of persuasion. Students write a formal paper according to APA 5th ed. guidelines. Describe an emerging trend or issue in healthcare leadership, and make recommendations for resolving it as harmoniously as possible. Consult the rubric for additional guidelines on this assignment. Papers are due Sunday of week 7.  


The scale is: A = 94–100; B = 86–93; C = 75–85; D = Below 75/Not passing.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Due to the brevity of the course term, a schedule must be kept. Late assignments will be accepted only with prior approval, at the discretion of the instructor, and with point deduction likely. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All students are expected to abide by the Park University Graduate Catalog and Student Handbook.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 27
Park University requires instructors to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system. An attendance report of “P” (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation.

1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

Technology requirements are listed at the eCollege log in area. Students are responsible for ensuring they have the requisite hardware, software, plug-ins, and ISP details, for successful learning.


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Last Updated:10/12/2006 8:59:26 AM