Health Assessment and RN First Call


Who should take this course?

NURS 451-3, Health Assessment and RN First Call, is designed to provide necessary knowledge and skills for nurses requiring RN First Call Certification. It is an invaluable course for registered nurses working, or planning to work, in small rural hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centres, or as nurses in rural community settings.

Rural Nursing Certificate and BScN Completion Options

NURS 451-3 can be taken on its own for RN First Call certification, or it can be combined as one of seven courses to complete the Rural Nursing Certificate (total of 30 credits). The Rural Nursing Certificate, offered by the UNBC School of Nursing, provides nurses working in rural settings with knowledge and skills for greater competency in generalist practice. All courses are offered by distance with some requiring an on-site workshop and/or practicum component. Students wishing to complete the UNBC Post-Diploma BScN degree may do so by completing 15 credit hours of specified course work in addition to the Rural Nursing Certificate.

Course Description

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to extend their ability to conduct a thorough health assessment for diverse client populations throughout the lifespan. The competencies required for RN First Call, a certified practice category as defined by CRNBC, will be incorporated making students who successfully complete the course and examination eligible to apply to CRNBC for RN First Call Certification. Students conduct age appropriate comprehensive health histories and physical examinations, identify health concerns and risks, taking into account culture, ethnicity and health beliefs in order to make informed clinical judgments. The diagnosis and treatment of minor acute illnesses using Schedule 1 medications, as determined by the CRNBC approved Decision Support Tools, are addressed. An extended skills-building workshop is included. This course is restricted to registered nurses. 


Course Goal

Students will be able to competently perform thorough, holistic health assessments of diverse clients across the lifespan using a body systems approach, and to accurately diagnose and treat the specific common and predictable health conditions addressed within the scope of the CRNBC approved RN First Call Decision Support Tools.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Undertake a thorough health assessment through history taking and interview techniques that respect the person, developmental stage, culture and environment; 
  • Complete a comprehensive physical examination of the adult, child, elderly person;
  • Utilize clinical practice support tools;
  • Safely and appropriately utilize the CRNBC RN First Call Decision Support Tools;  
  • Apply clinical judgment using evidence-based clinical knowledge from multiple sources; 
  • Undertake client consultation and appropriate, timely referral to other health care professionals; and,
  • Document and communicate nursing assessments and clinical judgment for patient records, legal purposes, and for other health care providers.
Course Delivery
This is an on-line course delivered by distance over a thirteen-week period and includes a face-to-face practice workshop and examination.
For Registration
Information Contact:

Rural Nursing Program Advisor
250-960-6753