skip to main content

Celebrating 75 Years of Innovation in Nursing Education and Research

Learn More | Watch Video

Back to Top


Course Credit

Half Course


January - April

Course Coordinator

J. Ploeg
Ext. 22294,


Patricia Strachan


All MSc (except PHCNP) students admitted to the Nursing Program are required to take this core course, and those PhD students who have not taken an equivalent course in their Master's Program. International students must have successfully passed the Canadian RN Examination (CRNE) or obtained Special Assigment classification from the College of Nurses (CNO) and be familiar with this requirement.

NUR 701: Theoretical Basis of Nursing


Course Purpose

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a theoretical foundation for advancing nursing practice in a variety of practice settings.  Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze and evaluate mid-range theories while participating in an advanced practicum experience (8 hours per week for 12 weeks). There will also be a weekly class-based seminar focused on application and evaluation of mid range theory relevant to nursing practice. All course and thesis-based MSc students admitted to the Graduate Program in Nursing and PhD students who have not taken an equivalent course in their Master’s program are required to take this core course.  The course is composed of two components: a practicum and class-based seminar component.

Practice Component

Students will have practicum experiences with nurse preceptors in advanced roles so they can: (a) identify, apply and evaluate mid range theories relevant to those practice settings; and (b) develop knowledge and skills of advanced nursing roles under the supervision of a preceptor in a practice setting.

Students and their supervisors/advisors are encouraged to consult with the placement coordinator related to specific areas of clinical interest and potential practice settings. Each student's practice experience will be planned and designed with the accountable professionals in the setting(s) no later than December with discussion with placement coordinator. Placements may occur in a broad range of practice settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, public health, community health and support programs, and long term care settings. Students may work with a range of populations such as clients across the life span, communities, and health care professionals. The roles of students in these practice settings will vary and be negotiated with the preceptor.

The practice component which runs concurrent with the seminar will consist of a minimum of 8 hrs per week for 12 weeks in practice settings (96 hours). The actual hours spent per week may vary, depending on the availability of the preceptor.

Seminar Component

The seminar component of the course will require 3 hrs/week over 11 weeks.  The content of the seminar component will be drawn from current readings on application and analysis of mid range theory and from the student's experience in the practice setting. Students will incorporate relevant theories to the actual nursing issues in the practice setting.

Students will critically evaluate various mid range theories  selected to address  actual practice-based issues. The students will be expected to participate in tutorials, make presentations, apply a relevant mid range theory and evaluate its usefulness in addressing a specific nursing issue. Evaluation will be based on the seminar, annotated bibliography and scholarly paper.


Practicum Component: The practicum component will be assigned a pass/fail mark. The student, in consultation with the course tutor and preceptor will prepare a learning plan outlining in detail the objectives, and evidence that will be submitted for successful completion of the objectives of the practice component.

The student and preceptor will each prepare a written evaluation of the student's performance for mid term and, after consultation with each other, determine if the progress is satisfactory. If the progress of the student is deemed unsatisfactory, the student will receive in writing a detailed description of requirements in order to achieve a satisfactory evaluation. The final evaluation will be written jointly by the preceptor and the student. This will be submitted to the course coordinator. Categories of evaluation will be 'Pass', 'Incomplete' (due to illness etc.), and 'Fail' with no further opportunity to complete objectives.

Seminar Component: Students are expected to be  active participants in the  weekly class discussions. Students will complete an annotated bibliography focused on a selected mid range theory, worth 25% of their final grade. Each student will be responsible for one 40 minute seminar related to the application of a mid range theory in a clinical setting (worth  30% of the final grade). The seminar will be evaluated by the course tutor, with feedback from members of the classThe final scholarly paper (45%)  will be based on the application and evaluation of a mid range theory to address a  nursing issue in the clinical setting.

  1. Tutorial Performance: Pass/Fail
  2. Learning Plan: Pass/Fail
  3. Annotated Bibliography 25%
  4. Seminar Presentation: 30%
  5. Scholarly Paper 45%
  6. Nursing practicum: Pass/Fail

© 201​​7 McMaster University  |  1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton, Ontario ​L8S 4K1  |  905-525-​9140905-525-​9140   |  Contact Us | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy