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Six course units are required to complete this minor, two of which must be nursing courses, as outlined below. The only required course is NURS305. Sector courses in Society and Social Structures; Histories and Traditions; Arts and Letters; Reasoning, Systems, and Relationships; and Global and Cultural Studies can also be used to fulfill course unit requirements of the minor.

Many courses around the university can meet these criteria and students are urged to discuss their interest with Professor Connolly and their advisor. Choice of courses for the minor must be approved by the director of the minor and the student’s faculty advisor.

Curriculum (6 course units):

Narrative Matters in Health and Illness Experiences

This course draws on the memoirs of individuals and families, and privileges the concept of narrative – of story-telling – as a critically important yet consistently undervalued pedagogy for education, research, bioethics, policy generation, and healing. It challenges students to better understand the lived experiences of those they will serve, often at the most vulnerable moments of their lives. And it will help them understand the power of art, literature, and film and avoid the reductionist impulse in modern health care.

and at least one of the following (students must take two nursing courses):

Health and Social Policy

This is an introductory course examining social problems in the context of contemporary health care in the United States. Topics include the organization and financing of health care; education for the health professions; imbalances in the supply and demand for health providers–the doctor surplus and nurse shortage; changing patterns of disease; dilemmas in the use of new medical technologies; health services needs and dilemmas across the life span; AIDS–the new pandemic; transmedical problems–the homeless, the mentally ill. Recommended for students planning careers in nursing, medicine, and other health professions, and those interested in social policy. There are no required prerequisites.

Race, Gender, Class and the History of American Health Care

This multidisciplinary course surveys the history of American health care through the multiple perspectives of race, gender, and class, and grounds the discussions in contemporary health issues. It emphasizes the links between the past and present, using not only primary documents but materials from disciplines such as literature, art, sociology, and feminist studies that relate both closely and tangentially to the health professions and health care issues. Discussions will surround gender, class-based, ethnic, and racial ideas about the construction of disease, health and illness; the development of health care institutions; the interplay between religion and science; the experiences of patients and providers; and the response to disasters and epidemics.Skills for document analysis and critique are built into the course as is the contextual foundation for understanding the history of health care. This course satisfies both the Society & Social Structures and the Histories & Traditions sectors for the Nursing Class of 2012 and beyond.

Public Policy and the Nation’s Health

This course examines health care and social policy from domestic and international perspectives. It is designed to engage undergraduate students in critical thinking about health policy issues as they affect our health care, employment, taxes, and social investments. The current national debate on health care reform is used as a frame of reference for examining the strengths and weaknesses of health care services in the U.S. from the perspectives of patients/families, health professionals, health services providers, insurers, employers, and public policy makers, and the pros and cons of a range of prescriptions for system improvement from across the political spectrum. About a third of the course focuses more specifically on global public health challenges and the policy strategies for reducing health disparities worldwide.

Research/Inquiry-Based Service Residency

This course is designed to facilitate students’ intellectual curiosity and independence in exploring the research process relevant to an area of interest.  Students expand their research knowledge base provided in NURS 230 and NURS 547 through a structured individualized faculty mentored experience based on specific learning objectives.  Students identify a faculty advisor and, in collaboration with the advisor, define learning objectives to guide a plan of study.  All research or inquiry residencies are under the guidance of a faculty member in the School of Nursing, but students may also interact with affiliated investigators and clinicians who contribute to and enrich the course.  The residency offers students opportunities to experience at any level systematic methods for research, or service-based clinical inquiry or quality improvement. This mentored residency can be fulfilled by one of the following options:

  * Research-based practicum in basic science, clinical research, nursing history, healthcare policy, ethics, or informatics.
  * Inquiry-based Service practicum such as conducting quality improvement procedures or program evaluations in an affiliated healthcare institution.
Nursing and the Gendering of Health Care in the United States and Internationally, 1860-2000

This course examines changing ideas about the nature of health and illness; changing forms of health care delivery; changing experiences of women as providers and patients; changing role expectations and realities for nurses; changing midwifery practice; and changing segmentation of the health care labor market by gender, class and race. It takes a gender perspective on all topics considered in the course. A comparative approach is used as national and international literature is considered. This focus is presented as one way of understanding the complex interrelationships among gender, class, and race in health care systems of the United States and countries abroad.

Note: Nursing students enrolled in the minor will be encouraged (but not required) to enroll in NURS389 on a humanities-related topic with a faculty member associated with the minor.  NURS389 can also fulfill the requirement for a second course for nursing students. 

Sample plan of study:

NURS305 (Required for the minor, and also counts towards the Arts and Letters sector requirement)
NURS518 (This also counts towards the Histories and Traditions sector requirement)
NURS334/NURS134 (or other approved policy course*)
NURS389 (Research Residency in the Bates Center)
Sector Course One in Humanities-Related Area*
Sector Course Two in Humanities-Related Area*

*Students in the minor will meet with Professor Connolly for individualized tutorials on how to link this content to nursing, history, and the humanities.