NURS 590 03: Directed Studies

NURS 590 - Directed Studies

2023 Spring Syllabus, Section 03, CRN 19985

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

Instructor Information

Mary Rivard, DNP, RN-BC

Clinical Assistant Professor, Nursing


Office: Virtual

2023 Spring Office Hours:
Request to meet can be submitted through email or Starfish. An invite for a virtual meeting will be sent.

About the Professor


Mary Jane Rivard, DNP, RN-BC, is a clinical assistant professor and Director of the Post-Master's DNP program in the College of Nursing and Professional Development at the University of North Dakota. She began teaching at UND in 2014 and found that teaching is a passion for her.

She began her nursing career graduating with a BSN in 1991. She had the privilege of working in multiple areas of nursing throughout her career. These areas included hospital, ambulatory, and home health. She held a variety of roles from bedside nursing to managerial roles. Her passion surrounds nursing informatics and how to harness expanding technology to improve the care for our patients. This passion led her to pursue her DNP degree with a focus on informatics through the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2013. In 2015, she received her certification in informatics through the ANCC.

When she is not teaching, she likes to spend time with her family and friends and to travel.

  • DeBlieck, C., LaFlamme, A., Rivard, M., & Monsen, K. (2013). Standardizing documentation for postoperative nausea and vomiting in the electronic health record. AORN Journal, 98(4), 370
Areas of Expertise
  • Informatics
  • Management
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Adult med/surg
Courses Taught
  • NURS 405: Informatics in Nursing
  • NURS 603: Evidence-Based Research II
  • NURS 604: Health Informatics
  • NURS 607: Systems Focused Practice II
  • NURS 609: DNP Project Teams
  • NURS 614: Culture of Safety and Ethics

Course Description

Designed to meet the needs of individual and/or small groups of graduate students. The course content will be based on student interests and needs in conjunction with the faculty member's area of specialization.

Technical Requirements/Assistance

You will use Microsoft Word to complete assignments (files created using Pages in Apple can be saved as a Word file before submitting). Other applications may be used as agreed to with the instructor (PowerPoint, Excel, etc.). Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. Visit the Office 365 Email webpage for information on your UND email and how to download/install a free version of Microsoft Office. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

Insert an explanation of how the course is organized for navigation in Blackboard. An example is shown below.

Example: The course content is organized by week for this semester. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and a variety of links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Discussions, blogs, wikis, surveys, quizzes, tests and assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials.

Example and optional addition: What Should Students Do First?

Prior to the start of the first week you should have reviewed the syllabus and taken the Syllabus Quiz.

Example and optional addition: How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Lessons” tab. Inside Lessons you will find all the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview of each week can be found in Blackboard under the Schedule tab.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Insert the course requirements/expectations. An example is posted below.

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

Insert responsibilities students can expect the instructor to meet. Example provided below.

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities by Wednesday of the following week.
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.



Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


If you have questions about the course or need to contact me directly, email me through UND email. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week.

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person), it is important to interact with your instructor and peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times, even if you disagree with their ideas.

Assessment Summary

Assignment                                               Final Grade

  1. Upload Course Approval Form                   Complete/Incomplete
  2. First Check-in Reflection                                                25 Points
  3. First Assignment Check-in                                             25 Points
  4. Second Check-in Reflection                                           25 Points
  5. Second Assignment Check-in                                        25 Points
  6. Final Check-in Reflection                                                25 Points
  7. Final Assignment Check-in                                            250 Points

                  Total: 375 Points

Final Grade Scale

> 92% A

83-91.99% B

74-82.99% C

66-73.99% D

< 65.99% F

As of March 26, 2021, UND Nursing Policy 403 requires there will be no rounding up of grades for any reason (for example, a grade of 91.89% would be a “B”).

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
1/16 Upload Course Approval Form
2/20 Assignments are due by 11:59 pm central time on Sunday First Check-in Reflection
First Assignment Check-in
3/27 Assignments are due by 11:59 pm central time on Sunday Second Check-in Reflection
Second Assignment Check-in
4/17 Assignments are due by 11:59 pm central time on Sunday Final Check-in Reflection
Final Assignment Check-in
4/24 No Class
No Class


This is a place to add things like resources, rubrics, etc.

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Course weeks run from Monday through Sunday. Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard. All assignments are due by 11:59 pm (Central Time) of the due date posted.

Late Work

If you find that you’re having trouble keeping up in this class, please let me know as soon as possible so I can do what I can to help. Due dates are important insofar as they help you spread out your workload and help us keep the behind-the-scenes aspects of the course as organized as possible. However, late work may be accepted for extenuating circumstances with a minimum of 24-hour notice, so please reach out if you know you will need more time or if you are having trouble keeping up. 


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. 


When participating in class (online or in person), it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

College/Department Policies

Writing Style

All written work for courses in the CNPD Department of Nursing must be submitted following the guidelines in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.


Class participation is an important part of the learning process. The participation of all class members enriches the learning of all participants; full participation is expected of all students. Full participation in the course requires completing all assigned readings, learning activities, and assignments. All exercises and assignments are due by the posted dates. Full participation in course discussions requires contributing ideas, experiences, questions, and opinions. Initial posts to Blackboard Discussions are due by Day 3 of the week. You are required to respond to initial posts by at least two peers and to reply to questions and comments posted to them by peers by Day 7.

Late Submissions

All discussion posts, assignments, and papers are expected by the posted due dates. Late discussion posts will not be accepted for credit. Late assignments and papers will receive a 5% per day deduction for a maximum of one week and then will not be accepted.

Drop/Withdrawal Timeline

Familiarize yourself with the drop/withdrawal timeline for this term of courses in the academic calendar.

Course Evaluation (SELFI)

Providing feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your courses is vital to our efforts to continuously improve the courses offered in the online program. The course evaluation will be conducted online using the SELFI system. Your constructive feedback will be carefully considered and will be the basis for efforts to improve the online learning experience for students who follow in your footsteps. Although your instructor is the primary recipient of your feedback, department and school administrators may also read a summary of class responses to evaluate faculty performance and to guide curriculum planning.

Your participation is anonymous. Results will not be shared with your instructor until after grades have been submitted. You will receive an email near the end of your course inviting you to complete the course evaluation. We expect all students to participate. You will be getting reminders to participate from your instructor and student support services. Your honest feedback, both positive and negative, is important because it will guide further improvements to the course.

Technical Requirements

Review the basic UND technical requirements before beginning your course. Ensure that you are able to meet all recommended requirements before you begin your course.

24/7 Help Desk

The 24/7 Help Desk provides assistance to resolve technical problems. This Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is defined in the UND Code of Student Life and Nursing Policy 257. This includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and collusion. In this course, there is a no tolerance policy; we uphold behaviors reflective of individual responsibility, mutual trust, professional values, and standards. Any student observing academic dishonesty is required to report the incident to the course instructor. Infractions may result in failure of the assignment, a maximum grade achievement of “C,” and/or failure of the course.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).