Fall 2021

NURS 7302-02 Theoretical Foundations for Leadership in Complex Adaptive Systems

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

Students are expected to follow all policies related to COVID-19 found on the university webpage: https://wp.uthscsa.edu/coronavirus/.

NOTE: Our campus has enabled the CANVAS MOBILE LEARN application. CANVAS tools such as discussions, quizzes or videos May or May NOT function on all mobile devices. This is because mobile devices are available with rapidly changing and different configurations. Hence, students must not depend on only a mobile device to access course materials. Students must have access to a laptop or desktop device to access course materials and complete assignments.

This course is Web Enhanced with WebCT icon
Please be sure to check the Current Computer Requirements

Welcome to Fall 2021 NURS 7302 Theoretical Foundations for Leadership in Complex Adaptive Systems. Complete the readings and learning resources found in Canvas under Module Week 1.

Be prepared to participate in class discussion.


Amanda S. Bridges, DNP, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC
Assistant Professor/ Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

School of Nursing

UT Health San Antonio

7703 Floyd Curl Drive

San Antonio, Texas  78229-3900

210.450.8026 | bridgesa1@uthscsa.edu

Raquel Alvarado DNP, RN, NE-BC
Assistant Professor/Clinical
School of Nursing
Office:  2.346
Cell number: (210) 454-9497
Office number (210) 450-3412
Email:  alvarador1@uthscsa.edu
Office hours: By appointment

Debbie Jennings, DNP, MSN, RN, CENP
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Clinical
School of Nursing
Office: Virtual
Cell: 210-286-7817
Email: jenningsd@uthscsa.edu
Office hours: By appointment


The course focuses on theoretical underpinnings for leadership, complexity science and complex adaptive systems. Individual leadership skill development for transforming healthcare and nursing practice through innovation, change management and quality improvement is highlighted. The course prepares nurses to assume leadership in complex healthcare systems through advanced communication, team building, conflict and board management, decision making and collaborative skills.


Credit Hour Allocation: 3 semester credit hours
Clock Hour Allocation: 3 clock hours class (45 hours class)


Graduate standing


Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program students will:

  1. Integrate nursing science, ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sources to provide the highest level of specialty nursing practices.
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate healthcare practices in healthcare systems that ensure quality improvement and patient safety.
  3. Use analytic methods and evidence based practices to improve practice outcomes and the practice environment.
  4. Implement and evaluate ethical healthcare information systems and patient care technology to improve the quality of patient health outcomes and care systems.
  5. Advocate for healthcare practices that advance social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.
  6. Employ interprofessional collaborative teams to improve patient and population health outcomes and healthcare delivery systems.
  7. Lead the integration and institutionalization of (evidence based) clinical prevention and population based health guidelines.
  8. Use clinical judgment, systems thinking, accountability, and specialized knowledge to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence based, culturally proficient care to improve patient, population, and health systems outcomes.


1.     Analyze personal characteristics and styles that facilitate and pose barriers to effective leadership, team building, conflict and board management, decision-making and collaboration.  (DNP Essentials I, II,VI, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 1, 2, 3, Health Delivery Systems 1, 2,3, 6, Ethics 1, 2, 3, Independent Practice 1, 2)


2.     Evaluate the science of leadership in multiple interprofessional contexts. (DNP Essentials I, II, IV, VI, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 1, 2, 3, 4, Health Delivery Systems 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Ethics 1, 2)


3.     Analyze consultative models of intra/interprofessional teams for healthcare systems through the lens of complexity leadership science. (DNP Essentials I, II, V,VI, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 3, 4, 5, 6 Health Delivery Systems1, 2, 3, 4, 6)


4.     Promote creative thinking and innovation as solutions for initiating and sustaining change processes to facilitate transformation of the health care delivery systems.(DNP Essentials I, II, V, VI, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 5, 6, 7,Health Delivery Systems 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Independent Practice 3a)


5.     Analyze leadership tools and decision making models for improvement and transforming healthcare. (DNP Essentials: I, II, V, VI, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 5, 6, 7, Health Delivery Systems 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Ethics 1, 2, 3, Independent Practice 3a)


6.      Create a leadership framework for evaluating, transforming and sustaining improvement that aligns across micro, meso and macro organizational levels for quality and safety. (DNP Essentials II, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 3, 4, 5, 7, Health Delivery Systems 1, 2, 3, 4)


7.     Using reflective practice, design a plan incorporating systems thinking for personal leadership development. (DNP Essentials I, II, VI, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Leadership 1,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Health Delivery Systems 1, 3, 7)




A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


Class Participation  35%
Written Reflective Journal 35%

Oral Presentations 30%


Attendance in class is an expectation of each student.


  1. If written assignments are made in a course they are required.
  2. Students are expected to submit written work on the scheduled date and time.
  3. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled due date and time if they are unable to submit the written work as scheduled. Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that written work.
  4. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternative due date and time.
  5. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the written work prior to submission.
  6. Late work will be accepted with consequences as outlined per course syllabi.


The APA Publication Manual 7th edition is required for use in all nursing school programs. 


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Students who are nurses or are preparing to enter the profession of nursing are expected to treat others with respect and compassion. “The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, to integrity-preserving compromise and to resolving conflict. This standard of conduct precludes any and all prejudicial actions, any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others” (American Nurses Association Code for Nurses, Interpretive Statement 1.5).

The students, faculty, Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and the Dean of the School of Nursing of the University Texas Health Science Center San Antonio subscribe to the highest standards of conduct. Our aim is professional behavior beyond reproach. Failure to abide by the signed code of professional conduct may lead to suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the UTHSCSA SON. In particular, we subscribe to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (http://bit.ly/1mtD5p2) and the following points of conduct.


School of Nursing Netiquette Guidelines for Online Interaction

Netiquette guidelines provide information for behaving properly online, when using email, tweets or texts so that you may successfully communicate your thoughts in a manner that is respectful and avoids misunderstandings with others.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Edition: 7th
Author: American Psychological Association

Boundary Spanning Leadership: Six Practices for Solving Problems, Driving Innovation, and Transforming Organizations
Edition: 1st 
Author: Chris Ernst, Donna Chrobot-Mason

Author Amy Cuddy
ISBN: 9780316256551

The Fifth Discipline.
Author Peter Senge
ISBN: 9780385517256


Batalden, P., & Foster, T. (2012).Sustainably improving health care. Creatively linking care outcomes, system performance, and professional development. London/New York: Radcliffe Publishing. ISBN 978184619 521 1

Bryson, J. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations:Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0-470-39251-5  
ISBN-10: 0470392517.
Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, et al., editors. Rockville (MD): 
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Aug. Minding the Gaps:Creating Resilience in Health Care https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43670/

Verganti, R. (2009). Design driven innovation. Changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what thins mean. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press  ISBN 978-1-4221-2482-6

Quinn, R.E. (2012). Deep change field guide. A personal course to discovering the leader within. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-1-118-22114-3


See Canvas Modules

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Welcome to Theoretical Foundations for Leadership in Complex Adaptive Systems. In this course you will not only learn the science behind leading organizations but also the gifts you bring to nursing leadership.

See full calendar for details on room and meeting times. If you have any questions, please contact me at bridgesa1@uthscsa.edu


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