• University of Exeter

A Guide for Nurses on Meeting the Fundamental Care Needs of Patients in Hospital with COVID-19 and other Conditions

Implement a clinical guideline to optimise patient care and enhance the wellbeing of you and your team.

484 enrolled on this course

Nurses in PPE caring for a patient in a hospital bed
  • Duration

    1 week
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Learn how to provide effective fundamental nursing care to patients

This course will support nurses and care workers to learn about the COVID-NURSE clinical guideline for patients admitted to hospital in a pandemic.

You will also learn how to apply the specific lessons drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic to other nursing care situations.

Learn from the experiences of nurses involved in caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

The combination of COVID-19 symptoms and high risk of virus transmission poses unique challenges for meeting the fundamental physical and emotional needs of patients’ and their significant others.

The COVID-NURSE clinical guideline is the result of information from over 1000 nurses about the challenges they have faced, and the practice-based innovations they have used, when caring for patients with COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Explore fundamental nursing care for patients

On this course, you’ll identify barriers to care for patients admitted to hospital and how to overcome them.

You’ll learn how to further enhance your compassionate nurse-patient relationship in both pandemic-specific and general clinical situations, and how to address the psychosocial needs of patients in hospital.

Build strategies to support the health and wellbeing of you and your colleagues

This course will also enable you to role model and lead practice-based innovations for patients admitted to hospital, both specifically with COVID-19, and for many other groups of patients.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll be better equipped to support yourself and your colleagues in delivering fundamental care.


  • Week 1

    A Guide for Nurses on Meeting the Fundamental Care Needs of Patients in Hospital with COVID-19 and other Conditions

    • Activity 1 - Fundamental Care

      Complete this activity to learn more about fundamentals of care both during a pandemic and in other care situations. See how the COVID-NURSE clinical guideline can help in many diverse care situations.

    • Activity 2 - Communication

      Learn how to overcome barriers to communication when nursing patients, either in pandemic situations or elsewhere by completing this activity and reading the ‘Communication’ section of the clinical guideline on pages 9-17.

    • Activity 3 - Organisation

      In a pandemic we need to reorganise the way we do things. Learn about strategies to overcome barriers to care by completing this activity and reading the ‘Organisation’ section on pages 18-22 of the clinical guide.

    • Activity 4 - Value

      Nursing patients in a pandemic can make it harder to understand patients’ values and express our nursing values. Complete this activity and read the ‘Value’ section on pages 23-26.

    • Activity 5 - Intervene

      Complete this activity and read the ‘Intervene’ section on pages 27-36 of the clinical guideline to learn about nursing interventions to meet the fundamental care needs of many patients, including those with COVID-19.

    • Activity 6 - Do Remember Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

      Complete this activity and read the ‘Do Remember’ section of the clinical guideline on pages 37-41 for advice on how to acknowledge distress and support patients emotionally as well as physically.

    • Activity 7 - Management and Leadership

      Complete this activity and read the ‘Management and Leadership’ section of the clinical guideline on pages 42-51 for some useful ideas – about organisation, education and staff wellbeing – that everyone can benefit from.

    • Activity 8 - Course Summary

      We really hope you have found this training helpful. The clinical guideline belongs to all of us as nurses. Most importantly, it belongs to you. Complete this activity to review key learning points and give feedback.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise the six sections that make up the COVID-NURSE clinical guideline
  • Describe the barriers to fundamental nursing care for patients admitted to hospital, including those with COVID-19
  • Explore strategies for prioritising and structuring fundamental nursing care for all patients and the nursing environment within which care is delivered
  • Apply clinical judgement about which aspects of the COVID-NURSE guideline you implement in your own clinical practice
  • Demonstrate leadership behaviours in COVID-specific and other situations
  • Contribute to a community of practice by sharing your own experiences, challenges and innovations when caring for patients’ fundamental care needs

Who is the course for?

This nursing training course is designed for professionally registered nurses and non-registered care staff who provide fundamental care to their patients.

Who will you learn with?

Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Services Research and inaugural Head of Nursing, University of Exeter

Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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