NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab AssignmentNURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment

NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment Brief

Course: NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Assignment Title: NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment

Assignment Instructions Overview

In this lab assignment, you will engage in differential diagnosis to determine the probable cause of a patient’s skin condition based on visual representations. You will utilize clinical terminologies to describe physical characteristics, formulate a differential diagnosis, and justify the most likely diagnosis using evidence-based practices and resources provided in the course.

Understanding Assignment Objectives

The primary objective of this assignment is to develop your proficiency in differential diagnosis skills specific to dermatological conditions. By analyzing visual representations of skin abnormalities and applying clinical reasoning, you will enhance your ability to identify and prioritize potential diagnoses.

The Student’s Role

As a student, your role involves:

  • Reviewing provided resources on skin conditions.
  • Analyzing visual depictions of skin abnormalities.
  • Using clinical terminologies to describe observed characteristics.
  • Formulating a differential diagnosis of potential conditions.
  • Justifying your diagnosis with evidence-based references.
  • Completing and submitting a SOAP note following the Comprehensive SOAP template provided.

Competencies Measured

This assignment measures the following competencies:

  • Ability to apply differential diagnosis principles.
  • Proficiency in using clinical terminologies.
  • Capacity to analyze and interpret visual data.
  • Skill in integrating evidence-based practices into clinical decision-making.
  • Capability to communicate findings effectively in a SOAP note format.

You Can Also Check Other Related Assessments for the NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning Course:

NURS 6512 Diversity and Health Assessments Discussion Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Building a Comprehensive Health History Discussion Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests in Adults and Children Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Assessing the Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat Case Study Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Assessing the Abdomen Lab Assignment Example

NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment Example

NURS 6512 – Lab Assignment: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions


Comprehensive SOAP NOTE

Patient Initials: N/A

Age: N/A

Gender: N/A

Student’s Name: [Your Name]

Institutional Affiliation: [Your Institution]


Chief Complaint (CC):

Patient presents with non-scaly annular papules distributed along the nape, described as having well-defined borders and appearing reddish in color.

History of Present Illness (HPI):

A Caucasian male of unknown age with no provided medical history is observed with annular papules on the neck. No specific medications or allergies noted. Comprehensive inquiry pending into sexual/reproductive, personal/social, and immunization histories. Family history pertinent to skin conditions not disclosed.

Review of Systems:

General: No report of symptoms such as fatigue, fever, sweating, or weight changes.

HEENT: No reported changes in vision, hearing, chewing, swallowing, or nasal functions.

Neck: Presence of red lesions noted on the back of the neck.

Breasts: No history of lesions, masses, or rashes reported.

Respiratory/CV/GI/GU/MS/Psych/Neuro/Integument/Heme/Lymph/Endocrine/Allergic-Immunologic: No reported complications in any of these systems.


Physical Exam:

General: Vital signs including blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and BMI within normal limits. No signs of fatigue or discomfort noted.

HEENT: Eyes, ears, and nose examined; no abnormalities detected.

Neck: Non-scaly annular papules observed at the nape, texture and warmth palpated.

Chest/Lungs/Heart/Peripheral Vascular/ABD/Genital/Rectal/Musculoskeletal/Neuro: No abnormalities noted in these systems.

Skin/Lymph Nodes: Non-scaly annular lesions observed at the back of the neck; assessment for lesions on other body regions recommended.




Recommended diagnostic procedures include dermoscopy, diascopy, and punch biopsy to further investigate the lesions and determine appropriate treatment.

Differential Diagnosis (DDx):

Tinea corporis: Red, circular, itchy rashes; common on arms and legs due to skin contact with infected persons or animals.

Pityriasis rosea: Oval rash starting on chest/back, spreading; affects young adults, often self-resolving.

Lupus: Autoimmune disorder affecting skin, joints, organs; presents with various symptoms including butterfly-shaped rashes and systemic involvement.

Guttate psoriasis: Small, red, itchy lesions; associated with streptococcal infections and genetic predisposition.

Primary Diagnosis:

Granuloma annulare: Circular, reddish lesions triggered by skin injury or specific medications; may resolve spontaneously over time or with treatment.


Diagnosing skin conditions is challenging, especially through image interpretation without direct patient interaction. Primary diagnosis of granuloma annulare was selected based on symptoms observed. Consideration of alternative diagnoses such as tinea corporis, pityriasis rosea, and lupus is warranted due to overlapping symptoms. Further physical exams and lab assessments are necessary for accurate diagnosis and management.


Colyar, M. R. (2015). Advanced practice nursing procedures. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2015). Advanced Health Assessment & Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Halder, R. M., & Nootheti, P. K. (2014). Ethnic skin disorders overview. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 48(6), S143-S148.

Detailed Assessment Instructions for the NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions Lab Assignment

Assignment 1: Lab Assignment: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.

In this Lab Assignment, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.

To Prepare

  • Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select one condition to closely examine for this Lab Assignment.
  • Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphic you selected. How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?
  • Explore different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in the graphics you selected.
  • Consider which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and why.
  • Search the Walden library for one evidence-based practice, peer-reviewed article based on the skin condition you chose for this Lab Assignment.
  • Review the Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar found in this week’s Learning Resources to guide you as you prepare your SOAP note.
  • Download the SOAP Template found in this week’s Learning Resources, and use this template to complete this Lab Assignment.

The Lab Assignment

  • Choose one skin condition graphic (identify by number in your Chief Complaint) to document your assignment in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format rather than the traditional narrative style. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.
  • Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in the graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for the skin graphic that you chose. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis and explain your reasoning using at least three different references, one reference from current evidence-based literature from your search and two different references from this week’s Learning Resources.

By Day 7 of Week 4

Submit your Lab Assignment.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK4Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment 1 Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment 1 link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK4Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 4 Assignment 1 Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 4 Assignment 1 draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4

To participate in this Assignment:

Comprehensive SOAP Template

This template is for a full history and physical. For this course include only areas that are related to the case.

Patient Initials: _______ Age: _______ Gender: _______

Note: The mnemonic below is included for your reference and should be removed before the submission of your final note.

L =location

O= onset

C= character

A= associated signs and symptoms

T= timing

E= exacerbating/relieving factors

S= severity

SUBJECTIVE DATA:Include what the patient tells you, but organize the information.

Chief Complaint (CC):In just a few words, explain why the patient came to the clinic.

History of Present Illness (HPI):This is the symptom analysis section of your note. Thorough documentation in this section is essential for patient care, coding, and billing analysis. Paint a picture of what is wrong with the patient. You need to start EVERY HPI with age, race, and gender (e.g., 34-year-old AA male). You must include the seven attributes of each principal symptom in paragraph form not a list.If the CC was “headache”, the LOCATES for the HPI might look like the following example: NURS 6512 Week 4 Assignment 1- Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

Location: head

Onset: 3 days ago

Character: pounding, pressure around the eyes and temples

Associated signs and symptoms: nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia

Timing: after being on the computer all day at work

Exacerbating/ relieving factors: light bothers eyes, Aleve makes it tolerable but not completely better

Severity: 7/10 pain scale

Medications:Include over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal supplements. List each one by name with dosage and frequency.

Allergies:Include specific reactions to medications, foods, insects, and environmental factors. Identify if it is an allergy or intolerance.

Past Medical History (PMH):Include illnesses (also childhood illnesses), hospitalizations.

Past Surgical History (PSH):Include dates, indications, and types of operations.

Sexual/Reproductive History: If applicable,include obstetric history, menstrual history, methods of contraception, sexual function, and risky sexual behaviors.

Personal/Social History:Include tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, patient’s interests, ADL’s and IADL’s if applicable, and exercise and eating habits. NURS 6512 Week 4 Assignment 1- Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

Immunization History:Includelast Tdap, Flu, pneumonia, etc.

Significant Family History: Include history of parents, grandparents, siblings, and children.

Lifestyle:Include cultural factors, economic factors, safety, and support systems and sexual preference.

Review of Systems:From head-to-toe, include each system that covers the Chief Complaint, History of Present Illness, and History (this includes the systems that address any previous diagnoses).Remember that the information you include in this section is based on what the patient tells you so ensure that you include all essentials in your case (refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text).

General:Include any recent weight changes, weakness, fatigue, or fever, but do not restate HPI data here.





Cardiovascular/Peripheral Vascular:










OBJECTIVE DATA:From head-to-toe, includewhat you see, hear, and feel when doing your physical exam. You only need to examine the systems that are pertinent to the CC, HPI, and History unless you are doing a total H&P- only in this course. Do not use “WNL” or “normal.” You must describe what you see.

Physical Exam:

Vital signs: Include vital signs, ht, wt, and BMI.

General:Include general state of health, posture, motor activity, and gait. This may also include dress, grooming, hygiene, odors of body or breath, facial expression, manner, level of consciousness, and affect and reactions to people and things. NURS 6512 Week 4 Assignment 1- Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions






Peripheral Vascular: Abdomen:





Include any labs, x-rays, or other diagnostics that are needed to develop the differential diagnoses.

ASSESSMENT:List your priority diagnosis (es). For each priority diagnosis, list at least three differential diagnoses, each of which must be supported with evidence and guidelines. For holistic care, you need to include previous diagnoses and indicate whether these are controlled or not controlled. These should also be included in your treatment plan.

PLAN:This section is not required for the assignments in this course (NURS 6512) but will be required for future courses.

REFLECTION: This section is not required for the assignments in this course (NURS 6512) but will be required for future courses.Reflect on your clinical experience, and consider the following questions: What did you learn from this experience? What would you do differently? Do you agree with your preceptor based on the evidence?

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