Nursing 368

NURS 368: Nursing Pharmacology I

Prerequisite: Admission to the Nursing Program

Credit Hours: (2)

Emphasis is placed on medication administration mathematics and the relationship of drugs and their effects on humans.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The objectives and content of this Level 1 Course are derived from the School of Nursing’s philosophy and conceptual framework, and facilitate achievement of the School’s program objectives, as well as the essentials of Baccalaureate Education (AACN). The Essentials for Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice are conceptualized to include pharmacology nursing in this course. Additionally, the major topics and skills covered in this course represent areas covered on standardized achievement examinations and the NCLEX-RN Test Plan. Current research and advancement in theory and clinical practice also determine content.

Emphasis is placed on the following concepts/theories:

1. Medication administration mathematics

2. Nursing process and fundamentals of drug therapy

        a. Application of pharmacology in practice
        b. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
        c. Drug reactions
        d. Pharmacotherapeutics across the lifespan

3. Clinical aspects of pharmacology for common diseases

        a. Drug Regulation and Approval

        b. Drug Administration through the Lifespan

        c. Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics-Basic Understanding

        d. Substance abuse

        e. Mental functioning (Anxiety; Emotional and Mood Disorders; Psychoses)

        f. Cardiovascular system (Drugs for hypertension, heart failure, and cholesterol control; diuretics)

        g. Bacterial Anti-infective medications

        h. Respiratory system (asthma, rhinitis, colds, allergies)

        i. Pain control  

        j. Herbal remedies

        k. Fluid Balance, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base disorders

        l. Bioterrorism

        j. Endocrine (Diabetes only)

        k. Immunizations


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed but not limited to:

Lectures, discussion, multimedia, web-based activities, and case studies.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

·        Discuss mechanisms of action, therapeutic effects, side effects, and adverse reactions of selected drugs.

·        Examine standards of practice and professional nursing roles associated with the application of pharmacotherapeutic regimens.

·        Use health information technology to access current, accurate information about drug therapies.

·        Demonstrate critical thinking when discussing nursing implications related to the administration of selected drugs across the lifespan.

·        Use appropriate terminology when discussing principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

·        Demonstrate competency in calculating precise medication dosages.

·        Applies basic communication skills when discussing selected pharmacotherapeutic regimens.

·        Examine selected ethical and legal pharmacological issues.

·        Develop an awareness of how the beliefs, culture, and values of the patient impact the selection of therapeutic pharmacological interventions.

·        Recognize oneself as an independent learner when applying pharmacological principles within concurrent and subsequent clinical courses.


Assessment Measures

May include:

  • Exams; Quizzes
  • Paper
  • Project, Individual or Group
  • Care Plan
  • Oral Presentations
  • Class Participation

Students are expected to pass a medication mathematics assessment test in order to pass this class and progress in the nursing program. The passing grade and the number of attempts a student will be allowed will be determined by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Course faculty, and/or the Director of the School of Nursing.

The course grade is determined by an evaluation of the extent to which the student meets the stated course objectives. Students must have a minimum of 80% (“C”) in theory, measured through testing. Other work may be included in the final grade after the minimum 80% (“C”) has been attained through testing.


Other Course Information

Honor Code: The Radford University Honor Pledge provides the foundation for a university community in which freedom, trust and respect can prevail.  In accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to support and uphold the Honor Code without compromise or exception.

The Honor Pledge: I shall uphold the values and ideals of Radford University by engaging in responsible behavior and striving always to be accountable for my actions while holding myself and others to the highest moral and ethical standards of academic integrity and good citizenship as defined in the Standards of Student Conduct.

Students with Disabilities: If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO). The DRO is located in Room 32, Tyler Hall, telephone 540-831-6350. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DRO forms and meet with me no later than the second week of the semester.

Attendance: For Attendance policies and other course-related requirements, see School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook and Course Description.


Review and Approval

March, 2011    Kimberly Carter, Director