NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

Module 1: Foundational Concepts of Advanced Pharmacology

What’s Happening This Module?

This course is composed of eight (8) separate modules. Each module consists of an overarching topic in which each week within the module includes specific subtopics for learning. As you work through each module, you will have an opportunity to draw upon the knowledge you gain in various discussion and assignment components which will be due throughout each of the modules NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

Module 1: Basic Pharmacotherapeutic Concepts/Ethical and Legal Aspects of Prescribing is a one-week module. In Week 1 of the course, you will examine how patient factors may influence the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes of pharmacotherapeutics. You will also examine the ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs, as well as advanced practice nurse strategies in guiding prescription drug decision-making.

What do I have to do? When do I have to do it?
Review your Learning Resources Days 1-7 Week 1
Discussion: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Post by Day 3 of Week 1, and respond to your colleagues by Day 6 of Week 1.
Assignment: Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 1.

Go to the Week’s Content

Week 1: Basic Pharmacotherapeutic Concepts/Ethical and Legal Aspects of Prescribing

How do beta-blockers work? What exactly do antibiotics do to the bacteria they target? What effects does an anti-depressant have on blood flow?

Questions like these are related to the underlying pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes of pharmacotherapeutics. As an advanced practice nurse, understanding these fundamental pharmacotherapeutic concepts is important to ensure that the prescription drugs you recommend for your patients will be safe and effective to treat and/or manage their symptoms. Additionally, as the advanced practice nurse, it is your responsibility to ensure that when prescribing prescription drugs, you adhere to the ethical and legal principles set forth for prescribing drugs as an added layer of protection and safety for the patients you will treat NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

This week, you will analyze factors that may influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics processes of a patient and assess the details of a personalized plan of care that you develop based on influencing factors and patient history. You will also evaluate and analyze ethical and legal implications and practices related to prescribing drugs, including disclosure and nondisclosure, and analyze the process of writing prescriptions to avoid medication errors.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients
  • Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized plans of care
  • Evaluate ethical and legal implications related to prescribing drugs
  • Analyze ethical and legal practices of prescribing drugs
  • NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology
  • Analyze strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure
  • Justify advanced practice nurse strategies to guide prescription drug decision-making
  • Analyze the process of writing prescriptions to avoid medication errors

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

Discussion: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

As an advanced practice nurse assisting physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders, it is important to not only understand the impact of disorders on the body, but also the impact of drug treatments on the body. The relationships between drugs and the body can be described by pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

Pharmacokinetics describes what the body does to the drug through absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, whereas pharmacodynamics describes what the drug does to the body.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

When selecting drugs and determining dosages for patients, it is essential to consider individual patient factors that might impact the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes. These patient factors include genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, behavior (i.e., diet, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, illicit drug abuse), and/or pathophysiological changes due to disease.

For this Discussion, you reflect on a case from your past clinical experiences and consider how a patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes may alter his or her response to a drug NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

To Prepare
  • Review the Resources for this module and consider the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  • Reflect on your experiences, observations, and/or clinical practices from the last 5 years and think about how pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors altered his or her anticipated response to a drug.
  • Consider factors that might have influenced the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes, such as genetics (including pharmacogenetics), gender, ethnicity, age, behavior, and/or possible pathophysiological changes due to disease.
  • Think about a personalized plan of care based on these influencing factors and patient history in your case study.
By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a description of the patient case from your experiences, observations, and/or clinical practice from the last 5 years. Then, describe factors that might have influenced pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes of the patient you identified. Finally, explain details of the personalized plan of care that you would develop based on influencing factors and patient history in your case. Be specific and provide examples NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

By Day 6 of Week 1

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days by suggesting additional patient factors that might have interfered with the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes of the patients they described. In addition, suggest how the personalized plan of care might change if the age of the patient were different and/or if the patient had a comorbid condition, such as renal failure, heart failure, or liver failure.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link, and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit! NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 1 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 1 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 1

To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 1 Discussion


Assignment: Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs

What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient? How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?

These are some of the questions you might consider when selecting a treatment plan for a patient.

As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives every day. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the treatment plans and administration/prescribing of drugs is in accordance with the regulations of the state in which you practice. Understanding how these regulations may affect the prescribing of certain drugs in different states may have a significant impact on your patient’s treatment plan. In this NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology Assignment, you explore ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.

To Prepare
  • Review the Resources for this module and consider the legal and ethical implications of prescribing prescription drugs, disclosure, and nondisclosure.
  • Review the scenario assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment.
  • Search specific laws and standards for prescribing prescription drugs and for addressing medication errors for your state or region, and reflect on these as you review the scenario assigned by your Instructor.
  • Consider the ethical and legal implications of the scenario for all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.
  • Think about two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your ethically and legally responsible decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose any medication errors.
By Day 7 of Week 1

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
  • Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.
  • Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation.
  • Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.

Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The School of Nursing Writing Template with Instructions provided at the Walden Writing Center offers an example of those required elements (available at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates/general#s-lg-box-20293632). All papers submitted must use this formatting.

Submission and Grading Information

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

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK1Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 1 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 1 Assignment 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 “WK1Assgn+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 1 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

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

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 1

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 1 Assignment


What’s Coming Up in Module 2?

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the next module, you will examine the impact of changes in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes on patient drug therapy for cardiovascular disorders and the types of drugs prescribed to patients with respiratory disorders NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

Looking Ahead: Week 2 Assignment

In Week 2, your Instructor will assign you a case study related to Assignment 1 by Day 1 of the week. Please make sure to review the “Course Announcements” area of the course to verify your assigned case study. Please plan ahead to ensure you have time to review your case study and Learning Resources in order to complete your Assignment on time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Next Week

Module 2: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems

What’s Happening This Module?

Module 2: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systemsis a 2-week module, Weeks 2 and 3 of the course. In this module, you will examine how patient factors may influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes of pharmacotherapeutics used in the treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. You will also explore and suggest drug therapy plans for asthma and analyze the stepwise approach for asthma treatment and management.

What do I have to do? When do I have to do it?
Review your Learning Resources Days 1-7, Weeks 2 and 3
Assignment 1: Pharmacotherapy for Cardiovascular Disorders Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 2.
Assignment 2: Asthma and Stepwise Management. NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 3.

Go to the Week’s Content

Module 3: Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Systems

Symptoms of various gastrointestinal (GI) and hepatobiliary disorders often overlap, making diagnosis and treatment challenging. For example, symptoms such as vomiting, constipation, and bloating are non-specific and could also be the result of underlying medical history or current prescription drug use. As an advanced practice nurse, you could be potentially responsible for providing care to a patient who may present with non-specific symptoms related to the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary systems.

How would you proceed to care for this patient? What type of drug therapy might you recommend, not knowing current medical history or prescription drug use? Are there certain drugs you should avoid in ensuring a drug-drug interaction does not occur? These are the types of questions that may guide you in your role as an advanced practice nurse.

What’s Happening This Module?

Module 3: Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Systemsis a 1-week module, Week 4 of the course. In this module, you will examine diagnoses for patients with potential GI and hepatobiliary disorders. You also develop a drug therapy plan based on patient history and diagnosis.

What do I have to do? When do I have to do it?
Review your Learning Resources. NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology Days 1-7, Week 4
Assignment: Pharmacotherapy for Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disorders Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4.

Go to the Week’s Content

Week 4: Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disorders

As an advanced practice nurse, you will likely encounter patients who will present with symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Of special note, is the consideration that most symptoms concerning the GI tract are non-specific and therefore, diagnosing diagnoses of the GI tract require thoughtful and careful investigation. Similarly, hepatobiliary disorders may also mirror many of the signs and symptoms that patients present when suffering from GI disorders.

How might you tease out the specific signs and symptoms between these potential disorders and body systems? What drug therapy plans will best address these disorders for your patients?

This week, you examine GI and hepatobiliary disorders. You will review a patient case study and consider those factors in recommending and prescribing a drug therapy plan fo your patient.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate diagnoses for patients with gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders
  • Justify drug therapy plans based on patient history and diagnosis

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Assignment: Pharmacotherapy for Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disorders

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Gastrointestinal (GI) and hepatobiliary disorders affect the structure and function of the GI tract. Many of these disorders often have similar symptoms, such as abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, nausea, bloating, and fatigue. Since multiple disorders can be tied to the same symptoms, it is important for advanced practice nurses to carefully evaluate patients and prescribe a treatment that targets the cause rather than the symptom.

Once the underlying cause is identified, an appropriate drug therapy plan can be recommended based on medical history and individual patient factors. In this Assignment, you examine a case study of a patient who presents with symptoms of a possible GI/hepatobiliary disorder, and you design an appropriate drug therapy plan.

To Prepare
  • Review the case study assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment
  • Reflect on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and drugs currently prescribed.
  • Think about a possible diagnosis for the patient. Consider whether the patient has a disorder related to the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary system or whether the symptoms are the result of a disorder from another system or other factors, such as pregnancy, drugs, or a psychological disorder.
  • Consider an appropriate drug therapy plan based on the patient’s history, diagnosis, and drugs currently prescribed. NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology
By Day 7 of Week 4

Write a 1-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain your diagnosis for the patient, including your rationale for the diagnosis.
  • Describe an appropriate drug therapy plan based on the patient’s history, diagnosis, and drugs currently prescribed.
  • Justify why you would recommend this drug therapy plan for this patient. Be specific and provide examples.

Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center offers an example of those required elements (available at http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm). All papers submitted must use this formatting.

Submission and Grading Information

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

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK4Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment 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 “WK4Assgn+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 Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

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

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 4 Assignment


What’s Coming Up in Module 4?

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the next module, you will examine types of drugs prescribed to patients with endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, and you will consider the impact of patient factors on the effects of these drugs.

Next Week

Module 4: Endocrine System

The endocrine system plays an important role in the regulation and coordination of activities throughout the body. When alterations of these systems occur, many patients require long-term drug therapies. In addition to drugs prescribed by their health care providers, patients with these disorders also often take herbal and dietary supplements. This may impact the effects of prescribed drugs, as well as pose a concern of adverse drug reactions in patients. When treating patients with endocrine disorders, it is important to educate them on associated risks. As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you must carefully consider all drug, herbal, and dietary therapies prior to finalizing treatment plans.

What’s Happening This Module?

Module 4: Endocrine System is a 1-week module, Week 5 of the course. In this module, you examine types of drugs prescribed to patients with endocrine disorders, as well as consider the impact of patient factors on the effects of drugs. You also examine types of diabetes and the impact of diabetes drugs on patients.

What do I have to do? When do I have to do it?
Review your Learning Resources Days 1-7, Week 5
Discussion: Diabetes and Drug Treatments Post by Day 3 of Week 5, and respond to your colleagues by Day 6 of Week 5.

Go to the Week’s Content

Week 5: Endocrine System Disorders and the Treatment of Diabetes

The endocrine system includes eight major glands throughout the body which affect such things as growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, and mood (National Institutes of Health). Some of the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorders include hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Hashimoto’s disease. Not surprisingly, treating any one endocrine disorder may have effects on other body systems or their functions. As an advanced practice nurse, treating patients who may suffer from endocrine disorders requires an acute understanding of the structure and function of the endocrine system. Additionally, a solid understanding of patient factors and behaviors will assist in developing the best drug therapy plans possible to treat your patients. Some of most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorders include NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

This week, you differentiate the types of diabetes and examine the impact of diabetes drugs on patients. You also evaluate alternative drug treatments and patient education strategies for diabetes management.

Reference: National Institutes of Health. (n. d.). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. Endocrine diseases. Retrieved July 3, 2019 from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Differentiate types of diabetes
  • Evaluate the impact of diabetes drugs on patients
  • Evaluate alternative drug treatments and patient education strategies for diabetes management

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Discussion: Diabetes and Drug Treatments

Photo Credit: [Mark Hatfield]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

Each year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2019). If left untreated, diabetic patients are at risk for several alterations, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, neuropathy, and blindness. There are various methods for treating diabetes, many of which include some form of drug therapy. The type of diabetes as well as the patient’s behavior factors will impact treatment recommendations.

For this Discussion, you compare types of diabetes, including drug treatments for type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes.

Reference: American Diabetes Association. (2019). Statistics about diabetes. Retrieved from http://diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/ NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology

To Prepare
  • Review the Resources for this module and reflect on differences between types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes.
  • Select one type of diabetes to focus on for this Discussion.
  • Consider one type of drug used to treat the type of diabetes you selected, including proper preparation and administration of this drug. Then, reflect on dietary considerations related to treatment.
  • Think about the short-term and long-term impact of the diabetes you selected on patients, including effects of drug treatments.
By Day 3 of Week 5

Post a brief explanation of the differences between the types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes. Describe one type of drug used to treat the type of diabetes you selected, including proper preparation and administration of this drug. Be sure to include dietary considerations related to treatment. Then, explain the short-term and long-term impact of this type of diabetes on patients. including effects of drug treatments. Be specific and provide examples NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology.

By Day 6 of Week 5

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected a different type of diabetes than you did. Provide recommendations for alternative drug treatments and patient education strategies for treatment and management.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link, and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 5 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 5 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 5

To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 5 Discussion


What’s Coming Up in Module 5?

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the next module, you will examine diagnoses for patients with neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders, and you will complete your Midterm Exam.

Looking Ahead: Midterm Exam

Please review the Resources and content in the previous modules in preparation for your Midterm Exam in Module 5.

Next Week

Module 5: Neurologic and Musculoskeletal Systems

What’s Happening This Module?

Module 5: Neurologic and Musculoskeletal Systems is a 2-week module, Weeks 6 and 7 of the course. In this module, you will analyze drugs prescribed to treat neurological and musculoskeletal disorders and explore patient education strategies for treatment and management of these disorders. You will also evaluate the impact of patient factors on the effects of prescribed drugs and drug therapy plans for neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders. You will also complete your Midterm Exam.

What do I have to do? When do I have to do it?
Review your Learning Resources Days 1-7, Weeks 6 and 7
Assignment: Decision Tree for Neurologic and Musculoskeletal Disorders You are encouraged to begin your Assignment in Week 6 and continue working on it in Week 7. However, this Assignment is not due until Day 7 of Week 8 in Module 6. NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology
Midterm Exam Complete by Day 7 of Week 7.

Go to the Week’s Content

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