PNM300 - Pharmacology for the Practical Nurse

Outline information
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Last revision date 2018-06-06 09:43:10.999
Last review date 2018-06-18 12:27:36.505

Subject Title
Pharmacology for the Practical Nurse

Subject Description
This course builds on knowledge from previous courses, such as math, skills lab, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to develop understanding of the therapeutic and adverse effects of drugs on the body.  The course examines pharmacological concepts and nursing practices required to safely care for clients in need of pharmacological treatments. General principles of pharmacology, drug actions at the physiological level, common drug classifications, pharmacotherapeutics, principles of medication preparation and administration related to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) competencies are studied. Topics studied will focus on the implications for, and application to, the role of the Registered Practical Nurse in medication administration.

Credit Status
Successful completion of this required subject provides one credit towards the Practical Nursing Diploma.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon completion of this subject, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe terms, concepts and basic processes associated with drug therapy.
  2. Describe characteristics of major drug groups and selected individual drugs in terms of mechanism of action, indications for use, contraindications to use, expected therapeutic effects, common and serious adverse effects, accurate administration and essential client teaching.
  3. Identify the client’s legal rights and responsibilities and the importance to obtain the client’s consent, maintaining client’s privacy and confidentiality, dignity and self-determination as part of client care and medication administration.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving using pharmacology knowledge related to the assessment of clients, implementation and evaluation of care for clients.  
  5. Examines the determinants of health, cultural and ethical aspects of drug therapy across the life span of clients.
  6. Demonstrate the utilization of the nursing process during medication administration and when providing client health teaching.
  7. Demonstrate clinical judgments that are consistent with client’s health needs and priorities for drug therapy, assessments for adverse reactions and interactions and the potential risk for client safety.
8.   Demonstrate accurate, clear and concise documentation of medication administration and                     the appropriate client assessment receiving drug pharmacological therapy.

CNO Entry to Practice Competencies (identified in subject outline and weekly course objectives)

 Demonstrates knowledge in critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
 Demonstrates knowledge in nursing, health and social science
 Promotes clients’ rights and responsibilities by: a) client consent prior to initializing nursing care.
 Promotes client’s rights and responsibilities by: b) Protecting clients’ rights by respecting confidentiality, privacy, dignity and self-determination as part of the plan of care.
 Demonstrates knowledge of the determinants of health.
Advocates for clients’ rights.
 Develops a plan to incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving skills into all aspects of care.
 Identifies potential health problems or issues and their consequences for clients.
 Maintains clear, concise, accurate and timely records of client’s care.
 Considers the determinants of health into all aspects of care.
 Identifies the effects on one’s values, beliefs, and personal experiences on the therapeutic nurse-client relationship.
Understands the ethical framework of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship.
 Demonstrates knowledge of the distinction between ethical responsibilities and legal rights and their relevance when providing nursing care.
 Demonstrates knowledge of informed consent as it applies in multiple contexts.
 Respects and preserves clients’ rights based on a code of ethics or ethical framework (for example, safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care; informed decision-making; dignity; privacy and confidentiality; and being accountable).

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

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Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.