Basic Pharmacotherapeutic Concepts Ethical and Legal Aspects of Prescribing

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Caiaimage

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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The College 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?

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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.

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

To go to the next week:

Week 2: Cardiovascular System

Alterations of the cardiovascular system can cause serious adverse events and may lead to death when not treated in a timely and safe manner. Unfortunately, many patients with cardiovascular disorders are unaware until complications appear. In clinical settings, patients often present with symptoms of several cardiovascular disorders, making it essential for you, as the advanced practice nurse, to be able to recognize these symptoms and recommend appropriate drug treatment options.

This week, you examine the impact of patient factors that may lead to changes in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes on patient drug therapy for cardiovascular disorders. You also explore ways to improve drug therapy plans for cardiovascular disorders based on patient factors and overall health needs.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the influence of patient factors on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes
  • Analyze the impact of changes in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes on patient drug therapies
  • Evaluate drug therapy plans for cardiovascular disorders

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

Assignment: Pharmacotherapy for Cardiovascular Disorders

…heart disease remains the No. 1 killer in America; nearly half of all Americans have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoke—some of the leading risk factors for heart disease…

—Murphy et al., 2018

Despite the high mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disorders, improved treatment options do exist that can help address those risk factors that afflict the majority of the population today.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

As an advanced practice nurse, it is your responsibility to recommend appropriate treatment options for patients with cardiovascular disorders. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy, advanced practice nurses must consider aspects that might influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes such as medical history, other drugs currently prescribed, and individual patient factors.

Reference: Murphy, S. L., Xu, J., Kochanek, K. D., & Arias, E. (2018). Mortality in the United States, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db328.htm

To Prepare
  • Review the Resources for this module and consider the impact of potential pharmacotherapeutics for cardiovascular disorders introduced in the media piece.
  • Review the case study assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment.
  • Select one the following factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, or behavior factors.
  • Reflect on how the factor you selected might influence the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.
  • Consider how changes in the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes might impact the patient’s recommended drug therapy.
  • Think about how you might improve the patient’s drug therapy plan based on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes. Reflect on whether you would modify the current drug treatment or provide an alternative treatment option for the patient.
By Day 7 of Week 2

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

  • Explain how the factor you selected might influence the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in the patient from the case study you were assigned.
  • Describe how changes in the processes might impact the patient’s recommended drug therapy. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Explain how you might improve the patient’s drug therapy plan and explain why you would make these recommended improvements.

Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The College 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 “WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 2 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 2 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 “WK2Assgn+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 2 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 2 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 2

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 2 Assignment

What’s Coming Up in Week 3?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

Next week, you will examine strategies for the treatment and management of respiratory disorders, including asthma. You will analyze asthma and stepwise management and consider the impact of this approach for patient health.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 3: Respiratory System

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are significant public health burdens. Currently, more than 25 million people in the United States have asthma (HealthyPeople.gov, 2019). As an advanced practice nurse, you will likely encounter patients who will present with respiratory disorders, including asthma or COPD. Understanding specific treatment protocols as well as the types of pharmacotherapeutics used to treat respiratory disorders is important to ensure the effective and safe delivery of advanced nursing practice.

This week, you will evaluate drug therapy plans for patients who present with asthma and analyze the stepwise approach to asthma treatment and management from a patient in your professional practice.

Reference: HealthyPeople.gov. (2019). Respiratory diseases. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/respiratory-diseases

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate drug therapy plans for asthma
  • Assess the impact of asthma treatments on patients
  • Analyze the stepwise approach to asthma treatment and management

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)Optional Resources (click to expand/reduce)


Assignment: Asthma and Stepwise Management

Asthma is a respiratory disorder that affects children and adults. Advanced practice nurses often provide treatment to patients with these disorders. Sometimes patients require immediate treatment, making it essential that you recognize and distinguish minor asthma symptoms from serious, life-threatening ones. Since symptoms and attacks are often induced by a trigger, advanced practice nurses must also help patients identify their triggers and recommend appropriate management options. Like many other disorders, there are various approaches to treating and managing care for asthmatic patients depending on individual patient factors.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

One method that supports the clinical decision making of drug therapy plans for asthmatic patients is the stepwise approach, which you explore in this Assignment.

To Prepare
  • Reflect on drugs used to treat asthmatic patients, including long-term control and quick relief treatment options for patients. Think about the impact these drugs might have on patients, including adults and children.
  • Consider how you might apply the stepwise approach to address the health needs of a patient in your practice.
  • Reflect on how stepwise management assists health care providers and patients in gaining and maintaining control of the disease.
By Day 7 of Week 3

Create a 5- to 6-slide PowerPoint presentation that can be used in a staff development meeting on presenting different approaches for implementing the stepwise approach for asthma treatment. Be sure to address the following:

  • Describe long-term control and quick relief treatment options for the asthma patient from your practice as well as the impact these drugs might have on your patient.
  • Explain the stepwise approach to asthma treatment and management for your patient.
  • Explain how stepwise management assists health care providers and patients in gaining and maintaining control of the disease. Be specific.

Submission and Grading Information

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

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 3 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 3 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 “WK3Assgn+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.
  • NOTE: SafeAssign does not accept files over 10MB in size. Please attempt to keep your files under 10MB.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 3 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 3 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 3

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 3 Assignment


What’s Coming Up in Module 3?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

In the next module, you will examine diagnoses for patients with potential GI and hepatobiliary disorders. You will also develop a drug therapy plan based on patient history and diagnosis.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

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.
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 College 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: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

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

To go to the next week:

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

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/

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.

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: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

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

To go to the next week:

Week 6: Neurologic and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Sabrina is a 26 year old female who has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She has scheduled an appointment for a follow up with her physician but has several questions about her diagnosis and is calling the Nurse Helpline for her hospital network. As she talks with the advanced practice nurse, she learns that her diagnosis also impacts her neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. Although multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder, both the neurologic and musculoskeletal systems will be affected by adverse symptoms that Sabrina needs to be aware of and for which specific drug therapy plans and other treatment options need to be decided on.

As an advanced practice nurse, what types of drugs will best address potential neurologic and musculoskeletal symptoms Sabrina might experience?

This week, you will evaluate patients for the treatment of neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders by focusing on specific patient case studies through a decision tree exercise. You will analyze the decisions you will make in the decision tree exercise and reflect on your experiences in proposing the recommended actions to address the health needs in the patient case study.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate patients for treatment of neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Analyze decisions made throughout the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Justify decisions made throughout the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders

Learning Resources

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


Assignment: Decision Tree for Neurological and Musculoskeletal Disorders

For your Assignment, your Instructor will assign you one of the decision tree interactive media pieces provided in the Resources. As you examine the patient case studies in this module’s Resources, consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting symptoms of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

To Prepare
  • Review the interactive media piece assigned by your Instructor.
  • Reflect on the patient’s symptoms and aspects of the disorder presented in the interactive media piece.
  • Consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting with the symptoms of the patient case study you were assigned.
  • You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the diagnosis and treatment for this patient. Reflect on potential co-morbid physical as well as patient factors that might impact the patient’s diagnosis and treatment.
By Day 7 of Week 8

Write a 1- to 2-page summary paper that addresses the following:

  • Briefly summarize the patient case study you were assigned, including each of the three decisions you took for the patient presented.
  • Based on the decisions you recommended for the patient case study, explain whether you believe the decisions provided were supported by the evidence-based literature. Be specific and provide examples. Be sure to support your response with evidence and references from outside resources.
  • What were you hoping to achieve with the decisions you recommended for the patient case study you were assigned? Support your response with evidence and references from outside resources.
  • Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with each of the decisions and the results of the decision in the exercise. Describe whether they were different. Be specific and provide examples.

You will submit this Assignment in Week 8.

Submission and Grading Information

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

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK8Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 8 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 8 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 “WK8Assgn+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 8 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 8 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 8

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 8 Assignment


What’s Coming Up in Week 7?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

Next week, you will continue working on your Assignment started in Week 6, and you will complete your Midterm Exam.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 7: Midterm Exam

This week, you will continue working on your Assignment started in Week 6, and you will complete your Midterm Exam.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify key terms, concepts, and principles related to prescribing drugs to treat patient disorders

Midterm Exam

The Exam covers the content you have explored throughout the first 6 weeks of this course.

This exam is a test of your knowledge in preparation for your certification exam. No outside resources—including books, notes, websites, or any other type of resource—are to be used to complete this quiz. You are not allowed to take screenshots or record the exam questions in any other format while taking the exam. You are expected to comply with Walden University’s Code of Conduct.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images

By Day 7 of Week 7

Complete the Midterm Exam. You have 120 minutes to complete the exam. You may only attempt this exam once.

Submission and Grading Information

Complete the Exam by Day 7 of Week 7

To Complete this Exam:

Week 7 Exam


What’s Coming Up in Module 6?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

In the next module, you will examine types of drugs prescribed to patients who present with psychological disorders.

In the next module, you will examine types of drugs prescribed to patients who present with psychological disorders.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 8: Pharmacology for Psychological Disorders

How does an advanced practice nurse determine the best treatment option or pharmacotherapeutic to recommend for patients with psychological disorders?

Much like assessing or recommending pharmacotherapeutics for other conditions or disorders, as an advanced practice nurse, you may encounter a patient who presents with a psychological disorder. Understanding the guiding principles related to treating patients with psychological disorders as well as the effects of pharmacotherapeutics on a patient’s overall health and well-being is critical for the safe and effective delivery of care.

This week, you examine types of drugs prescribed to patients with psychological disorders. You also examine potential impacts of pharmacotherapeutics used to treat psychological disorders on a patient’s pathophysiology.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate patients for treatment of psychological disorders
  • Analyze decisions made throughout the diagnosis and treatment of patients with psychological disorders
  • Analyze impacts of pharmacotherapeutics for psychological disorders on patient pathophysiology
  • Evaluate patients for treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Analyze decisions made throughout the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Justify decisions made throughout the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders

Learning Resources

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


Discussion: Decision Making When Treating Psychological Disorders

Psychological disorders, such as depression, bipolar, and anxiety disorders can present several complications for patients of all ages. These disorders affect patients physically and emotionally, potentially impacting judgment, school and/or job performance, and relationships with family and friends. Since these disorders have many drastic effects on patients’ lives, it is important for advanced practice nurses to effectively manage patient care. With patient factors and medical history in mind, it is the advanced practice nurse’s responsibility to ensure the safe and effective diagnosis, treatment, and education of patients with psychological disorders.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

For this Discussion, you will select an interactive media piece to practice decision making when treating patients with psychological disorders. You will recommend the most effective pharmacotherapeutic to treat the psychological disorder presented and examine potential impacts of pharmacotherapeutics on a patient’s pathophysiology.

To Prepare
  • Review this week’s interactive media pieces and select one to focus on for this Discussion.
  • Reflect on the decision steps in the interactive media pieces, and consider the potential impacts from the administration of the associated pharmacotherapeutics on the patient’s pathophysiology.
By Day 3 of Week 8

Post a brief explanation of the psychological disorder presented and the decision steps you applied in completing the interactive media piece for the psychological disorder you selected. Then, explain how the administration of the associated pharmacotherapeutics you recommended may impact the patient’s pathophysiology. How might these potential impacts inform how you would suggest treatment plans for this patient? Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 6 of Week 8

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected a different interactive media piece on a psychological disorder, and provide recommendations for alternative drug treatments to address the patient’s pathophysiology.

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 8 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 8 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 8

To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 8 Discussion


Assignment: Decision Tree for Neurological and Musculoskeletal

By Day 7 of Week 8

Submit your Assignment, started in Week 6.

Reminder: The Collegeof 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.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

Submission and Grading Information

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

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK8Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 8 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 8 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 “WK8Assgn+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 8 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 8 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 8

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 8 Assignment


What’s Coming Up in Module 7?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

In the next module, you will examine types of drugs prescribed to address women’s and men’s health, infections, and disorders of the hematologic system.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 9: Women’s and Men’s Health/Infections and Hematologic Systems, Part I

As an advanced practice nurse, you will likely encounter many disorders associated with women’s and men’s health, such as hormone deficiencies, cancers, and other functional and structural abnormalities. Disorders such as these not only result in physiological consequences but also psychological consequences, such as embarrassment, guilt, or profound disappointment for patients. For these reasons, the provider-patient relationship must be carefully managed. During evaluations, patients must feel comfortable answering questions so that you, as a key health-care provider, will be able to diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment options. Advanced practice nurses must be able to educate patients on these disorders and help relieve associated stigmas and concerns.

This week, you examine women’s and men’s health concerns as well as the types of drugs used to treat disorders that affect women’s and men’s health. You also explore how to treat aspects of these disorders on other health systems.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate patients for treatment of complex health issues
  • Evaluate patients for treatment of infections
  • Evaluate patients for treatment of hematologic disorders
  • Analyze patient education strategies for the management and treatment of complex comorbidities

Learning Resources

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


Discussion: Women’s and Men’s Health, Infectious Disease, and Hematologic Disorders

As an advanced practice nurse, you will likely experience patient encounters with complex comorbidities. For example, consider a female patient who is pregnant who also presents with hypertension, diabetes, and has a recent tuberculosis infection. How might the underlying pathophysiology of these conditions affect the pharmacotherapeutics you might recommend to help address your patient’s health needs? What education strategies might you recommend for ensuring positive patient health outcomes?

For this Discussion, you will be assigned a patient case study and will consider how to address the patient’s current drug therapy plans. You will then suggest recommendations on how to revise these drug therapy plans to ensure effective, safe, and quality patient care for positive patient health outcomes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

To Prepare
  • Review the Resources for this module and reflect on the different health needs and body systems presented.
  • Your Instructor will assign you a complex case study to focus on for this Discussion.
  • Consider how you will practice critical decision making for prescribing appropriate drugs and treatment to address the complex patient health needs in the patient case study you selected.
By Day 3 of Week 9

Post a brief description of your patient’s health needs from the patient case study you assigned. Be specific. Then, explain the type of treatment regimen you would recommend for treating your patient, including the choice or pharmacotherapeutics you would recommend and explain why. Be sure to justify your response. Explain a patient education strategy you might recommend for assisting your patient with the management of their health needs. Be specific and provide examples.

You will respond to your colleagues’ posts in Week 10.

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 9 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 9 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 10

To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 9 Discussion


What’s Coming Up in Week 10?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

Next week, you will continue working on your Discussion assigned in Week 9, as you examine the types of drugs used to treat infections and disorders of the hematologic system.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 10: Women’s and Men’s Health/Infections and Hematologic Systems, Part II

Bacterial and viral infections may spread through the direct contact of bodily fluids such as blood or through vectors, who help to spread infections via the blood. When you think of infections and the hematologic system, what comes to mind?

Infectious diseases, such as malaria, dengue, or other hemorrhagic fevers are some examples of infections that impact the hematologic system. However, disorders of the hematologic system, such as anemia or blood clotting factor disorders, can also have a deleterious effect on a patient’s health and well-being. As an advanced practice nurse, you will need to understand the different types of pharmacotherapeutics used to treat infections and disorders of the hematologic system as you work to enhance patient-centered approaches for safe, quality, and effective care.

This week, you will examine infections and hematologic disorders, as well as the types of drugs used to treat aspects of these disorders or health systems.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate patients for treatment of complex health issues
  • Evaluate patients for treatment of infections
  • Evaluate patients for treatment of hematologic disorders
  • Analyze patient education strategies for the management and treatment of complex comorbidities

Learning Resources

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


Discussion: Women’s and Men’s Health, Infectious Disease, and Hematologic Disorders

To Prepare
  • Review the resources for this module and reflect on the different health needs and body systems presented.
  • Review your peers case studies from Week 9.
  • Consider how you will practice critical decision making for prescribing appropriate drugs and treatment to address the complex patient health needs in the patient case study you selected.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

By Day 6 of Week 10

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses from Week 9 and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned a different patient case study, and provide recommendations for alternative drug treatments to address the patient’s pathophysiology. Be specific and provide examples.

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 9 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 9 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 10

To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 9 Discussion


What’s Coming Up in Module 8?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

In the next module, you will examine prescribing drugs and the off-label use of drugs to treat pediatric patients. You will also complete your Final Exam.

Looking Ahead: Final Exam

Please review the Resources and content in the previous modules in preparation for your Final Exam in Module 8.

Next Week

To go to the next week:

Week 11: Pediatrics

Children, like adults, deal with variety of health issues, but they also have issues that are more prevalent within their population. One issue that significantly impacts children is the prescription of drugs for off-label use. As an advanced practice nurse, how do you determine the appropriate use of off-label drugs in pediatrics? Are there certain drugs that should be avoided with pediatric patients?

This week, you examine the practice of prescribing off-label drugs to children. You also explore strategies for making off-label drug use safer for children from infancy to adolescence, as it is essential that you are prepared to make drug-related decisions for pediatric patients in clinical settings.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate the practice of prescribing off-label drugs to children
  • Analyze strategies to make the off-label use of drugs safer for children
  • Identify key terms, concepts, and principles related to prescribing drugs to treat patient disorders

Learning Resources

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


Assignment: Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics

The unapproved use of approved drugs, also called off-label use, with children is quite common. This is because pediatric dosage guidelines are typically unavailable, since very few drugs have been specifically researched and tested with children.

When treating children, prescribers often adjust dosages approved for adults to accommodate a child’s weight. However, children are not just “smaller” adults. Adults and children process and respond to drugs differently in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Children even respond differently during stages from infancy to adolescence. This poses potential safety concerns when prescribing drugs to pediatric patients. As an advanced practice nurse, you have to be aware of safety implications of the off-label use of drugs with this patient group.

To Prepare
  • Review the interactive media piece in this week’s Resources and reflect on the types of drugs used to treat pediatric patients with mood disorders.
  • Reflect on situations in which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use.
  • Think about strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Consider specific off-label drugs that you think require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.
By Day 5 of Week 11

Write a 1-page narrative in APA format that addresses the following:

  • Explain the circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Describe strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Include descriptions and names of off-label drugs that require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.

Reminder: The College 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 “WK11Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 11 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 11 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 “WK11Assgn+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 11 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Week 11 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 5 of Week 11

To participate in this Assignment:

Week 11 Assignment


Final Exam

This Exam covers the content you have explored throughout this course.

This exam is a test of your knowledge in preparation for your certification exam. No outside resources—including books, notes, websites, or any other type of resource—are to be used to complete this exam. You are not allowed to take screenshots or record the exam questions in any other format while taking the exam. You are expected to comply with Walden University’s Code of Conduct.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

By Day 7 of Week 11

Complete the Final Exam.

Submission and Grading Information

Complete the Exam by Day 7 of Week 11

To Complete this Exam:

Week 11 Exam


Module in Review

In this module, you evaluated the practice and circumstances of prescribing off-label drugs to children and analyzed the strategies used to make their use and dosage safer for children. After you have completed the Discussion and the Final Exam for this week, you have finished the course. Congratulations! Please complete the Course Evaluation form and submit by Day 7.

Congratulations! After you have finished all of the assignments for this week, you have completed the course. Please submit your Course Evaluation by Day 7.

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