NURS 7041 Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice Mental Health Nurses

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400858

Coordinator Greg Clark Opens in new window

Description This subject examines pharmacological principles including functional neuroanatomy review, pharmacokinetic principles, pharmacodynamic principles, and neuropharmacology. Students examine a number of psychotropic drugs: antipsychotic, mood stabilisers, complementary medicines, drugs of abuse/misuse, antidepressant, anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs in relation to targeted symptoms, titration, side-effects, and monitoring of clients from across the lifespan. Decision-making in psychopharmacology is explored. The importance of appropriate collaborative processes between the nurse practitioner, clients across the lifespan and their families in medication management is addressed.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Mental Health Nursing

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 4719 Master of Mental Health Nursing or 4745 Master of Nurse Practitioner (Mental Health). Students in 4745 must be working in in mental health services at an advanced practice level and must nominate a primary supervisor / mentor / assessor and a clinical support group.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are expected to have a working knowledge of mental health assessment and treatment procedures, including basic pharmacological principles and knowledge of drugs used for mental illnesses and disorders.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically discuss alt relevant treatment options for mental illnesses and disorders including but not limited to pharmacology, and the skills required for judicious use of treatments.
  2. Evaluate and apply the knowledge and skills required for judicious ordering of pharmacological treatments, taking into account the possibility of co-morbidities, dual diagnoses and associated drug interactions as well as differential diagnoses.
  3. Critically analyse the ethical, legal, collaborative and prioritisation dimensions of decision-making processes in relation to the monitoring, titration and prescribing of medication for clients across the lifespan.
  4. Critically evaluate the appropriateness of collaborative processes between the nurse practitioner, clients across the lifespan, their family, and significant others in the context of medication management.
  5. Critically discuss pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles and their impact on the prescribing of medication.

Subject Content

- Pharmacology across The lifespan
- Pharmacological principles including Functional neuroanatomy, Pharmacokinetic principles, Pharmacodynamic principles, and neuropharmacology.
- Psychotropic drugs: antipsychotic, antidepressant, mood stabilisers, complementary medicines, drugs of Abuse, anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs in relation to targeted Symptoms, titration, side-effects, poly pharmacy interactions, drug related emergencies, and monitoring.
- decision-making in psychopharmacology.
- medication, collaboration with Consumers and families, and medication management.
- quality use of medications.
- Critical analysis of The application of Pharmacological principles within A Nursing framework.
- ANMC competencies for The Nurse practitioner


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 2,500 words 50 N Individual
Essay 2500 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • There is no essential textbook.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)



Subject Contact Greg Clark Opens in new window

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