NURS 7077 Pharmacology Knowledge for Nursing Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401464

Coordinator Paula Sanchez Opens in new window

Description Safe medication administration is a fundamental requirement in nursing. It is vital that registered nurses have a solid understanding of pharmacology in order to maximise patient safety in the quality use of medications. This subject will introduce the principles and core concepts of pharmacology where students will combine cognitive, technical and research skills to develop the essential knowledge of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Students will be required to systematically develop an understanding of actions and reactions of commonly prescribed drugs using concepts of person-centred care across the lifespan. Principles of safe administration, prescribing, electronic medication management systems, patient education and engagement in medication management are the focus of this subject.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline General Nursing

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Co-requisite(s) NURS 7023 - Evidence-based Health Care


Students must be enrolled in program 4785 - Master of Nursing Practice (Preregistration).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply the principles and core concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to develop nursing practice.
  2. Analyse the factors that impact on selecting, monitoring, and individualising treatment by applying clinical reasoning skills.
  3. Explain the mechanisms of actions and reactions of commonly prescribed drugs to individual people across the lifespan.
  4. Apply knowledge of state and territory legislation and health service policies for medication prescription, storage, use and administration.
  5. Critically analyse issues and considerations during medication administration in complex care situations.
  6. Reflect on the National Safety and Quality in Health Service Standards related to Medication Safety applied to the administration of medication with demonstrated high-level personal autonomy and accountability.

Subject Content

1. Principles of pharmacology
a. Pharmacokinetics
b. Pharmacodynamics
c. Variability of drug action and reactions to people across lifespan
d. Individual differences

2. Commonly prescribed drugs
a. Anti-infective (antimicrobials, antivirals, antiparasitics, antifungals, and vaccines); Anti-allergic agents (anti-histamines and immunosuppressants)
b. Analgesics (opioids, non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
c. Drugs for gastrointestinal disorders (anti-emetics, laxatives, anti-diarrhoeal agents, vitamin supplements)
d. Drugs for cardiovascular disorders (anti-hypertensives, anti-angina drugs, lipid-lowering agents, anticoagulants, antiplatelets, thrombolytics, drugs for heart failure and antidysrhythmic agents)
e. Drugs for respiratory disorders (drugs for rhinitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
f. Drugs modifying endocrine system (birth control pills, anti-diabetic agents, drugs for thyroid disorders)
g. Anxiolytics, hypnotics and anticonvulsants

3. Nursing considerations for quality use and administration of medicines
a. Psycho-socio-cultural aspects of pharmacotherapeutics
b. Medication safety and reporting medication incidents including adverse drug reactions, medication errors and near misses.
c. Interprofessional and intraprofessional communication related to safe medication management and practices
d. Electronic medication management systems
e. Medication adherence including legislative and organisational requirements for storage, use and administration
f. Patient education and engagement in medication management
g. accesses and analyses the best available evidence, that includes research findings, for safe, quality practice
t. Antimicrobial Stewardship promoted by the World Health Organisation
u. Search and review current medication related evidence for translation into practice
v. Prescribing registered nurse initiated medications


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
Quiz 30 minutes each (x2) (15% each) 30 N Individual
Portfolio 1,500 words or equivalent 30 N Individual
Viva Voce 20 minutes 40 Y Individual
Participation All teaching weeks S/U Y Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Paula Sanchez Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Paula Sanchez Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window