Pharmacology: Introduction for Nurses

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
NURS 2114
Pharmacology: Introduction for Nurses
Health Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 4 hours/week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

It is the intent of faculty to facilitate student learning, promote critical inquiry, reflection and analytical reasoning through a variety of learning processes such as lecture, group discussion, and client care studies.

Course Description
In this course, pharmacological principles and foundational concepts for safe medication administration are introduced. An overview of medication classifications and calculations for medication administration are emphasized. In addition, gerontological considerations in the administration of medication are addressed. Using client care scenarios, students are guided to apply pharmacology knowledge in nursing practice decisions.
Course Content

In this course, safe administration of medications and special considerations for administration of medications for older adults are the foci of discussion. Concepts and essential content that will be addressed relative to these topics are listed below. In addition, the core curriculum concepts are integrated in this course

Pharmacological principles and foundational concepts

  • Medication classifications
  • Medications to treat specific pathologies
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Medications and the scope of nursing practice
  • Nursing implications
  • Patient and family teaching


  • Standards of safe practice: The “rights” of safe medication administration
  • Prevention of medication errors

Specific population focus

  • Gerontological considerations for medication administration in nursing practice
  • Cultural considerations
  • Client perspectives on medications

Treatment of pain

  • Theories of pain perception and control
  • Analgesia
  • Narcotics
  • Anti-inflammatory (non-steroidal)

Medication administration

  • Nursing practice observations and assessments
  • Nursing practice decision-making
  • Mechanism of action
  • Indications
  • Cautions
  • Contraindications
  • Routes of administration
  • Drug interactions
  • Adverse/toxic effects

Medical dosage calculation

  • Oral
  • Other

Alternative and complimentary therapies

  • Natural medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Safety
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:


  • Differentiate the role of the nurse, pharmacist and prescriber as these relate to the use of medications by clients.
  • Apply pharmacological principles and foundational concepts for safe medication administration.
  • Apply knowledge about selected medication classifications as a framework for understanding the therapeutic effects of medications commonly used in nursing care with older adults.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of gerontological considerations in medication administration.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of pain pathways, perception and management.
  • Apply the principles of safe medication administration for safe nursing practice.
  • Calculate correct dosages for medications administration.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the differences among and the nursing implications related to over-the-counter medications, natural products, and prescribed medications.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy.  A course evaluation schedule and other course evaluation information are provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline which is available to students at the beginning of each semester.  This is a graded course. 

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline which is available to students at the beginning of each semester. 


Students in the BSN program are required to maintain a passing grade of 65% (C+) in all courses in order to progress in the program.

Which Prerequisite