Curriculum Guideline

Psychiatric Nursing Pharmacology I

Effective Date:
Course Code
PNUR 1250
Psychiatric Nursing Pharmacology I
Nursing - Psychiatric
Health Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

It is the intent of faculty to foster learning and promote critical thinking and integration through a variety of means, including lecture, demonstration, group discussion, case study analysis, audio-visual aids and group or individual presentations.  

Course Description
Students are introduced to the theory and principles of pharmacology as they relate to psychiatric nursing practice. Students will develop a beginning knowledge base of medications and develop critical thinking in their holistic application of knowledge and pharmacological principles when caring for clients with acute and chronic health variances across the lifespan. Students will examine health promotion issues related to pharmacology in the context of primary prevention as intervention. Students will develop an understanding of the legal implications related to pharmacological management as they pertain to psychiatric nursing practice. Students will focus on understanding the classification of medications used in the management of acute and chronic health variances and will incorporate the nursing process to examine the relationship between medications and the variables of the person.
Course Content

An introduction to specific drugs that are used to manage chronic health variances.

  • Drug Classifications that will be covered are:
    • Diabetic agents
    • Psychotropics – (Depot meds)
    • Antipsychotics
    • Antidepressants
    • Antiparkinsonian
    • OTCs
    • Bronchodilators and Anti-inflammatory anti asthmatics
    • Cardiovascular-antihypertensives, diuretics and anticoagulants
    • Opiods and nonopiods analgesics
    • Skill of filtering salient points “need to knows”
    • Pharmacodynamics at beginning level

An introduction to the legalities of drug administration as it applies to the standards of practice for the psychiatric nurseProfessional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing. Content to include:

  • Narcotic and pharmacy Acts
    • Accountability & clinical judgement
    • Consent Re: Medications
  • Legalities ie. specific related acts
    • Narcotic Act
    • Pharmacy Act
  • Accountability
    • Clinical judgment responsibility
  • Link
    • Standards of Practice
  • Consent re Meds i.e., refusal
  • Voluntary/Involuntary Adm.  
Learning Outcomes

In this course students will be introduced to Pharmacology and will use the Psychiatric Nursing Curricular Threads (wellness-illness continuum, professional values, professional caring and health care delivery system) to begin to understand the integration of care to the person.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.
This is a graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.