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Pharmacology: Introduction for Nurses

Course Code: NURS 2114
Faculty: Health Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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 knowledgein 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

Medications and the scope of nursing practice

Standards of safe practice: The “rights” of safe medication administration

Prevention of medication errors


Medication classifications

Gerontological considerations for medication administration in nursing practice

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

Medical dosage calculation

  • parenteral
  • oral
  • other

Alternative and complimentary therapies

  • natural medications
  • over-the-counter medications
  • safety

Client perspectives on medications

Methods of Instruction

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.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with 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. 

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.

course prerequisites

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.


NURS 2111 AND NURS 2112 AND NURS 2113 AND NURS 2116

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.

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