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NURS429 Therapeutics for Advanced Nursing

Consolidation of knowledge and skills for the Registered Nurse in physical and psychosocial assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics and diagnostic reasoning essential to safely prescribe and manage clients under supervision.

This paper gives students an opportunity to demonstrate, at an advanced level, knowledge and expertise in physical and psychosocial assessment, differential diagnosis, clinical decision making and prescribing under supervision. This knowledge and expertise contributes to the achievement of the competencies as determined by the Nursing Council of New Zealand for prescribing.

Paper title Therapeutics for Advanced Nursing
Paper code NURS429
Subject Nursing
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,903.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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NURS 405 and NURS 416
Limited to
MAdvNP, MHealSc, PGDipHealSc
  • Have registration as a nurse from a three-year programme or course, congruent with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003.
  • Hold a current Practising Certificate.
  • Be employed in a clinical area that supports the registered nurse to meet the Nursing Council New Zealand prescribing competencies for 150 hours concurrent with enrolment in this paper.

Prerequisites apply and potential candidates for this paper must seek departmental approval prior to applying.

Teaching staff

Convenor: Staff at the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies.

Paper Structure

The paper will provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate at an advanced-level knowledge and expertise in physical and psychosocial assessment, differential diagnosis and clinical decision making in order to achieve the competencies for advanced nursing practice. Undertaking this paper with concurrent workplace supervision provides advanced nursing practice development.

Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

Three study blocks - Two 3-day study blocks and one 2-day study block.

View Timetable information.


Recommended: DiPiro J. et al. (2016). Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach. (11th ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

On the successful completion of this paper the student will:

  1. Demonstrate integration of previously acquired knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, health assessment including diagnostics, differential diagnosis, pharmacology and new knowledge of therapeutics and other treatment options for the provision of care appropriate for designated nurse prescribing practice.
  2. Apply the underlying principles of pathophysiology and clinical management of long-term and common conditions, eg. cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions, respiratory disease, common infections, anxiety and depression in a collaborative working environment.
  3. Competently undertake the provision of care including health promotion and disease prevention drawing on relevant theory, practice knowledge, research and best practice guidelines within a collaborative working environment, seeking guidance appropriately.
  4. Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication, collaboration and consultation with the client, their family and other health providers including their prescribing mentor.
  5. Integrate knowledge of pharmacology including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and apply this knowledge to client variables (such as age and disease state)
  6. Critically analyse pharmacotherapeutic indications for common classes of drugs for long-term and common conditions.
  7. Integrate into plan of care an understanding of prescribing variation, individualising medication doses, antibiotic resistance, adverse drug reactions and interactions; acknowledging potential for bias in prescribing decisions and implementing appropriate strategies to limit these.

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This paper will be offered subject to numbers, so early enrolment is recommended


Clinical Case Study 35%
Viva 35%
Client based assignment on Moodle 30%
Clinical logs and competence assessment terms

Further information

Administrator Client Services
Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 364 3852

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system