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    This paper builds on prior learning to integrate conceptual frameworks in pharmaco and non-pharmacotherapeutic management. Students utilise physical and psychosocial assessment, differential diagnosis and clinical decision making for prescribing of medications, therapies, and appliances.

    This paper is the first of two practicums to prepare nurses to prescribe as an authorised prescriber in preparation to enter the Nurse Practitioner scope of practice. Students analyse concepts and frameworks to conceptualise the role and responsibilities of the authorised scope of practice. Under guidance of an authorised prescriber students develop experience in prescribing practice and case management in this practicum.

    About this paper

    Paper title Therapeutics: Knowledge and Integration
    Subject Nursing
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,984.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NURS 405 or NURS 416
    Study is concurrent with 150 hours of supervised clinical practice.

    Every applicant shall normally be required to satisfy the University's and Nursing Council of New Zealand's requirements such as:

    1. Be a New Zealand registered nurse, with a current New Zealand practising certificate and be in good standing with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
    2. Have completed three years equivalent full-time practice within the last five years (with at least one of those years in New Zealand) in an area of practice she/he will undertake supervised clinical practicums.
    3. Have approved access to area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills.
    4. Have completed an approved Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging a B or better.

    Teaching staff

    Staff from the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies.

    Paper Structure

    This prescribing praxis paper will provide the RN student with an advanced theoretical knowledge base to support their application of physical and psychosocial assessment, differential diagnosis and clinical decision making and prescribing of medications, therapies, and appliances; and includes a clinical practicum of 150hrs.

    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    Lectures, simulation laboratories and prescribing practice under the guidance of an authorised prescriber.

    View Timetable Information.


    Recommended: DiPiro J. et al. (2014). Pharmacotherapy: A pathophysiologic approach. (9th ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, 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:

    • 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 nurse practitioner practice.
    • Competently undertake the provision of care including health promotion and disease prevention drawing on relevant theory, practice knowledge, research and best practice guidelines.
    • Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication, collaboration and consultation with the client, their family, other health providers and the wider communities.
    • Apply knowledge of pharmacology including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and integrate this knowledge into prescribing practice.
    • Integrate into plan of care an understanding of prescribing variation, individualising medication doses, antibiotic resistance, adverse drug reactions and interactions.
    • Demonstrate advanced problem-solving and critical thinking to facilitate a client centred, comprehensive, culturally and ethically sound, theory-driven, evidence-based plan and follow-up and revision as needed for nurse practitioner practice.
    • Initiate the development of a formulary for future nurse practitioner practice.


    Semester 1

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