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NURS501 Nursing Science 3

Integration of established science knowledge, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, informing clinical decisions. Study of cases emphasising integration of concepts, complexity and the holistic nature of care and interventions.

Students will develop an advanced understanding of pharmacology in relation to medication administration, co-morbidities, drug interactions, misuse of drugs and substances, and polypharmacy. Pharmacology for key health issues and disease processes is examined. Students will integrate knowledge in complex, case-based learning scenarios.

Paper title Nursing Science 3
Paper code NURS501
Subject Nursing
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (16 January 2023 - 7 July 2023) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,451.50
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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NURS 441 and NURS 442 and NURS 444 and NURS 446
Limited to
An undergraduate degree in any discipline with at least three years' full-time study and a B average in the final two years of the degree.
Teaching staff
Cate McCall
Teaching Arrangements

Lectures and simulation labs timetabled three hours per week face-to face on the Christchurch campus, preparing students for two clinical placements, which will be undertaken during the first semester.


Recommended: Bryant, B., Knights, K., Darroch, S., & Rowland, A. (2019). Pharmacology for health professionals (5th ed). Australia: Elsevier.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

At successful completion of the paper students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of key pharmacological concepts, including pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; antimicrobial resistance; and adverse drug reactions/interactions, interventions and polypharmacy
  • Locate, extract and critically appraise research evidence and information from a wide range of sources and demonstrate the ability to apply this in clinical practice
  • Demonstrate analysis of pathophysiology and appropriate interventions related to complex, co-morbid states
  • Apply principles of pharmacology, therapeutic drug administration, monitoring and evaluation to nursing practice
  • Integrate concepts of epidemiology, microbiology, physiology, pathophysiology and co-morbid states as relevant to pharmacotherapeutics
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply current pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic information to patient care
  • Critically appraise the impact of factors such as cultural, body-mass, gender and age variations on drug dosages and regimes including age-related considerations and pharmacogenetics
  • Demonstrate competence with medication calculations
  • Discuss the relevant patient monitoring and laboratory testing that supports the rationale and effective use of pharmacotherapy
  • Demonstrate application of clinical reasoning skills, integrating bioscience knowledge in complex, case-based learning experiences
  • Articulate the significance and impact of the misuse and abuse potential of drugs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of legislation, regulation and policy and the appropriate actions to be taken in reporting prescribing and near-miss errors
  • Demonstrate an ability to integrate legal, ethical and regulatory concepts related to pharmacotherapeutics into their clinical practice
  • Practice within legal and ethical requirements of clinical agencies and in accordance with the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies and professional standards

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1st Non standard period (16 January 2023 - 7 July 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system