NURS-6521C Advanced Pharmacology SYLLABUS

NURS-6521C Advanced Pharmacology SYLLABUS

So you have all key information available to you off-line, it is highly recommended that you print the following items for your reference:

  • This Syllabus
  • Course Calendar
  • Support Resources
  • 5 credits in 11 weeks

Walden University assigns credit hours based on the number and type of assignments that enable students to achieve the course learning objectives. In general, each semester credit equals about 42 hours of total student work and each quarter credit equals about 28 hours of total student work. This time requirement represents an approximate average for undergraduate work and the minimum expectations for graduate work. The number and kind of activities estimated to fulfill time requirements will vary by degree level and student learning style, and by student familiarity with the delivery method and course content.

A solid foundation in the concepts and principles of drug therapy across the lifespan is essential to the work of advanced practice nurses. This course applies the advanced principles of pharmacology, including pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, by analysis of common drug classes prescribed by advanced practice nurses across the life span. Factors influencing successful therapy, such as effectiveness, safety, acceptability, cost, genetic/environmental influences, complementary regimens, and patient behaviors are considered. Through this course, students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of selected acute and chronic diseases across the life span through pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic agents. Advanced practice nursing students will have a more in-depth understanding of drug legislation and regulation for prescribing drugs.

NURS 6501 (can be taken concurrently)

By the conclusion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate the impact of patient factors on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes
  • Analyze pharmacotherapeutic treatments for body system disorders and the effects they have on patient outcomes
  • Analyze factors that impact patient drug therapy plans
  • Evaluate the impact of drug therapy on patient health outcomes
  • Apply decision-making strategies for the appropriate use of drugs based on classifications, indications, patient factors, and pathophysiology
  • Evaluate ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs

Click on the following link to access the Alignment of Learner Outcomes:

Document: NURS 6521 College of Nursing Alignment of Learning Outcomes (PDF) Download NURS 6521 College of Nursing Alignment of Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Please visit the university bookstore via your Walden student portal to ensure you are obtaining the correct version of any course texts and/or materials noted in the following section. When you receive your materials, make sure that all required items are included.

Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Note: If the print edition of these books are referenced here, electronic versions also may be available and may be acceptable for use in this course. If an electronic version is listed, no print version is available.

Other readings (journal articles, websites, book excerpts, etc.) are assigned throughout the course and may be found within each Module.

Assigned course media elements may be found in one or more modules of the course and are available via a streaming media player or a hyperlink to the individual item.

Review the following information prior to selecting resources for assignments.

Primary: A primary source is an original document that is the first account of what happened. A research report is primary, and you can tell because it includes materials and methods demonstrating how the research was done. Some creative work is also primary, such as poetry, novels, and interviews of people who experienced something firsthand. In nursing, which is an evidence-based discipline, we strive to use primary research that is published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal: Scholarly journals publish papers by professional authors and experts in the field using a peer-review process to review the work and assure quality before publishing. The focus of a scholarly journal is to provide accurate information for scholars and other researchers. The focus is on content rather than advertising, a direct contrast to popular media. Scholarly journals publish both primary and secondary papers, the former usually noted as original research and the latter as reviews and commentaries. Letters to the editor may also be published but should be recognized as opinion pieces.

Note: When selecting articles for course assignments, you are advised (unless you are referencing seminal information) to focus on work published within the past five years.

Secondary: A secondary source is one step removed from the original source. This work interprets and often compiles other work, and it includes review articles, textbooks, fact sheets, and commentaries about a topic. It also includes news reports of original research. Secondary work is more prone to error and bias than primary work because it is being filtered through an additional person or persons. Review papers can be useful to glean information about a topic and to find other sources from the reference list, but it is the original, primary research that should be relied on most heavily in demonstrating scholarship, depth, and validation of factual information.

  1. Participation in weekly Discussions: The exchange of ideas among colleagues engaged in scholarly inquiry is a key aspect of learning and is a requisite activity in this course. You are expected to participate each week by posting a response to a prompt or question in the weekly Discussion area. In addition, you are expected to respond to your fellow students’ postings. To count as participation, responses need to be thoughtful; that is, they must refer to the week’s readings, relevant issues in the news, information obtained from other sources, and/or ideas expressed in the postings of other class members. You may ask questions or offer further information or links about the subject. Please pay attention to grammar and spelling, as consistently poorly written posts will receive grade penalties. In grading the required Discussion postings, your Instructor will be using the Discussion Posting and Response Rubric, located in the Course Information area.Note: Unless otherwise noted, initial postings to Discussions are due on or before Day 3, and response postings are due on or before Day 6. You are required to participate in the Discussion on at least three different days (a different day for main post and each response). It is important to adhere to the weekly time frame to allow others ample time to respond to your posting. In addition, you are expected to respond to questions directed toward your own initial posting in a timely manner.
  1. Assignments: The Assignments provide you with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained through the Learning Resources and the practicum experience. See the Assignment area of specific weeks for detailed descriptions of the assignments. In grading the required Assignments, your Instructor will be using rubrics located in the Course Information area.Note: The course Assignments will require that you completely and accurately demonstrate critical thinking via assimilation and synthesis of ideas when using credible, outside and course specific resources (i.e. video, required readings, textbook), when comparing different points of view, highlighting similarities, differences, and connections, and/or when lending support to your Assignment responses.
  1. Portfolio Assignment: Each course in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for the following specializations includes a Portfolio Assignment: Nursing Education, Nurse Executive, Nursing Informatics, and Public Health Nursing. The Portfolio Assignment is designed to measure specific professional knowledge and skills as outlined in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Master’s Essentials. Students submit the Portfolio Assignment in the online classroom and a criterion-based scoring rubric is used to grade the assignment. The rubric is aligned with American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Master’s Essentials and provides specific and informative feedback on your performance. The Portfolio Assignment is evaluated by the course Instructor.
  2. Completion of all Assignments: It is required that all coursework be complete by the end of the term in order to receive a grade for the course.

Please review the information below before the midterm and final exam and follow the instructions.

Planning for the Exam

  1. Exams are due no later than Day 7 at 10:59pm Central Time. If exams are not completed by due date the grade is a ZERO. Retakes of exams are NOT permitted.
  2. Please see instructions in Canvas for total time allotted to complete the exam.
  3. Ensure you have set aside ample time to take the exam without any interruptions. You must take the exam in one sitting-there is no starting and stopping.
  4. The exam will auto submit once the full allotted time has elapsed.
  5. Do not wait until the last minute to take the exam as things can happen unexpectedly.
  6. It is recommended to be directly connected to the internet via cable. A slow connectivity will interrupt your exam and cause a lockout. See technology policy listed below.
  7. Do not take the exams on iPads, iPhones, or other portable devices as you may get locked out of the exam.
  8. Please use only the recommended browsers Chrome or Firefox.

Taking the Exam

  1. Close out of all Browser windows on your computer and log in fresh as you prepare to begin the exam. When you are logged in for a long period, the exam will idle or freeze and lock you out.
  2. You should only have ONE browser window open for the exam. Having more than one browser or browser window open will lock the exam. This is a violation of the exam taking policy subject to academic sanctions. 
  3. Exam resets will not be allowed if the exam log indicates you stopped viewing the quiz and viewed a different browser window.
  4. You will only be able to see one question at a time.
  5. Do not use the return/back button to change your answer(s). This will lock you out of the exam.
  6. Save all your answers.
  7. Do not refresh the page. This will cause the page to freeze and lock you out.
  8. Do not copy, screenshot, video, or write down the questions in the exam. This is a violation of the exam taking policy subject to academic sanctions. 

Reporting Difficulties During the Exam

  1. If you have a question, please e-mail faculty the question number and we will review it.  Do not take a picture of the test item.
  2. If you have technology difficulties during the exam, contact our Customer Care team 24/7 via phone at 1-800-WaldenU or from your portal via live chat.
    1. Remember, the Walden Classroom Information Hub – Walden University Links to an external site. is available 24/7 with a range of resources.

Test Taking Tips

  1. Read each question carefully. Identify the root words in the question or scenario.
  2. Is the question asking “always,” “never,” “often,” “most likely,” or “least likely”?
  3. Do not read more into the scenario than what is stated. Do not inject your own assumptions into the question. There may be more than one answer, but you must choose the best.

You are expected to comply with Walden University’s Code of Conduct. Code of Conduct – Walden University – Catalog ACMS™Links to an external site.

Please review the Student Responsibility policy: Student Responsibility for Technology – Walden University – Catalog ACMS™Links to an external site.. Also review the Student Responsibility technology backup plan: Student Responsibility for Technology Backup Plan – Walden University – Catalog ACMS™Links to an external site.

Technology Policy

Students are required “to have a technology backup plan should circumstances dictate its use. Except in very unusual situations, grade changes, late assignments, tuition refund requests, and the like that are based on technology failure or on occurrences resulting in technology failure will NOT be considered.”


Walden encourages students to use critical thinking to produce original thoughts in discussion posts, assignments, and other scholarly work. This “…will require that you completely and accurately demonstrate critical thinking via assimilation and synthesis of ideas when using credible, outside and course specific resources (i.e., video, required readings, textbook); when comparing different points of view, highlighting similarities, differences, and connections; and/or when lending support to your responses.” Using too many direct quotes or ineffective paraphrasing does not demonstrate originality.

To demonstrate originality requires the use of paraphrasing. According to the Walden Writing Center (n.d.), “Paraphrasing in academic writing is an effective way to restate, condense, or clarify another author’s ideas while also providing credibility to your own argument or analysis” (“Introduction to Paraphrasing”). “As you discuss those sources, paraphrasing allows you to use your own words and sentence structure to talk about the information you gleaned from those sources.” (Walden Writing Center, n.d., “Introduction to Paraphrasing”).

“Ineffective paraphrasing occurs when authors paraphrase a source but do not use their own sentence structure or vocabulary to effectively reword that source. The issue here is often that the student’s paraphrase simply uses synonyms for the source’s original wording and is not different enough from the original source’s wording. Ineffective paraphrasing can occur when an author does not use his or her own wording or voice to paraphrase entire paragraphs or individual sentences.” (Walden Writing Center, n.d., “Examples of Paraphrasing,” slide 10).

For more information, refer to the Writing Center’s Introduction to Plagiarism & Intellectual Property at to an external site.

Assignments, discussion posts, or other scholarly work that does not demonstrate originality and/or lacks proper citation to credit original sources/authors will receive a grade reduction amounting up to 10%.

Course grades will be based on participation (postings) and completion of assignments listed below.

Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

90%–100% = A
80%–89% = B
70%–79% = C
< 70% = F

Please see below for the policy on Incomplete (I) grades.

Assignment Total Points Percentage

Participation in Discussions*
(4 @ 100 pts. each)

400 25%

  • Week 1 Assignment (100 pts.)
  • Week 2 Assignment (100 pts.)
  • Week 3 Assignment (100 pts.)
  • Week 4 Assignment (100 pts.)
  • Week 8 Assignment (100 pts.)
  • Week 10 Assignment (S/U)
  • Week 11 Assignment (100 pts.)
600 25%

  • Midterm Exam (100 pts.)
  • Final Exam (100 pts.)
200 50%
Total 1,200 100%

* Each Discussion requires that you make one initial posting and at least two response postings to colleagues. See the Discussion Posting and Response Rubric for posting details.

Per university policy, Incomplete grades can be granted only to students who have already met the minimum criteria for active weekly participation in a course (including weekly postings in online courses) and have completed at least 80% of other coursework. Incompletes can be awarded when, because of extenuating circumstances, a student has not met additional course requirements, including but not limited to written assignments, group projects, and research papers, as applicable. All Incomplete grades are awarded at the discretion of the Course Faculty.

Students who are eligible for an Incomplete must contact the Course Faculty to request the grade as soon as possible. Students who do not meet the criteria listed above will not be allowed to earn an Incomplete. If the Incomplete is approved, the Faculty Member will work with the student to outline the due date(s) for remaining work. Under no circumstances will the new due dates extend beyond 50 days from the last day of the term. Faculty will then have 10 days to assess the work and post the permanent grade before the university-allotted Incomplete time limit of 60 days expires. All Incomplete grades not resolved within the time allotted will convert to permanent grades of F.

If an Incomplete is granted for students registered for clinical courses the following quarter, you will only have 5 days to complete and pass your outstanding assignments, as this course must be passed prior to starting your practicum.

The Instructor will log in to the course during the week to monitor the weekly Discussion area. Feedback will be provided via the My Grades area, the Discussion area, and/or the Announcements page.

You can expect your weekly assignment grades to be posted within 10 calendar days of a due date. Instructor feedback and explanation is provided whenever full credit is not achieved. Depending on the nature of the feedback, Instructor responses may be posted to the Discussion area or included in the My Grades area. The goal of your Instructor is to act as a discussion and learning facilitator rather than a lecturer. The Instructor will not respond to every posting by every individual, so please feel free to ask your Instructor if you would like some personal feedback on a particular assignment posting or any time you have any questions regarding your assignments or your grade.

  • All class Discussions take place in the weekly Discussion areas.
  • You are encouraged to post course-related questions to the Class Café area as they may be of interest to all; however, if your question is urgent, it is often best to email the Instructor. If your emailed question is thought to be of benefit to all, it may be responded to by the Instructor via email to all or posted as an announcement.
  • Instructor feedback on content and writing issues that is thought to be of benefit to the entire class may be posted to the Class Café area; however, most personal critique will be done privately in the Grade Center. Be sure to check the Grade Center for comments every week even if you received full credit.
  • Please feel free to use the Class Café to initiate and participate in conversations not directly related to the course. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know other students better. The Instructor will browse the Class Café occasionally but generally will not respond to conversations posted there unless students have specific questions for him or her.
  • Check the email account you use for official Walden University business on a regular basis. The expectation is that you are checking this email account daily during the week. If you experience difficulty sending or receiving Walden email, please contact the Customer Care Team right away. Contact information for the Customer Care Team is located in the Student Support area.
  • Review all materials in the Course Information area, as well as the materials contained under each of the weekly buttons.

Note: There are Optional Readings located within the Learning Resources section of each week in the course. You are encouraged to explore these readings, as needed, in order to enhance your understanding of the course content.

  1. Be sure that you post to the correct Discussion area each week. Do not e-mail postings to the Instructor. For all initial Discussion postings, make sure that the first sentence of your posting reads Main Question Post. For your responses to others’ response postings, make sure that the first sentence of your response reads Response. These actions will ensure easily identifiable subject lines for your postings and responses.
  2. Assignments are submitted to the Turnitin link and named according to the week in which the Assignment is submitted. Directions for naming each Assignment are included in each week’s Assignment area. Please be sure that all written Assignments are saved and submitted as a “.doc” file.
  3. All e-mail correspondence must contain in the subject line “ABCD 1234-XX-NAME” (ABCD = course prefix, 1234 = course number, XX = section number) followed by a brief description of the subject. This subject line convention ensures that your e-mail will be easily identified and responded to in a timely manner. It is required that the e-mail contain a signature that matches the official name used in the course.

Students are expected to submit assignments by the due dates noted in the course. In extenuating circumstances, such as illness, the student must contact the Instructor as soon as possible to discuss the situation. In those circumstances, Faculty will determine the appropriate course of action for the student. Depending on the situation, these actions may include recommendations to drop the course (if within the university drop/withdrawal period), acceptance of some or all of the overdue assignments with or without penalties, or failure to accept assignments.

Assignments submitted late without the prior agreement of the Instructor, outside of an emergency absence, or in violation of agreements for late submission, will receive a grade reduction for the assignment amounting up to 20%. Each day late with result in a 4%-point deduction up to day 5. After 5 days, the assignment will be graded a zero. Students should be aware that late assignments may not receive the same level of written feedback as do assignments submitted on time.

The late policy applied to discussion boards, midterms exams, and final exams are different than course assignments and are as follows. Students are expected to complete discussion boards,  midterms exams, and final exams by the due dates noted in the course. If students do not complete the discussion boards or initiate exams by the due date, the grade will result in a zero.  In the event of an extenuating circumstance, students must let the instructor know prior to the due date. If the student is unable to do so, he or she needs to notify the instructor as soon as possible and those circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Any exam that is permitted to be taken late or permitted a retake may be subject to proctoring with audio and video technology.

You will have access to the course and your coursework from the course start date until 60 days after the course ends. After this time, you will no longer be able to access the course or related materials. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you retain copies of your completed assignments and any documents you wish to keep. The university is not responsible for lost or missing coursework.

At or near the end of the course, you will receive an email inviting you to submit an online evaluation of the course and instruction. All submitted course evaluations are confidential, and only aggregate data and comments will be shared with the Instructor and Program Director. Your feedback is vitally important to Walden University in its efforts to continuously improve programs.

The OSDS are committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with government, state, and local laws as applicable to the student’s program and location. All accommodations requested are reviewed on an individual basis to determine what is reasonable and appropriate. The student should understand the process is an interactive one that takes time.

If you are looking to receive services through the OSDS, we want to support you. To start the process, email You may also reach the office by phone to schedule an appointment at 855-229-0848.  International students may request a meeting through Teams. You may also fax your request to 630.596.1651.

If you require other accessibility needs to experience the call, please indicate that in your email.

In accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidance regarding class participation, Walden University requires that all students submit at least one of their required Week 1 assignments (which includes posting to the Discussion Board) within each course(s) during the first 7 calendar days of class. For courses with two-week units, posting to the Discussion Board by Day 7 meets this requirement. The first calendar day of class is the official start date of the course as posted on your myWalden academic page.

Assignments submitted prior to the official start date will not count toward your participation. 

Financial Aid cannot be released without class participation as defined above. 

Students who are taking their first class with Walden and do not submit at least one of their required Week 1 assignments (or at least one Discussion post) by the end of the 7th day will be administratively withdrawn from the university.

Students who have already taken and successfully completed at least one or more class(es) with Walden, and who do not participate within the first 7 days, will be dropped from that class.

If you have any questions about your assignments, or you are unable to complete your assignments, please contact your Faculty Member.

For complete details on discussions and assignments, please refer to each week of the course. Walden University has established 10:59pm Central Time (CT) as the official submission time for all courses. All assignments and discussions are due by 10:59pm CT on the day indicated in the assignment or discussion instructions.

The time stamp in Canvas will show Central Time as the default. You may choose to adjust the settings in Canvas to reflect your local time zone for submission time. For example, if you reside in Pacific Time (PT), you can adjust the settings in Canvas to show what time in your local area the assignment or discussion is due. If the discussion is due Wednesday at 10:59pm CT, then you can adjust your settings to show the discussion is due Wednesday at 8:59pm PT.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due