Course Outline

NUR231 Drug Therapy

Course Coordinator:Lisa Chen ( School:School of Health - Nursing

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Caboolture

UniSC Fraser Coast

UniSC Gympie

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course introduces fundamental principles of pharmacology and related pathophysiology for you understand how drugs work and interact with the human body across the lifespan. This course is crucial to promoting safe medication practice and promoting the quality use of medicines. The emphasis is on safe medication practice, underpinned by the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS). You will apply knowledge of professional, ethical and legal codes and standards to decision making and practice in medication administration.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online asynchronous learning and teaching materials. 1.5hrs Week 1 9 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial 3hrs Week 1 9 times

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to Drug Therapy. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.
  2. Bronchodilators, corticosteroids, decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamine.
  3. Antihypertensives and other cardiac drugs.
  4. Hormones, Glucocorticoids, Insulin and hypoglycaemic drugs.
  5. Diuretics and electrolytes.
  6. Antiemetics, Proton Pump Inhibitors, Chemotherapy.
  7. Receptor agonists and antagonists, NSAIDs and anticholinergic agents.
  8. Antimicrobial medications. Quality use of medications - person centred and lifespan approaches, cultural and diversity considerations.

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1 Synthesise and apply knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology and the quality use of medicines to inform clinical decision making and safe medication practice. Knowledgeable
1.1, 2.7, 6
2 Know and apply professional standards, ethical and legal codes and NSQHS standards and the principles of quality use of medicines to clinical decision making and practice for safe medication administration. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5
3 Use pharmacological resources and interpret reliable clinical evidence to inform sound clinical decision-making. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.4
4 Demonstrate the principles of social justice for individuals across the lifespan through provision of person-centred care. Creative and critical thinker
1.3, 2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2, 3.7
5 Apply principles and practices of academic writing and referencing. Ethical


* Competencies by Professional Body

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1 Standard 1: Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice
1.1 The RN accesses, analyses, and uses the best available evidence, that includes research findings for safe quality practice
1.3 The RN 1.3 respects all cultures and experiences, which includes responding to the role of family and community that underpin the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of other cultures
1.4 The RN complies with legislation, common law, policies, guidelines and other standards or requirements relevant to the context of practice when making decisions
1.5 The RN uses ethical frameworks when making decisions
2 Standard 2: Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships
2.2 The RN communicates effectively, and is respectful of a person’s dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights
2.3 The RN recognises that people are the experts in the experience of their life
2.4 The RN provides support and directs people to resources to optimise health related decisions
2.7 The RN actively fosters a culture of safety and learning that includes engaging with health professionals and others, to share knowledge and practice that supports person-centred care
3.2 The RN provides the information and education required to enhance people’s control over health
3.7 The RN identifies and promotes the integral role of nursing practice and the profession in influencing better health outcomes for people
6 Standard 6: Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
6.3 The RN appropriately delegates aspects of practice to enrolled nurses and others, according to enrolled nurse’s scope of practice or others’ clinical or non- clinical roles
6.4 The RN provides effective timely direction and supervision to ensure that delegated practice is safe and correct
6.5 The RN practises in accordance with relevant nursing and health guidelines, standards, regulations and legislation

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


NUR141 or NUR116 or HLT132 and LFS103 or HLT100 and enrolled in Program SC391, SC392, SC393


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

You will need background knowledge of how the body functions normally (Introductory Bioscience or Anatomy and Physiology) in addition to an introduction to nursing assessment and nursing care of a person with altered physiology.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Early feedback in the form of an in-class multiple choice quiz is offered in week 3 to provide you with the opportunity for formative feedback on academic progress, including identifying the need for additional support. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
40 minutes
Week 3 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Case Study Individual 40%
1500 words
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Written Piece Individual 40%
1500 words
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Quiz
The goal of this task is to apply your knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pathophysiology concepts introduced in the first 2 weeks of the course.
Product: Quiz/zes
30 MCQ
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of the knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pathophysiology concepts introduced in the first 2 weeks of the course
All - Assessment Task 2:Written piece
The goal of this task is to use and interpret reliable pharmacological resources and clinical evidence to inform sound clinical decision-making. You will synthesise and apply knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics and the Quality Use of Medicines to safe medication practice and consider the professional, ethical and legal codes and practice standards relevant to decision-making and medication safety.
Product: Case Study
This task requires you to follow "clinical reasoning" template to answer questions related to the case study. You will use the current APA referencing style.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of pathophysiological and pharmacotherapeutic knowledge specific to safe medication administration to the case study.
Application of the quality use of medicines concepts to person-centred care.
Application of professional standards, ethical and legal codes and NSQHS standards to underpin clinical decision making and safe medication practice.
Application of the principles and practices of reflective and academic writing and referencing in the style appropriate to the discipline.
Ethical use of intellectual property.
All - Assessment Task 3:Written piece
In your future role as a nurse or midwife you will be required to interpret and use pharmacotherapeutic information and reliable clinical evidence to support people in the quality use of medicines. You will interpret and use evidence to inform safe and knowledgeable practice when designing person-centred plan of care to assist them managing a medication regimen.
Product: Written Piece
Written paper
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Synthesise and application of pathophysiological concepts to justify clinical decision-making.
1 3
Synthesis and application of pharmacotherapeutic concepts to explain safe medication administration practice.
1 3
Application of the principles Social Justice, quality use of medicines and person-centred care to assist them managing a medication regimen.
2 4
Application of the principles and practices of reflective and academic writing and referencing in the style appropriate to the discipline.
Ethical use of intellectual property.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Bryant, B & Knights, K 2019 Pharmacology for Health Professionals 5th edn n/a

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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