NURS 6521 Syllabus

NURS 6521 Syllabus

Student Support and Calendar Information

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

  • Syllabus, including the Course Schedule, located below as a linked PDF
  • Term Calendar
  • Student Support

Photo Credit: Steve Hix/Fuse/Corbis/Getty Images


Credit Hours

  • 5 quarter hours

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. NURS 6521 Syllabus.

Course Description

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 NURS 6521 Syllabus. Through this course, students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of selected acute and chronic diseases across the lifespan 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.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will:

  • Evaluate the impact of patient factors on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes
  • Analyze treatments for body system disorders
  • Analyze factors that impact patient drug therapy plans
  • Evaluate the impact of drug therapy on patient health outcomes
  • Analyze the appropriate use of drugs based on classifications, indications, and patient factors
  • Evaluate ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs
  • Analyze current issues related to drug treatments NURS 6521 Syllabus

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

Document: NURS 6521 SON Alignment of Learner Outcomes (PDF)


Course Materials

Students will be provided the following course materials. For missing, incorrect, or damaged materials, please contact the Student Support Team. Contact information for the Student Support Team can be located in the Student Support area of the course navigation menu.

Course Texts

Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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

Course Readings List

The Course Readings List contains all of the required Walden Library resources for this course. Please click on the following link to access the list: v.

NURS 6521 Course Readings List



Assigned course media elements are found within the weekly Learning Resources pages and are available via a streaming media player or a hyperlink to the individual item.

Dedicated Support for Course Media

You may use the following e-mail address and toll-free number for any questions or concerns you have about media in the course. NURS 6521 Syllabus

Course Assignments

  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. Discussion topics/questions are provided in the Discussion area under each weekly button. 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. NURS 6521 Syllabus. 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 “Formative Evaluation Criteria for Discussion Board Assignments” 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. 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. Application Assignments: The Application Assignments provide you with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained through the Learning Resources. See the Assignment area of specific weeks for detailed descriptions of the assignments. In grading the required Application Assignments, your Instructor will be using the “Formative Evaluative Criteria for Applications and Formal Papers” rubric located in the Course Information area. NURS 6521 Syllabus.
  2. Quizzes: The course contains 11 graded, open-book quizzes that have been designed to assess your understanding of the course topics. The quizzes are due by Day 7 each week.

Grading Criteria and Total Components of a Grade

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

A = 90% or better

B = 80%–89%

C = 70%–79%

F = 69% or below

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

Important Note: This course contains weighted grading. Assignments are weighted differently depending on their type. The total points achieved for each assignment will be weighted based on the percentage values noted in the Weighted Total (%) column of the table that follows.

Assignment Total Points Percentage

Participation in Discussions*

  • Weeks 1-11 (100 points each)

Rubric: Discussion Rubric

1,100 30%
Application Assignments

(5 Assignments, each worth 100 points)

  • Week 2 Application Paper
  • Week 4 Application Paper
  • Week 6 Application Paper
  • Week 8 Application Paper NURS 6521 Syllabus
  • Week 10 Application Paper

Rubric: Application Assignment Rubric

500 45%

Completion of Weekly Quizzes

  • Week 1, 10 and 11 (40 points)
  • Week 2 and 3 (25 points)
  • Week 4, 5, and 6 (30 points)
  • Week 7, 8 and 9 (35 points)
365 25%

*Note: Each Discussion requires that you make one initial posting and at least two response postings to colleagues. Refer to the “Formative Evaluation Criteria for Discussion Board Assignments” rubric for posting details.

Incomplete Grade Policy

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. (Reproduced from Student Catalog) NURS 6521 Syllabus.

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.

Feedback Schedule

  • The Instructor will log into the course at least 3–4 times during the week to monitor the weekly Discussion area. Feedback will be provided via the Discussion area and/or the Announcements page. Requests for more specific feedback may be made in the Discussion area or in the Contact the Instructor thread.
  • The Instructor will respond to at least one main post each week but will usually not respond to all posts.
  • Feedback on all assignments will be provided by Day 7 of the week following the one in which the assignment was due. For example, if your assignment was due in Week 3, you would receive feedback on that assignment by Day 7 of Week 4. NURS 6521 Syllabus.
  • Each Instructor has a unique way of providing feedback. If you think that you are not getting enough feedback, you are strongly encouraged to contact your Instructor and ask for more. Contact information for your Instructor can be found under the Contact the Instructor area. For more information on Instructor feedback, go to the Faculty Accessibility section of Faculty and Student Guidelines for Online Courses, located in the Guidelines and Policies area.

Course Procedures

  • All class Discussions take place in the weekly Discussion areas.
  • Questions related to course content must be posted in the Discussion area or in the Contact the Instructor or Class Café areas. Please do not e-mail course-related questions to the Instructor or fellow classmates, as your questions are probably of interest to others in the class. Also, expect that feedback on your work may be posted in the Discussion area for the benefit of the entire class. However, private e-mailing between student and Instructor may be used for personal, confidential situations. NURS 6521 Syllabus.
  • 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 Café occasionally but generally will not respond to conversations posted there unless students have specific questions for the Instructor.
  • Check the e-mail account that you use for official Walden University business on a regular basis. The expectation is that you are checking this e-mail account daily during the week. If you experience difficulty sending or receiving Walden e-mail, please contact the Student Support Team right away. Contact information for the Student Support 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. Please note: There may be 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.

Here are the steps to follow to begin this course successfully:

  1. Review all the information contained in the links in the navigation area to the left.
  2. Click on the button for Week 1, and read the Introduction and Learning Outcomes for the week.
  3. Review the Resources, Discussion, and Assignment areas for the week. Note that some weeks may have none or more than one of these types of activities. It is your responsibility to complete all the required activities. Use the Course Schedule as a guide NURS 6521 Syllabus.

Follow this procedure for each week throughout the term

Preferred Methods for Delivering Assignments

  • Discussion postings: All postings need to be made in each week’s Discussion area or, when applicable, the Groups area of the course. Please do not send copies of postings to the Instructor or students via e-mail.
  • Assignments: Be sure that all documents are saved and submitted as “.doc” files. You may also submit “.rtf” files, but formatting in these files may be lost, so “.doc” files are preferred. Assignments are named according to the week in which the Assignments is submitted NURS 6521 Syllabus. Directions for naming assignment files are given in each Assignments area. Please name your files as directed.
  • E-Mail: All e-mail correspondence must contain in the subject line course number-XX – Your Name (XX is the 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.

Policies on Late Assignments

  • Discussion postings: Much of the learning in this class depends on participation in weekly Discussions; you are expected to contribute to them in the Discussion area. If you have problems and need to have a small extension (defined as 1–2 days), contact the Instructor and arrange this in advance. If you have not received permission from the Instructor, do not assume that an extension has been granted. No Discussion post will count for credit once the week has ended.
  • Assignments: Assignments are due on the day of the week assigned in this syllabus. Failure to meet the deadline without prior approval from the instructor will result in zero points.
    • Approval to submit an assignment late is at the sole discretion of the instructor and may be given only for certifiable reasons such as an illness. The instructor may require that you provide relevant documentation NURS 6521 Syllabus.
    • If you have not received permission from the instructor, do not assume that an extension has been granted.
    • Assignments must be submitted according to the instructions and must be in a format that your instructor can open and read.
    • Failure to comply with submission instructions, to provide a document that your instructor can open and read.
    • Technology issues are not valid reasons for missing deadlines.
    • No Assignment will be accepted after the last day of the term (Week 8, Day 7) unless prior approval is obtained from the instructor.

Keeping Your Coursework

ou 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 NURS 6521 Syllabus.

Course Evaluation

At or near the end of the course, you will receive an e-mail 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.

Students With Disabilities

Students in this course who have a disability that might prevent them from fully demonstrating their abilities should contact the director of disability services at or at 1-800-925-3368, ext. 312-1205 and +1-612-925-3368 or for international toll-free numbers as soon as possible to initiate disability verification and discuss accommodations that may be necessary to ensure full participation in the successful completion of course requirements NURS 6521 Syllabus.

Classroom Participation

In accordance with US Department of Education guidance regarding class participation, Walden University requires that all students submit their required Week 1 assignments within each course(s) during the first 7 calendar days of class. 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 have already taken, and successfully completed, at least one or more class(es) with Walden will be dropped ONLY from any class(es) in which they are not participating if they do not complete their assignments by the end of the 7th day.

Students who are taking their first class with Walden, and do not complete their assignments by the end of the 7th day, will be administratively withdrawn from the university NURS 6521 Syllabus.

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


The weekly course checklist below outlines the assignments due for the course.

All assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (MT) on the day assigned (which is 1:59 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) the next day). The time stamp in the classroom will reflect Eastern Time (ET), regardless of your time zone. As long as your submission time stamp is no later than 1:59 a.m. Eastern Time (ET), you have submitted on time.

To View the Calendar

To view the Course Calendar:

Course Calendar


To View a Printable Course Schedule

For full assignment details and directions, refer to each week of the course.

Click on the NURS 6521 Course Schedule (PDF) link to access the Course Schedule.

Document: NURS 6521: Course Schedule (PDF)



Module Assignment Title
Week 1 Basic Pharmacotherapeutic Concepts
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
Quiz Week 1 Quiz
Week 2 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Prescribing
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs
Assignment The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
Quiz Week 2 Quiz NURS 6521 Syllabus
Week 3 Cardiovascular System
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Cardiovascular Disorders
Quiz Week 3 Quiz
Week 4 Respiratory System
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Respiratory Disorders
Assignment Asthma and Stepwise Management
Quiz Week 4 Quiz
Week 5 Neurological System NURS 6521 Syllabus
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Neurological Disorders
Quiz Week 5 Quiz
Week 6 Endocrine and Musculoskeletal System
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Endocrine and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Assignment Diabetes and Drug Treatments
Quiz Week 6 Quiz
Week 7 Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disorders
Quiz Week 7 Quiz
Week 8 Infections
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS
Assignment Antimicrobial Agents
Quiz Week 8 Quiz
Week 9 Hematologic System
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Pharmacotherapy for Hematologic Disorders
Quiz Week 9 Quiz
Week 10 Women’s and Men’s Health
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Hormone Replacement Therapy
Assignment Cancer and Women’s and Men’s Health
Quiz Week 10 Quiz
Week 11 Pediatrics
Learning Resources Required Readings
Optional Readings
Discussion Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics
Quiz Week 11 Quiz


The bibliography contains the references for all learning materials in the course. For your convenience, a link has been provided to download and save the bibliography. NURS 6521 Syllabus

To access the Bibliography:

NURS 6521 Bibliography (PDF)

NURS 6521 Syllabus

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