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NSC2500 Pharmacology and Pathophysiology for Nurses

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Guang Liu
Moderator: Kate Kauter


Pre-requisite: BIO1203


The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the pathophysiology of the most common diseases affecting patients in developed countries. This course will then build on an understanding of normal physiology and pathophysiology to address treatment approaches to such diseases with a particular focus on pharmacology and nutrition. Information learnt from this course will be integrated into learning from nursing practice courses.


This course focuses on understanding the basis for disease states that are most prevalent in the developed world and how they can be treated. Major topics to be covered include mental health disorders, inflammatory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, respiratory, and urinary diseases, shock and cancer. Perioperative drugs will also be considered.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify how a disruption to homeostasis can lead to enhanced disease processes of human body;
  2. Identify the pathological processes involved in the major burdens of disease including mental health breakdown, endocrine disorders, nervous system breakdown, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory and renal disease, cancer, shock and addiction and cardiovascular disease;
  3. Demonstrate an ability to differentiate the major drug groups that are used to treat the relevant burdens of disease and those that are used perioperatively by defining the drug groups mode of action, indications, contraindications, potential interactions, adverse effects and therapeutic outcomes;
  4. Demonstrate an ability to appreciate the interrelatedness of the main burdens of disease by associating these to the breakdown of homeostatic mechanisms and the drug and nutritional therapies that may be used to promote health and well being;
  5. Demonstrate skills and knowledge required to understand the importance of laboratory exercises in gaining an understanding of appropriate therapeutic interventions.
  6. Demonstrate the skills and ability to successfully collaborate with colleagues in a team.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to manage the teamwork in an effective, respectful and harmonious working style.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The role of neurotransmitters in health and disease 7.50
2. Pathophysiology and pharmacological treatment of conditions affecting mental health
  • Mental health breakdown 7.5%
  • Nervous system breakdown 10%
3. Anaesthesia 5.00
4. Pain Relief 5.00
5. Nutrition 5.00
6. Addiction 5.00
7. Inflammation 2.50
8. Cardiovascular disease and treatment by drugs, exercise, nutrition and fluid regulation 12.50
9. Musculoskeletal disease 5.00
10. Gastrointestinal disease 5.00
11. Endocrine disease 7.50
12. Respiratory disease 5.00
13. Oncology 7.50
14. Renal disease 5.00
15. Shock 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • 2010, Australian medicines handbook, Australian Medicines Handbook Pty Ltd, Adelaide.
    (viewed 25 July 2008, This handbook is available online free through the Library using USQ connect username and password.)
  • Bullock, S, Manias, E 2010, Fundamentals of Pharmacology, 6th edn, Pearson Education, Australia.
  • Marieb, EN & Hoehn, K 2010, Human anatomy and physiology, 8th edn, Pearson, Menlo Park, California.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bryant, B & Knights, K 2010, Pharmacology for health professionals, 3rd edn, Mosby, Sydney.
  • McCance, K & Huether, S 2010, Pathophysiology: the biologic basis for disease in adults and children, 6th edn, Elsevier Mosby, St Louis.
  • Rang, HP et al 2012, Rang & Dale?s Pharmacology, 7th edn, Elseiver Health Sciences.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 22.00
Online Laboratory Principles Tutorials 8.00
Private Study 98.00
Quizzes 3.00
Tutorials 22.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Group Tasks 100 30 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
LABORATORY QUIZZES 100 10 28 Feb 2012 (see note 2)
PT A OF 2HR REST EXAM (CMA) 60 40 End S1 (see note 3)
PT B OF 2HR REST EXAM (S/A) 40 20 End S1 (see note 4)

  1. Group Task Assessment item due at the completion of each module, examiner to advise the correct dates
  2. Lab Quizzes Assessment items due at the completion of each module, examiner to advise the correct dates.
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published (Part A & B).
  4. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published (Part A & B).

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, virtual laboratories and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. To maximize their chances of satisfying the objectives of the tutorial component of the course, students should attend and actively participate in the tutorial sessions in the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the tests and examinations satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for that assessment. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments/presentations/summaries after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination and/or Test, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination;. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //