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NUR2000 Medications: Theory and Practice

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Benjamin Mackie
Moderator: Clint Moloney


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in Program: BNUR

Other requisites

Recommended Prior Study: MAT1008 and NUR1140


Medications are used in the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions. Nurses are responsible to ensure safe administration of medications. Nurses are patient advocates and therefore play an intrinsic role in the administration of medication and patient safety.


This course is designed to ensure that nursing students understand the basis of how medications are prescribed, administered, absorbed, metabolized and excreted. The nurse's role in the implementation, administration and management of medications will be discussed from an evidence based perspective. The information is applied to nurses' practice in the therapeutic administration of drugs so that the student becomes proficient in medication administration in the simulated clinical environment within the context of a first year nursing student. The mathematical processes involved in medication calculations will be revised and assessed so that students will be able to calculate with a high level of accuracy. The importance of the nurse's role in the safe and proficient administration of medications will form the basis of this course.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. compile a sound knowledge base on the basic principles of pharmacodynamics for a selected number of drugs and drug routes (academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies 1, 2, 4)
  2. justify the selection of chosen routes of drug administration and compose a sound understanding on the physiology involved in drug absorption and excretion (academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies 1, 2, 5, 7, 8)
  3. outline and perform the correct principles of medication administration and safety(academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies 3, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  4. perform skills required to administer medications appropriately and accurately (academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  5. demonstrate accuracy in calculating a range of medication calculations (academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies 7, 10)
  6. outline the legal and professional regulations for the administration of medications. (academic and professional literacy skills); (ANMC Competencies 1, 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Calculations 10.00
2. Pharmacodynamics 10.00
3. Medication administration 60.00
4. Patient safety 20.00

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. (

  • Bullock, S, Manias, E & Galbraith, A 2010, Fundamentals of pharmacology, 6th edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.
  • Dempsey, J, French, J, Hillege, S & Wilson, V 2009, Fundamentals of Nursing & Midwifery: a person-centred approach to care, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Sydney.
    (Australian adaption.)
  • Reid-Searl, K, Dwyer, T, Moxam, L & Reid-Spiers, J 2007, Nursing students maths & medications survival guide, Pearson Education, Australia.
  • Tiziani, Adriana 2009, Havard's nursing guide to drugs, 8th edn, Mosby, Sydney.
  • Tollefson, J 2010, Clinical psychomotor skills: assessment tools for nursing students, 4th edn, Social Science Press, Tuggerah, NSW.
  • USQ Publications 2012, Instructional guide for medications: theory and practice, USQ, Toowoomba.
    (available online.)

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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Laboratory 22.00
Lectures and Tutorials 6.00
Online Participation 16.00
Private Study 116.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 20 10 24 Sep 2012
MEDICATION SKILLS ASSESSMENT 20 29 19 Oct 2012 (see note 1)
PTA OF 2HR RESTRICTED EXAM CMA 30 15 End S2 (see note 2)
PTB OF 2HR RESTRICTED EXAM S/A 40 45 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Students will be scheduled for psychomotor skills assessment. Please see course overview and dates placed on study desk.
  2. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and labs) 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. This extends to the notion that students will thus be informed of course-related activities and administration. The skills components of this course will be taught in on-campus laboratory sessions. During these Laboratory Sessions, students will engage in practice of techniques and application of knowledge in a variety of situations. Attendance at all the Laboratory Sessions and/or completion of one or more alternative activities at a standard judged to be appropriate by the examiner is required before the 1 mark for the laboratory attendance and participation can be awarded. If unavoidable circumstances (medical or personal) prevent a student from attending, the student must contact the examiner to arrange an alternative activity. This will entail a written assignment based on the week’s laboratory material covered in the missed session. If no attempt is made to contact the examiner to arrange an alternate activity and/or to produce a medical certificate, the student will have deemed to FAIL the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks. (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 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 a) attend and participate in 100% of the Laboratory sessions offered to them; b) achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Students who do not qualify for a Passing grade may, at the discretion of the Examiner, be assigned additional work to demonstrate to the Examiner that they have achieved the required standard. It is expected that such students will have gained at least 45% of the total marks available for all summative assessment items. Lab attendance and drug calculations are linked to the practical skills which are fundamental of safe nursing practice. This has been recognised by Queensland Nursing Council and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    The final exam is 'restricted'. Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted 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 or be programmed (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. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonable be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  3. Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, or equivalent in the grading scale, the examiner in agreement with the moderator will consider recommending to the Board of Examiners the undertaking of supplementary assessment by the student, if the student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment for the course.