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Below is the course of study for Family Nurse Practitioner. We also provide a plan of study for full time students, and two year and three year plans of study for part time students.

Core courses (5 course units):

Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course will integrate advanced physiology with pathophysiology and clinical implications across the lifespan for advanced nursing practice. Organ systems function and dysfunction from the level of the cell through integrated organ levels will be presented, and the genetic basis of disease will be discussed. Recent scientific advances will be discussed with application to new approaches to disease and symptom management. The interrelationships between basic physiology, clinical pathophysiology, and genetics are emphasized through lecture and case studies. Registration is restricted to students enrolled in the MSN or DNP programs or by permission of instructor.

Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Nursing Practice

Advanced principles of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics are applied to the nursing care of individuals across the life-stage spectrum. It focuses on the content and knowledge employed by the advanced practice registered nurse in the management of various conditions and disease states. The course builds on the pharmacology knowledge base acquired in the baccalaureate nursing program. The advanced pharmacology and therapeutics of several common diseases or conditions found in the acute care and primary care setting is presented. This is supplemented with pharmacotherapy modules to meet program specific needs.

Professional Role Issues for Nurse Practitioners

This course is intended for students planning a career that involves primary health care delivery. It includes lectures, discussions, readings, and projects focused on health, social, economic and professional factors influencing health care delivery in the community.

Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making

This laboratory/clinical course is designed to help future advanced practice nurses develop advanced clinical assessment skills. Provider-patient interaction, data collection, and hypothesis formulation are emphasized. All participants engage in actual practice with fellow students, and/or models, and consenting patients. This course is to be taken the semester before clinical begins.

And one of the following two courses:

Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice

This course is designed to advance students’ understanding of the research process, methods of scientific inquiry, and analytical techniques. Students acquire knowledge of systematic approaches used by scientists to design and conduct studies. Course content prepares students to appraise quantitative and qualitative research, and evaluate the scientific merit and clinical significance of research for translation into practice. Evidence-based guidelines are examined and rated for strength of evidence and expert consensus using evidence grading systems and defined criteria. Students engage in variety of creative learning experiences to facilitate appreciative inquiry, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice. Quality improvement, comparative effectiveness analyses, information science, and electronic health systems technology demonstrate the capacity for measurement and surveillance of nursing-sensitive and other outcomes used to evaluate quality nursing care and test interventions. Ethical, legal and health policy implications for research are explored. This course serves as the basis for scientific inquiry about human experiences to address important problems that require solutions and to expand the research and the evidence base for professional nursing practice.

NURS 547 is a graduate-level research methods course approved for Penn BSN students only.

Introduction to Research Methods and Design

The relationships among nursing theory, research and practice will be examined. An emphasis will be placed on research competencies for advanced practice nurses (APNs), including understanding nursing research methods and strategies in order to evaluate research results for applicability to practice and to design projects for evaluating outcomes of practice. An understanding of statistical techniques will be integrated into the course and build on the required undergraduate statistics course. Published nursing research studies will be evaluated for scientific merit and clinical feasibility, with a focus on evidence-based practice. Please note, the online version of this course has a synchronous component (live online class sessions). See department for meeting days/times. Prerequisite: Undergraduate Statistics Class, Must hold an RN license.

Theory courses (4 course units):

Family and Organizational Systems Across the Life Span

This course presents Bowen Family Systems Theory as it applies to families over the life and organizations over time. This is a theoretical course whose purpose is to provide the student with a broad, systemic perspective on human functioning. The course begins with a detailed presentation of Systems Theory, from both a family and organizational perspective. As presented there is a continual compare and contrast to other dominant theories of human functioning. It then applies the concepts of Systems Theory to the understanding and assessment of the stages of the normal family life cycle from a multi-generational, multi-cultural perspective. This is followed by discussions of the theory’s application to the emotional problems of children, adolescents, adults and their families. Likewise, application to organizational behavior is made, including health care organizations. Relevant research is discussed throughout.

Clinical Management of Primary Care with Young Families

Assessment and treatment of the young child in ambulatory care settings is the focus of this developmentally organized course. This course provides the nurse practitioner student with the necessary knowledge and experience to assist individuals with the most common health problems, including acute episodic illness as well as stable chronic disease. The concepts of health promotion and health maintenance are integrated throughout the curriculum. Using a developmental framework, the maturational tasks and problems of children and their families in relation to illness and health are explored.

Family Focused Primary Care of the Middle-Aged and Older Adult

This course focuses on primary care problems encountered by middle-aged and older adults and their families. Students have the opportunity to build on previously acquired skills and to apply concepts of primary care to manage the complex health problems of middle-aged and older adults.

Nursing of Children Theory I: Child and Family Development

This course focuses on developmental theories and concepts that form the basis for nursing assessment and intervention with children and families. Emphasis is given to current research and issues in child and family development and functioning.

Clinical courses (4 course units):

Clinical Practicum: Primary Care with Young Families

Management and evaluation of primary care problems of children in a variety of ambulatory settings. Opportunity to implement the role of nurse practitioner with children and their families in the community occurs under the guidance of faculty and experienced preceptors. The initiation of health promotion and health maintenance activities with individuals and groups is stressed. Collaborative, interdisciplinary practice is emphasized as students assess and manage common problems in consultation with an appropriate provider of care. 20 hours a week of clinical experience with a preceptor is arranged.

Clinical Management of Primary Care with Adults

Assessment and treatment of younger adults in ambulatory care settings is the focus of this clinical course.The course provides the nurse practitioner student with the necessary knowledge and experience to assist individuals with most common health problems, including acute episodic illness. The concepts of health promotion and health maintenance are integrated throughout the curriculum. Using a developmental framework, maturational tasks and problems of the adult and family in relation to illness and health are explored.

Advanced Concepts in Primary Care

In conjunction with the development of advanced clinical skills, students focus on advanced practice role development and the study of issues in health service delivery related to the practice of primary health care. Economics, case management and cultural/ethical aspects of care are discussed.

Clinical Practicum: Family Focused Primary Care of the Middle Aged and Older Adult

The focus of this course is the evaluation and management of primary care problems in middle-aged and older adults. Students will have an opportunity to implement the role of the nurse practitioner in the clinical setting. Interdisciplinary collaborative experiences will be essential to the clinical practicum. The initiation of health promotion and health maintenance activities with individuals, groups and families is stressed. Students are expected to assess and manage common chronic health problems in the clinical setting.

Elective courses (1 course unit):

Graduate Nursing Elective #1

Students are encouraged to select courses that complement and enhance their program focus. Courses must be in the Nursing School, non-clinical courses, and at the 500 level or higher.