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):
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.
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.
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.
This is a laboratory/clinical course designed to help prospective nurse practitioners 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.
And one of the following two courses:
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.
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.
Theory courses (4 course units):
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.
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.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.
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):
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.