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Below is the course of study for Neonatal 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 (3 course units):

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.

Advanced Developmental Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course will address advanced human embryology, physiology and pathophysiology. Biochemical genetics and the genetic basis of disease will be discussed. Normal fetal development and physiology of organ systems will be used as the foundation for understanding the pathophysiology of disease across the lifespan.

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 (3 course units):

The Child with Special Healthcare Needs

This course is designed to assist prospective practitioners develop advanced skills in identifying the needs and interventions for medically fragile neonataes, children and their families.

High-Risk Neonate, Theory

This course focuses on the care of high-risk neonates within the context of the family unit. The biological and psychosocial aspects are studied as a basis for nursing practice. Emphasis is placed on the role of the Advanced Practice nurse in improving services to high-risk neonates with the purpose of decreasing mortality and morbidity rates and improving the quality of life of high-risk newborns and infants.

High Risk Neonate Theory II

This course examines specific pathophysiological mechanisms which may result in body system failure. Strategies for clinical management are examined based on a synthesis of biological, behavioral, medical, pharmacological, and nursing knowledge. Theoretical analysis of the roles of the advanced practitioner with critically ill patients is emphasized.

Clinical courses (5 course units):

Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Life Span and Clinical Decision Making: Nursing of Children Clinical I

This clinical course is designed to help prospective advanced practice nurses develop advanced skills in physical and developmental assessment of children in a variety of well-child, clinic and hospital settings. Data collection, data interpretation, and hypothesis formulations are emphasized for the purpose of clinical decision making. The role of the advanced practice nurse in assessment of primary health care issues and health promotion is incorporated throughout the course. Collaboration as an integral part of assessment will be an ongoing focus.

Clinical Practicum for the High Risk Neonate

This clinical course focuses on the care of the high risk infant within the context of the family unit. Clinical experiences provide students with opportunities to expand their skills in managing the care of infants, both acutely ill and growing neonates. Students continue their experiences with neonatal nurse practitioners to examine role issues of these individuals.

Advanced Practice Concepts for the Childbearing Family

The seminar will provide students with the skills necessary to provide primary health care to high risk infants in ambulatory settings. Course material will include detailed physical assessment skills of the infant through the first year of life. The clinical component will include home visits and experience in the ambulatory and long term care settings.

High Risk Neonatal Clinical II

This clinical course is designed with emphasis on continued development of advanced clinical skills in the care of critically ill children. Emphasis is placed on integration of the roles of the advanced practitioner. This course adds to the student’s previous knowledge and skills in advanced practice and prepares them to manage care of critically ill children.

High Risk Neonatal Clinical III

This clinical course is designed with emphasis on continued development of advanced clinical decision-making skills in the care of critically ill children. Emphasis is placed on knowledge and skills that allow the advanced practitioner to efficiently and effectively manage children who are dependent upon or assisted by technological devices to carry out life processes.

Elective courses (1 course units):

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.