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Below is the course of study for Nurse-Midwifery. We also provide plans of study for both full time and part time students.

Core courses (4 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.

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 (7 course units):

Current Issues In Health and Social Policy

Analysis of key contemporary issues in health and social policy that will provide students with a deeper understanding of the design and structure of the U.S. health care system, the policy initiatives that have shaped it, and the roles of the government, the private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups in setting the policy agenda. Seminars will examine the origins of each issue, the policies enacted and their effects, both intended and unintended, and will propose and debate the merits of alternative policy solutions. The role of health services and policy research in informing the policy debate and directions will be highlighted. Please note, the online version of this course has a synchronous component (live online class sessions). The day/time will be listed in the course register. This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms

Mutually Exclusive: NURS 3340

1 Course Unit

Complementary/Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health

The dramatic rise in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by the American public requires that the contemporary health care practitioner have an awareness of CAM therapies and modalities currently available. The end result of this is course will not be proficiency in the practice of any of these modalities in particular, but rather a basic understanding of each approach to common conditions and their potential contribution to health and well-being. The focus of the CAM modalities discussed in this course will center on their use in women’s health care provision.

Professional Issues in Midwifery

In-depth discussion of current issues facing the profession of nurse-midwifery which impact on professional education, certification, and practice. Includes ethical, legal, and political aspects of nurse-midwifery practice.

Fetal Evaluation

This course focuses on identifying at risk and high risk maternal fetal dyads, developing knowledge relating to assessment of fetal well being, and understanding the implications of obstetric, non obstertric, and fetal complications on the management of the high risk pregnancy. Additionally the course provides an understanding of the scientific basis for new technologies used to evaluate at risk and high risk populations. Information about the physics of ultrasound, pulse echo imaging, and doppler techniques will be provided. Students must be able to practice ultrasound skills while in this course.

Well Women Health Care, Theory

This course focuses on the management and evaluation of physical, emotional, socio-cultural and educational needs of gynecologic primary health care of women from adolescence through post-menopausal years. The content is directed at expanding the expertise of the student in in meeting the primary women’s health care needs in contemporary society. Social influences that have an impact on women’s lives are also explored.

Health Care of Childbearing Women, Theory

The antepartum course builds upon the well-woman health care course. The focus is management of prenatal care for the childbearing family. Conceptual threads of public policy and ethics are integrated within the content to help students to identify broader implications for prenatal care. Content includes theory and practice related to nurse-midwifery/ nurse practitioner management of the normal pregnant woman, and nurse-midwifery/ nurse practitioner management and strategies to reduce selected obstetric complications.

Intrapartum / Postpartum / Newborn Care, Theory

Anatomy and physiology relevant to the care of the women and their families during the intrapartum, postpartum and newborn periods. Includes management of selected obstetrical emergencies and medical complications.

Clinical courses (6 course units):

Health Care of Women and Primary Care

The focus of this course is a clinical approach to primary care problems commonly encountered by women in an ambulatory setting. This course provides the women’s health care nurse practitioner and midwifery student student with the knowledge and problem solving approach 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.

Well Women Health Care, Clinical

This clinical course further prepares students in understanding and developing the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Nurse-Midwifery roles. This clinical course focuses on the management and evaluation of physical, emotional, socio-cultural and educational needs of gynecologic primary health care needs of women from adolescence through post-menopausal years. Emphasis is placed on promoting and maintaining wellness, clinical decision making, systematic health interview, physical assessment, interpretation of laboratory findings, and diagnosis and treatment of gynecological problems.

Health Care of Childbearing Women, Clinical

This course focuses on the management and evaluation of the childbearing women and their families in primary care settings. The course presents the opportunity to implement the role of the Nurse Practitioner with the childbearing woman and her family. The focus is on comprehensive physical, psychosocial and educational management of women and their families during pregnancy and postpartum.

Integration I

Intensive integration of theory and clinical practice in women’s health care with emphasis on ambulatory care. Clinical practice in all areas of ambulatory women’s health care, teaching rounds, case presentations, and seminars with professional colleagues.

Integration II: Midwifery Integration

Intensive integration of theory and clinical practice in women’s health care with emphasis on intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn care. Clinical practice during the intrapartum and postpartum, teaching rounds, case presentations, and seminars with professional colleagues.

Intrapartum / Postpartum / Newborn Care, Clinical

Clinical care and management of women, newborns and their families during the intrapartum, postpartum and newborn periods. Includes management of selected obstetrical emergencies and medical complications. Clinical assignments related to module objectives.

The midwifery program at the University of Pennsylvania is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374; for information about accreditation please contact ACME directly. Tel: 240-485-1802,,