Pharmacology in nursing education
Wendt, L. Elaine
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Trends in medical care are marked by increased use and complexity of pharmacological therapies, increased acuity of hospital patients, and aging of the population. In this environment, knowledge of drugs, their side effects and interactions is increasingly important to nurses. Nurses not only administer medications, but they assess both therapeutic and adverse effects. Media attention to medical errors, specifically medication errors in nursing practice (Berens, 2000), has focused increased attention on pharmacology in nursing education. Knowledge of clinical pharmacology is an important educational outcome of nursing education. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of pharmacology modules on students' acquisition of knowledge, and strengthen the ability of new graduates at UW-Eau Claire to provide competent, safe nursing care. In this evaluation research, two cohorts of graduating seniors in the nursing program took the NLN Pharmacology Achievement Test to evaluate their pharmacology knowledge. One group took the test prior to the pharmacology modules, the other group tested after. Qualitative data were also collected to describe the perceptions of students and faculty who used the modules. This research will provide data to strengthen the pharmacology content in an integrated curriculum in baccalaureate nursing education.