NURSING 785 : Clinical Reasoning in Pharmacotherapeutics

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester Two (1225) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Builds on prior knowledge to establish an advanced understanding of pharmacotherapeutics and the application of the principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmaco-dynamics to prescribing practice in advanced practice roles; and develops nursing skills in clinical reasoning for safe and effective prescribing.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: NURSING 742, 773 Restriction: NURSING 706, 722

Course Contacts

Dr. Gigi Lim
Phone: 09 9233782 

Professor John Shaw

Matthew Baker
Email: Phone:09 923 1088 

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Master of Nursing

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate theoretical approaches in order to demonstrate a critical understanding of the conceptual challenges associated with prescribing (Capability 1.1 and 1.2)
  2. Critique prescribing practices and articulate the implications relevant to health care outcomes (Capability 1.2 and 1.3)
  3. Identify clinically-relevant medication goals with a view to proposing viable solutions, with reference to the best evidence (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3)
  4. Develop a coherent written argument in order to prescribe or propose changes to medication therapy (Capability 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
  5. Analyse prescribing practice by way of appropriate frameworks and use them to critique and/or recommend changes intended to improve health care outcomes and professional practice (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3)
  6. Critically evaluate the knowledge required for safe prescribing in specialty practice areas including physiology, pathophysiology and comprehensive patient assessment (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3)
  7. Analyse processes to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of prescribing decisions for clients (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Test 35% Individual Test
Project 15% Group Coursework
Case Studies 35% Individual Coursework
Presentation 15% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Case Studies

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [30] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect [24] hours of oncampus lectures, a [40 ] hour online lectures and tutorials, [100] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [70] hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode


Attendance is [expected] at scheduled online activities including [labs/tutorials/studios/clinics] to [complete/receive credit for] components of the course.
The course [will] include live online events including [group discussions/tutorials/lectures] and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is [not required] for the [test/exam].
Where possible, study material will [be available at course commencement/be released progressively throughout the course].
This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.