Nursing (NURS) 317

Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice II (Revision 1)

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, see current revision

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Post-LPN BN program student, Professor approval required, BIOL 235 Pre-or co-requisite:  NURS 316

**Note: Students are advised to complete Units 1-3 in NURS 316 prior to starting NURS 317. It is highly recommended to start NURS 317 at least one month after starting NURS 316.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 317 is not available for Challenge.

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**Note: Follow directions on the [Undergraduate Course Registration] form to register in the course. Online course materials cannot be accessed prior to your course contract start date.


Nursing 317 Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice ll provides an integrated review of the pathology of disease and pharmacological interventions, and continues the review of body systems from NURS 316. This course includes the foundation of pathophysiology and pharmacology related to: kidney and urinary function; gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary function; the endocrine system; genitourinary and reproductive function; the nervous system; musculoskeletal function; and integumentary function.

Learning Outcomes

After completing Nursing 317: Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice ll, you will achieve or exceed the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the links between the clinical signs and symptoms of common diseases and the underlying pathophysiological processes;
  • Articulate the relationships between pathophysiological processes and tests used to diagnose common diseases;
  • Describe variations of pathophysiological processes across the lifespan;
  • Describe the principles of homeostasis, compensation and adaptation in ordered and disordered physiology as manifested in the various body systems;
  • Identify major classifications of pharmacotherapeutic agents and prototypes of each as used in the treatment of common health alterations;
  • Describe the therapeutic actions, indications, pharmacokinetics, contraindications, most common adverse reactions, and important drug-drug interactions associated with drug classifications and specific drugs;
  • Identify physiological and pathophysiological differences that must be considered in assessing therapeutic medication dosages administered across the lifespan;
  • Describe ethical, legal and professional responsibilities for the Registered Nurse related to safe medication administration.

Course Structure

NURS 317 comprises seven units. Each unit includes recommended readings, and related learning activities.

  • Unit 1: Kidney and Urinary Function
  • Unit 2: Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Function
  • Unit 3: Endocrine System
  • Unit 4: Genitourinary and Reproductive Function
  • Unit 5: Nervous System
  • Unit 6: Musculoskeletal Function
  • Unit 7: Integumentary Function


To receive credit for NURS 317, students must complete all of the required assignments, and achieve a composite grade of at least C(64 percent).

The assignments and weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignments Weighting
Assignment 1 - Unit Quizzes 35%
Assignment 2 - Midterm Quiz 25%
Assignment 3 - Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

Course Materials


There is no course package for Nursing 317, as required course materials are included with the Nursing 316 course package.

Karch, A.M. (2013/2017). Focus on nursing pharmacology (6th/7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

Porth, C. M. (2015). Essentials of pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • These textbooks contain an electronic code essential to access online textbook resources

Other Materials

A variety of electronic journals and websites are used in the course and paper copies are not included in the course package.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, August 2, 2016.