Nursing (NURS) 316

Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice I (Revision 2)

NURS 316 Cover Image

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Post-LPN BN program student, Professor approval required, BIOL 235

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 316 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 316 Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice 1 provides an integrated review of the pathology of disease and pharmacological interventions. This course includes the foundation of pathophysiology and pharmacology related to: cell and tissue function; integrative body functions; hematopoietic function; infection and Immunity; circulatory function; and respiratory function.

Learning Outcomes

After completing Nursing 316: Review of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for BN Practice 1, 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;
  • Competently calculate drug dosages;
  • Describe ethical, legal and professional responsibilities for the Registered Nurse related to safe medication administration.

Course Structure

NURS 316 comprises seven units. Each unit includes recommended readings, and related learning activities.

  • Unit 1: Basic Foundations for Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • Unit 2: Cell and Tissue Function
  • Unit 3: Integrative body Functions
  • Unit 4: Hematopoietic Function
  • Unit 5: Infection and Immunity
  • Unit 6: Circulatory Function
  • Unit 7: Respiratory Function


To receive credit for NURS 316, students must complete all of the required assignments, achieve a minimum pass grade of 64% on the Final Exam, and a composite grade of at least C(64 percent).

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

Assignments Weighting Minimum Pass
Assignment 1 - Medication Calculation Quiz Pass/Fail Pass Required
Assignment 2 - Unit Quizzes 25%  
Assignment 3 - Moodle Quiz: Proctor U online invigilation 35%  
Final Exam 40% 64%
Total 100% 64%

The Moodle Quiz will be an invigilated quiz located in the course study guide (the quiz is not booked through the myAU or the Exam Center). It is your responsibility to arrange invigilation directly through Proctor U.

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


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Karch, A.M. (2017). Focus on nursing pharmacology (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.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

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.

View previous revision

Opened in Revision 2, Feb 27, 2019.