Spring 2021

NURS 6140-001 Special Population Pharmacology: Applied Psychopharmacology (PMHNP)

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

Students are expected to follow all policies related to COVID-19 found on the university webpage: https://wp.uthscsa.edu/coronavirus/.

NOTE: Our campus has enabled the CANVAS MOBILE LEARN application. CANVAS tools such as discussions, quizzes or videos May or May NOT function on all mobile devices. This is because mobile devices are available with rapidly changing and different configurations. Hence, students must not depend on only a mobile device to access course materials. Students must have access to a laptop or desktop device to access course materials and complete assignments.

This course is Web Enhanced with WebCT icon
Please be sure to check the Current Computer Requirements

Welcome to Special Population Pharmacology: Applied Psychopharmacology for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

We will meet every other Thursday until the last 3 weeks when we will meet weekly.

The course is augmented with materials inside Canvas.  Please check Canvas for detailed instructions, required and recommended reading and videos, and grading criteria.

The first class is 4:30 - 6:30 PM Thursday, January 14, 2020.

We will be joined by PNP and FNP tracks for the first several weeks of the course.

Please review and begin work in the Neuroanatomy Coloring Book (see canvas for free code to download the book).


Douglas Dillon, DNP, RN, APRN, FPMHNP-BC
Lt Col USAF (Retired)
Assistant Professor/Clinical
Course Coordinator
School of Nursing – Room NSG 2.114
UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive San Antonio, TX 78229
Email: DillonD@uthscsa.edu
Telephone: 210-567-5925
Mobile: 719-494-4747
FAX 210-567-5822
Office Hours: See Starfish for Virtual Office Hours

Mark Soucy, PhD, RN, APRN, FAANP
Associate Professor/Clinical
Course Faculty
School of Nursing
UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
Email: soucy@uthscsa.edu
Telephone: 210-269-8651
FAX: 210-567-2788
Office Hours: See Starfish for Virtual Hours by Appointment

M. Danet Lapiz-Bluhm, PhD, RN, MSCI
Associate Professor
Course Faculty
School of Nursing
UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
Email: Lapiz@uthscsa.edu
Telephone: 210-567-5790
FAX: 210-567-5822
Office Hours: See Starfish for Virtual Hours by Appointment

Karen W. Schwab, PhD, RN, PNP-C, PMHS
Assistant Professor/Clinical
Course Faculty
School of Nursing – Room NSG
UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
Email: schwabk@uthscsa.edu
Telephone: 210-567-6982
FAX: 210-567-5822
Office Hours: See Starfish for Virtual Hours by Appointment


This course is designed to build upon the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner student’s prior knowledge of advanced pharmacology to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for practical application of psychopharmacologic medications in the treatment of mental illness across the lifespan. The focus is on the neurobiological and psychopharmacological principles for the clinical management of psychotropic medications in the treatment of mental illnesses; integrating neuroanatomy, pharmacogenomics, neurophysiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and behavioral science.


Credit hour allocation: 1 semester credit hours
Clock hour allocation: 15 clock hours class


NURS 6338 Advanced Pathophysiology
NURS 6302 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NURS 6210 Advanced Health Assessment & Clinical Reasoning
NURS 6110 Advanced Health Assessment & Clinical Reasoning: Clinical Application


Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program students will:

  1. Integrate nursing science, ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sources to provide the highest level of specialty nursing practices.
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate healthcare practices in healthcare systems that ensure quality improvement and patient safety.
  3. Use analytic methods and evidence based practices to improve practice outcomes and the practice environment.
  4. Implement and evaluate ethical healthcare information systems and patient care technology to improve the quality of patient health outcomes and care systems.
  5. Advocate for healthcare practices that advance social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.
  6. Employ interprofessional collaborative teams to improve patient and population health outcomes and healthcare delivery systems.
  7. Lead the integration and institutionalization of (evidence based) clinical prevention and population based health guidelines.
  8. Use clinical judgment, systems thinking, accountability, and specialized knowledge to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence based, culturally proficient care to improve patient, population, and health systems outcomes.


1.  Outline the neurobiological basis of receptor systems involved in the central nervous system. (Essentials I, III, VIII); (NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Quality 1-3, Independent Practice 1, 3)
2.  Categorize the major categories of psychotropic medications used in psychiatric mental health advanced practice. (DNP Essentials I, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Independent Practice 1, 3)
3.  Differentiate indications and contraindications of psychotropic agents in different disease states across the lifespan. (DNP Essentials I, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Quality 1-3, Independent Practice 1, 3)
4.  Create evidence-based, safe psychopharmacologic interventions for individuals with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. (DNP Essentials I, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Quality 1-3, Independent Practice 1, 3)
5.  Distinguish side effects of common psychotropic agents. (DNP Essentials I, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Quality 1-3, Independent Practice 1, 3)
6.  Design a psychotropic therapy plan for initiating and managing individuals with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan which mitigates potential adverse side effects, promotes health, and prevents co-morbidity. (DNP Essentials I, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1-4, Quality 1-3, Independent Practice 1, 3, 4, 5)


A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)

Additional details will be available inside the Canvas Course 


Attendance in class is an expectation of each student.


  1. If written assignments are made in a course they are required.
  2. Students are expected to submit written work on the scheduled date and time.
  3. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled due date and time if they are unable to submit the written work as scheduled. Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that written work.
  4. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternative due date and time.
  5. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the written work prior to submission.
  6. Late work will be accepted with consequences as outlined per course syllabi.


The APA Publication Manual 7th edition is required for use in all nursing school programs. 


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Students who are nurses or are preparing to enter the profession of nursing are expected to treat others with respect and compassion. “The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, to integrity-preserving compromise and to resolving conflict. This standard of conduct precludes any and all prejudicial actions, any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others” (American Nurses Association Code for Nurses, Interpretive Statement 1.5).

The students, faculty, Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and the Dean of the School of Nursing of the University Texas Health Science Center San Antonio subscribe to the highest standards of conduct. Our aim is professional behavior beyond reproach. Failure to abide by the signed code of professional conduct may lead to suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the UTHSCSA SON. In particular, we subscribe to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (http://bit.ly/1mtD5p2) and the following points of conduct.


School of Nursing Netiquette Guidelines for Online Interaction

Netiquette guidelines provide information for behaving properly online, when using email, tweets or texts so that you may successfully communicate your thoughts in a manner that is respectful and avoids misunderstandings with others.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.


American Psychiatric Nurses Association, International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, American Nurses Association. (2014)Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice Nursebooks.orgISBN: 9781558102507


American Nurses Association (2015). Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements: Development, Implementation and Application.ISBN: 9781558106031


American Nurses Association (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice, 3rd Ed.Silver Springs, MD: Nursingbooks.org ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-55810-619-2


American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Menta lDisorders Fifth Edition Paperback (DSM-5).American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8 


American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Ed).  Washington DC: Author ISBN-13: 978-1433832161 (Paperback)


Anatomy Academy(2020). Neuroanatomy coloring book.  Anatomy Academy ISBN-13: 978-1838188610:  Use the Code inside the course to download your free personal copy


Feder, J., Tien, E.& Puzantian, T.  (2018). Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice. Carlat Publishing. ISBN-13:9780997510683


*Neuroscience Education Institute (2020).  Membership (Student Rate if Full Time) Required.https://www.neiglobal.com/  Full Time Students Rate $129. NEI offersreduced membership rates to full-time students, residents, and militarypersonnel. Downloadthe registration form for submission details and requirements.  Comes with NEI Prescribe, Master Psychopharmacology Program, CMEs, CNS Spectrum Subscription,  etc.


Puzantian,T. & Carlat, D.J. (2020). Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice,5th Ed. Carlat Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1732952232


*Stahl, S. (2013)Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications 4th Edition. Paperback Edition. ISBN:  Wait until your membership is active in NEI before purchasing 9781107686465 BEFORE YOU Purchase: Discount withNEI Membership: $90


*Stahl, S. (2017). Essential Psychopharmacology: Prescribers Guide, 6thEd. Cambridge: University Printing House. ISBN-13: 978-1316618134 (Or use the APP available with your subscription to NEI) BEFORE YOU Purchase:Discount with NEI Membership: $89


Stephens, D.C., Blazer, D.G. & Thakur, M.E. (2015). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry. Washington DC:American Psychiatric Publishing.  Use the electronic version availablethrough the library in psychiatric online.

Van Leeuen, A.M. & Bladh, M.L.  (2019) Davis's Comprehensive Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications (Davis's Comprehensive Handbook of Laboratory & Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications) 8th Edition. FA Davis 978-0803674950


Boyd M.A. (2018). Psychiatric Nursing: Contemporary Practice. 6th ed.Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & WilkinsISBN/ISSN 9781451192438


Crayola Colored Pencils, Adult Coloring, Stocking Stuffers for Teens, 50 Count (Available on Amazon $10.99).


Dulcan, M.K., (Ed.) (2016)Dulcan’s Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2nd Ed. Washington, D.C.:American Psychiatric Association Publishing. Use electronic versionavailable through library in psychiatry online. 


Tusaie, K.R.& Fitzpatrick, J.J. (Eds.) (2017). Advanced practice psychiatric nursing:Integrating psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and complementary and alternative approaches across the life span, 2nd Ed. New York, SpringerPublishing Company. ISBN: 978-0-8261-3253-6

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Welcome to the first day of class.

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