NURS 611 & NURS 615: Pathophysiology & Pharmacology (MSN)


At the undergraduate level, it has come to my attention that ADN students are not required to take pathophysiology and pharmacology in their nursing program, but BSN students are. This is obviously in addition to the anatomy and physiology courses that both nursing students must complete as prerequisites for nursing school. While I think that is a little crazy that ADNs are exempt from what I believe to be fairly important classes for understanding the human body, I digress, for this post is about patho-pharm at the masters level.

Going in

I obviously knew these courses were coming, but I was hoping this would mainly be a review of my BSN level courses. As the EBP class was similar, albeit slightly more intense, I was hoping for some of the same for the MSN version of patho-pharm.


While it may be too early to tell, I can already state that these courses are likely going to be challenging (read: hard as shit). I have already invested a significant amount of time for something I thought would be mostly a review, and this is not because I simply forgot and have to relearn everything.

No, these are brand new concepts, perhaps that were only touched upon and grazed in previous A&P and patho-pharm classes I’ve taken thus far. I am seeing words that I have never seen before, and this is getting deep.


This may seem like a rant, but the goal is to generate a discussion on these courses and perhaps find some pearls of wisdom from others who have already been there and done that. Please feel free to respond with any helpful tips you may have.

So far, I have relied upon any provided course materials/summaries, Youtube videos of lectures (great suggestion from a friend), and of course, the textbook and accompanying study guide.


Pathophysiology and Pharmacology DONE! Ended my semester with A’s in both courses, and couldn’t be prouder and more relieved. These courses were certainly challenging, and it seems like I have learned years worth of information in only 4 months. I am happy to be advancing towards clinical rotations, and putting these classes in my rear view mirror.


If you are taking pathophysiology and using a textbook from McCance and Elsevier, do yourself a favor and utilize both the accompanying textbook study guide, as well as the free practice test questions on Elsevier’s website. These both helped enormously.

Good luck to everyone taking these courses!