Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology

Added to Collection

*Please note the new course is launching in April 2018 and will include updated content and pharmacology continuing education (CE) hours.

Ensuring optimal outcomes by providing competent, quality care to acutely and critically ill patients challenges even the most experienced of nurses—a small misstep can have dire consequences. AACN: Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology is a Web-based course for new and experienced acute and critical care nurses looking to increase their knowledge of safe administration of medications commonly used in caring for these vulnerable patient populations. A brief review of pharmacology is followed by an in-depth look at how medications used to treat acutely and critically ill patients work to achieve the desired effects.

A comprehensive pharmacology course featuring the latest evidence-based knowledge, AACN: Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology was authored by clinical experts in the nursing, pharmacy, transfusion and cellular therapies fields and reviewed by a clinical pharmacist from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). The course:

  • Provides in-depth coverage of the most common medications, best practices, and evidence-based interventions specific to acute and critical care.
  • Engages learners through realistic scenarios and offers practice in complex decision-making.
  • Explains complex concepts through custom animations.
  • Weaves interactive learning checks throughout—such as Flashcards, Sequencing, Quiz Show and Wheel Spin—to confirm and reinforce learning.

Content Overview

A collaborative effort between AACN, Elsevier Clinical Solutions and ASHP, AACN: Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology features nine lessons based on current standards around safe medication administration as set forth by professional, regulatory and certifying bodies. Each lesson features a case study with patient updates throughout to demonstrate the topics being presented. The ninth “lesson” is actually an integrated final exam covering content from the entire course. CE credit hours are available upon completion of individual lessons and associated tests, and for the final exam—up to 12 CE contact hours in all. These contact hours do not meet criteria for pharmacology CE for APRN certification renewal.

The course is currently under revision with plans for the updated course to launch in late Spring of 2018.

Learners who have purchased the current course, will be enrolled automatically into the updated course when it launches, as long as they have an active seat.

View the full Table of Contents

Course Learning Objectives

After completing this course, users will be able to:

  1. Identify patient safety issues related to medication administration in acute and critical care.
  2. Differentiate pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and the effect on individuals or specific patient populations.
  3. Describe the actions of vasoactive medications and how to assess patients for intended pharmacodynamic effects and possible adverse reactions.
  4. Review the mechanism of action, desired effects, possible adverse effects and safe dosages of antiarrhythmic medications.
  5. Assess patients for pain and anxiety, and the effects of analgesics and sedatives.
  6. Manage issues related to use of paralytic medications, and avoid potentially dangerous adverse reactions.
  7. Describe common blood products and implement processes to safely administer them. 



Technical Requirements