NMHS32170 Pharmacology for Nurse-Midwife Prescribing.

Academic Year 2023/2024

The focus of this module is on clinical pharmacology and therapeutics with the aim of preparing nurses and midwives for their role as Registered Nurse/Midwife Prescribers. Indicative content includes the application of core principles of pharmacology to the practice of prescribing across diverse populations, recognising potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors requiring drug dose/drug calculation adjustments so as to mitigate against potential adverse drug reactions. The need to remain current and skilled in accessing information on new clinical trials and new medicines is explored.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:

Understand the principles of pharmacokinetics and how they apply to prescribing calculations.
Understand the core concepts in pharmacodynamics that form the basis of modern drug dosing.
Become familiar with treatment approaches for common diseases affecting the brain, gut, respiratory and endocrine systems, including those drugs' mechanism of action.
Identify potential adverse drug reactions (ADR) based on known drug-drug interactions and patient-derived variations and learn how to manage and mitigate ADR effectively.
Calculate the correct quantity of a drug: adjust the dose according to the patients body weight, convert doses and concentrations, and calculate infusion rates.
As part of your professional development, learn how to stay updated with current pharmacological trends, new medications and emerging therapies using literature-based approaches.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures are delivered face-to-face on Wednesdays. All lectures are live streamed and recorded. Recordings are made available in Brightspace for review at a later date. However, all students are encouraged to attend class in person where possible. Students are expected to be active participants in all learning activities and are encouraged to ask questions and share their knowledge and expertise with other students and lecturers. Students are directed to key learning resources and are expected to read broadly and research around key topics. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: 2/3 short answer pharmacology questions
Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 30 questions, one attempt, no negative marking. Week 12 n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on MCQ's is available in Brightspace upon release of grades. Feedback on the short answer questions is provided using a rubric and is available in Brightspace upon release of grades.

Core Textbooks

Bennet, P.N., Brown, M.J., Sharma, P. (2012) Clinical Pharmacology, 11th edn. London: Churchill Livingstone.

Joint Formulary Committee (2018) British National Formulary. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. Available online in UCD library as ‘Medicines Complete’

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (eds) (2018) MIMS Ireland. Located at: https://www.mims.ie/about-us/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Wall, B. & Cock-Wall, A. (2018) Irish Medicines Formulary. Dublin: Meridan Ireland.

Supplementary Text

Beckwith, S. & Franklin P. (2011) Oxford handbook of prescribing for nurses and allied health professionals, 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Online Medicines Information

Health Products Regulatory Authority. Located at: https://www.hpra.ie/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Health Services Executive Primary Reimbursement Services. Located at: http://www.ncpe.ie/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Health Services Executive Preferred Drugs Initiative. Located ate: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/preferred-drugs/, accessed 6th January 2019/

Health Services Executive Prescribing Tips and Tools. Located at: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/prescribing-tips-and-tools/, accessed 6th January, 2019.

Health Services Executive Antibiotic Prescribing. Located at: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/2/gp/antibiotic-prescribing/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Health Services Executive Prescribing and Cost Guidance. Located at: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/guidance/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Health Services Executive Orla Nutritional Supplements. Located at: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/oral-nutritional-supplements/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Generic Prescribing & Interchangeable Medicines. Located at: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/hl/generics/about/, accessed 6th January 2019.

National Medicines Information Centre, St. James Hospital. Located at: http://www.stjames.ie/nmic/index.html, accessed 6th January, 2019.

The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics. Located at: http://www.ncpe.ie/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Recommended Readings

Ahern F, Salm L, Lynch D, McCarthy S. (2014) Determining the frequency and preventability of adverse drug reaction-related admissions to an Irish University Hospital: a cross-sectional study. Emergency Medicine Journal, 31(1), p.24-9.

Barry, M. (2009) Economies in drug usage in the Irish healthcare setting. https://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/economies_drug_usage.pdf, Accessed on 19th February 2019

Brick, A., Gorecki, P., Nolan A. (2013) Ireland: Pharmaceutical prices, prescribing practice and usage of fenerics in a comparative context. Dublin: ESRI, Research Series 32.

Brown, W., Loudon, K., Fisher, J. and Marsland, L. (2014) Pass the PSA. London: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Gersch, C., Heimgartner, N., Rebar, C. and Willis, H. (2017) Pharmacology made incredibly easy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilson.

Health Services Executive & Primary Care Reimbursement Services (2016) Primary care reimbursement services: Statistical analysis of claims and payments. Dublin: Health Services Executive.

Medical Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (2017) Safe Prescribing and dispensing of controlled drugs. Dublin: Medical Council

National Health Service Cumbia Clinical Commissioning Group (2016) Stop Start Tool Kit – Supporting Medication Review in Cumbria. Cumbria: NHS Cumbria.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (2018) Practice standards for midwives, 3rd edn. Dublin: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

Queens University Belfast (2019) Numeracy skills for drug calculations. Located at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/elearning/public/NumeracySkillsforDrugCalculations/, accessed 6th January 2019.

Name Role
Professor Orina Belton Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Colm Collins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Derek Costello Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor John Crean Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Orla Daly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Aoife Claire MacCormac Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Tara McMorrow Lecturer / Co-Lecturer