Posted: December 28th, 2022
The human brain is organized into the cerebral cortex, brainstem, subcortical structures, and the cerebellum. These anatomical structures are made of inter-connected elements that create distributed and highly inter-connected circuits. It is in these circuits where cognition, behavior, and affect are processed.
—Camprodon, J. A., & Roffman, J. L. (2016, p. 6)
By using a combination of psychotherapy and medication therapy, psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNP) are positioned to provide a very unique type of care to patients with psychiatric disorders. To be successful in this role, you must have a strong theoretical foundation in pathophysiology, psychopharmacology, and neuroscience. This foundation will help you assess, diagnose, and treat patients as you relate presenting symptoms to theoretical neuronal functioning.
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This week, as you begin to study psychopharmacology, you will explore the basic functional unit of the nervous system, the neuron. You will review the structure of the neuron and you will examine the anatomy of the central nervous system and consider the functionality of the different structure and outward (phenotypic) expression of their activities. You will analyze these concepts as you complete your short answer assessment for this week.
Camprodon, J. A., & Roffman, J. L. (2016). Psychiatric neuroscience: Incorporating pathophysiology into clinical case formulation. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 1–19). Elsevier. NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
The Practicum Manual describes the structure and timing of the classroom-based and practicum experiences and the policies students must follow to be successful in the nurse practitioner (NP) specialties.
Click here and follow the instructions to confirm you have downloaded and read the entire MSN Nurse Practitioner Practicum Manual and will abide by the requirements described in order to successfully complete this program.
The PMHNP Study Support Lounge is offered throughout the course as a place of academic refuge, where you can ask questions, offer insights, and interact with your peers. Your Instructor may also weigh in to provide global feedback to the group based on trends, common problems, and common strengths in student posts.
As a peer, you are encouraged to provide constructive, helpful feedback to your peers. Advanced practice nurses always benefit from the feedback of others. Your Study Support Lounge posts may be procedural (“How do I attach a Kaltura video to a Discussion post?”), conceptual (“How does this relate to the other therapy approaches we have studied?”), or analytical (“What do these diagnostic results actually mean in the context of this specific patient case?”). Although not mandatory, this is an opportunity to interact and study together as you navigate the assignments, so you are highly encouraged to take part in this activity. Full participation in activities like these is a statistically significant predictor of success.
To Participate in this Optional Discussion:
PMHNP Study Support Lounge
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, before you can recommend potential pharmacotherapeutics to address a patient’s condition or disorder, you must understand the basic function and structure of the neuron and central nervous system. For this Assignment, you will review and apply your understanding of neuroanatomy by addressing a set of short answer prompts.
Address the following Short Answer prompts for your Assignment. Be sure to include references to the Learning Resources for this week.
Submit your Assignment.
To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:
To access your rubric:
Week 1 Assignment Rubric
To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:
Submit your Week 1 Assignment draft and review the originality report.
To participate in this Assignment:
Week 1 Assignment
Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
Next week, you will examine how neurotransmitters and receptor theory may impact the function of the central nervous system. You explore medication adherence and consider how it might impact a patient’s treatment goals.
In the Nurse Practitioner programs of study (FNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP, and PMHNP) you are required to take several practicum courses. If you plan on taking a practicum course within the next two terms, you will need to submit your application via Meditrek .
For information on the practicum application process and deadlines, please visit the Field Experience: College of Nursing: Application Process – Graduate web page.
Please take the time to review the Appropriate Preceptors and Field Sites for your courses.
Please take the time to review the practicum manuals, FAQs, Webinars and any required forms on the Field Experience: College of Nursing: Student Resources and Manuals web page.
To go to the next week:
Week 2: Neurotransmitters and Receptor Theory
Receptors and neurotransmitters are like a lock-and-key system. Just as it takes the right key to open a specific lock, it takes the right neurotransmitter to bind to a specific receptor. Not surprisingly, as it concerns psychopharmacology, the pharmacotherapeutics that are prescribed must trigger the release of certain neurotransmitters that bind to the correct receptors in order to elicit a favorable response for the patient. The mechanism of this binding and the response that follows reflects receptor theory and lies at the foundation of pharmacology. NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
This week, you will continue your examination of neuroanatomy and neuroscience as you engage with you colleagues in a Discussion. You will also explore the potential impacts of foundational neuroscience on the prescription of pharmacotherapeutics.
- Analyze the agonist-to-antagonist spectrum of action of psychopharmacologic agents
- Compare the actions of g couple proteins to ion gated channels
- Analyze the role of epigenetics in pharmacologic action
- Analyze the impact of foundational neuroscience on the prescription of medications
Discussion: Foundational Neuroscience
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, it is essential for you to have a strong background in foundational neuroscience. In order to diagnose and treat patients, you must not only understand the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders but also how medications for these disorders impact the central nervous system. These concepts of foundational neuroscience can be challenging to understand. Therefore, this Discussion is designed to encourage you to think through these concepts, develop a rationale for your thinking, and deepen your understanding by interacting with your colleagues. NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF
For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources and reflect on the concepts of foundational neuroscience as they might apply to your role as the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in prescribing medications for patients.
By Day 3 of Week 2
Post a response to each of the following:
- Explain the agonist-to-antagonist spectrum of action of psychopharmacologic agents, including how partial and inverse agonist functionality may impact the efficacy of psychopharmacologic treatments.
- Compare and contrast the actions of g couple proteins and ion gated channels.
- Explain how the role of epigenetics may contribute to pharmacologic action.
- Explain how this information may impact the way you prescribe medications to patients. Include a specific example of a situation or case with a patient in which the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner must be aware of the medication’s action. NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.
By Day 6 of Week 2
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days in one of the following ways:
- If your colleagues’ posts influenced your understanding of these concepts, be sure to share how and why. Include additional insights you gained.
- If you think your colleagues might have misunderstood these concepts, offer your alternative perspective and be sure to provide an explanation for them. Include resources to support your perspective.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 of Week 2 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 2
To Participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion
What’s Coming Up in Week 3?
Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
Next week, you will explore medication adherence and strategies to help overcome non-adherence to pharmacotherapeutics. You will also complete a Quiz that addresses the content covered throughout this module.
To go to the next week:
Module 2: Disorders With Affective Components
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP), does that research finding surprise you? How do PNPs ensure that effective psychopharmacologic treatments are prescribed to address the prevalence of affective disorders?
Consider for example that current treatments are sub-optimal, resulting in poor patient responses and uncertain modes-of-action (Plant, 2017). While it is no surprise that mental health medicine and clinical approaches are constantly evolving, novel insights into the underlying mechanisms of how affective disorders arise, remain. Additionally, the use of psychopharmacologic treatments may not always be consistent with a patient’s preferred treatment plan. Thus, your skills and understanding of how to assess and treat patients with affective disorders are important in ensuring positive patient outcomes and may also contribute to the research needed to connect clinical observations to the neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacologic processes needed to treat these disorders. NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
Plant, N. (2017). Can a systems approach produce a better understanding of mood disorders? Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1861(1), 3335-3344. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BBAGEN.2016.08.016
What’s Happening This Module?
Module 2, Disorders With Affective Components, is a 6-week module. During Week 4, you will begin applying your assessment and therapy skills as you engage in your first Assignment assessing and treating pediatric patients with mood disorders. In Week 5, you will continue to apply your assessment and therapy skills as you assess and treat patients presenting with bipolar disorders. As you engage with the decision tree exercises, reflect on the critical decision-making skills that you, as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, are making, as these skills are essential to your current and future practice. In Week 6, you will assess and treat patients presenting with anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You will also complete your Midterm Exam. During Week 7, you will assess and treat patients presenting with schizophrenia. In Week 8, you will complete a Short Answer Assessment in which you will synthesize your understanding of sleep/wake disorders. You will also continue to apply your assessment and therapy skills as you assess and treat patients presenting with sleep/wake disorders. During Week 9, you will examine psychopharmacologic therapies for patients with ADHD/ODD and you will complete a Quiz to test your understanding of the content explored in this module
What do I have to do? When do I have to do it? Review your Learning Resources. Days 1–7, Weeks 4–9 Assignment: Assessing and Treating Pediatric Patients With Mood Disorders Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4. Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With Bipolar Disorder Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 5. Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With Anxiety Disorders Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 6. Midterm Exam Complete Midterm Exam by Day 7 of Week 6. Discussion: Treatment for a Patient With Insomnia Post by Day 3 of Week 7 and respond to your colleagues by Day 6 of Week 7. Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With Psychosis and Schizophrenia Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 7. Assignment 1: Short Answer Assessment Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 8. Assignment 2: Assessing and Treating Patients With Sleep/Wake Disorders Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 8. Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With ADHD/ODD Submit your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 9. Quiz: Assessing and Treating Patients With Psychopharmacology Complete Quiz by Day 7 of Week 9.
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NURS 6630: Psychopharmalogical Approaches to Treat Psychopathology full course
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