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ADN take Pharmacology or wait for BSN?

Looking for some advice...

I'm in an ADN program (in semester 2 of 4) and there is a class that's offered only once a year, in the summer. It's Pharmacology Essentials and it's 3 credits. We're not required to take it, but it's advised that we do. Summer registration just started so I need to decide if I will take this course, since it's my only chance before graduation.

I've been looking at a few RN to BSN programs - I plan to enroll in one in 2013. Most of them allow you to transfer a set number of credits from your general education and nursing classes but then you need to take about 30 credits at that school to get your BSN degree there. I have an abundance of credits I can transfer and I'm fairly certain I will have the max already in terms of gen ed and electives, plus about 40 credits of nursing courses from my ADN. One of the schools I am considering requires "Pharmacology" and the other two don't mention it (but maybe it is a nursing elective). I know quite a bit about drugs already as I'm a compulsive wiki reader and I thumb through my drug guide just for kicks.

So should I take this course now? How much do you think it could help me with the NCLEX or future med-surg classes? I skipped the optional "medication administration" course and aced the test no problem. I'd hate to spend the money on this course now only to have to repeat it or a similar course for my BSN. WWYD?

I don't know how much Pharm. is built into your other courses in your ADN program, but it sounds like this class might be the mortar that helps all the bricks hold together...sure, the wall will stand on it's own, but it'd be a heck of a lot stronger with mortar holding it together.

Personally, I don't think you can go wrong by taking it. It's probably cheaper here than it would be at a BSN program, and if you have to re-take it with the BSN, you'll be well prepared and it will help you boost your GPA. In my BSN program, we had a basic pharm. class in the first semester, and it's been built upon each semester. Without that pharm. class, i wouldn't understand the actions of drugs nearly as well as I do now. Plus, who doesn't want to know more about those chemicals you're pushing into your pt's body?


Specializes in Peds, psych.

I was in this same exact situation. I ended up taking it as an optional summer course. In my mind, it came down to as a nurse, why would you not want to learn more about the drugs you are giving your patients? You won't retain all the information, but it was beneficial, and I have not had to take it for my RN-BSN program that I am finishing up next month.

It's probably not needed at this point to pass the NCLEX, etc. Sure, it couldn't hurt, but before you take it to transfer it make sure it'll definitely transfer where you want it to go. At the school I attend the ADN students take two one credit hour pharmacology courses. The first one they take deals more with math. I really don't know what the other is. Their pharmacology is built into their curriculum.

I'm in the "generic" BSN program at the same school with one semester left. We had a pharmacology course worth three credits the first semester (first semester of the actual nursing courses). That was basically all the pharm we'll ever get other than what happens to be mentioned in passing. That was our math, study of drug classes, etc. Likewise, we took health assessment that semester, and that was the only time we've hit on it since. The ADN kids get whatever assessment knowledge they get built into their program.

The difference in the two programs is that although the faculty deems sufficient coverage to have been provided into both they use the med/surg-oriented classes, although provided under a different course name, to focus almost entirely on interventions as we had a separate pathophysiology course as well. While the ADN kids do a little of everything we get it once and move on with the expectation that we still know it. Both programs have their pros and cons since, but look at your school's NCLEX pass rate. You may find you don't/won't need the added pharm course, or you may find you need it and a prayer to pass.

thanks for the replies.

my school does have a high NCLEX success rate and I know not everyone takes the optional pharmacology course. We are pretty much required to take an NCLEX prep course like Kaplan.

I'm leaning towards not taking this course because I don't want to spend the time & money on tuition when I feel I could just learn it myself and I may not even be able to have it count towards a BSN.

If the course would transfer to a BSN and it's required for the BSN, then I can still take it during the summer at the community college, right?


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