Clinical Applications of Psychopharmalogic Agents


This course will enable the advanced practice nurse to understand the pharmacological basis for drug action in the prevention of illness, restoration, and maintenance of health in advanced practice psychiatric and mental health nursing. The challenges of drug interactions and adverse drug effects will be explored. Safety in prescribing psychotropics and methods of evaluating psychiatric drug information will be presented. This course is appropriate for advanced practice nurses (CNS or NPs) who prescribe psychiatric medications. We remind you that for the purposes of prescriptive authority, Pharmacotherapeutic continuing education courses must be relevant to your clinical scope of practice. The Oklahoma Board of Nursing has approved this course for 18 contact hours in pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses. 


This course is designed for Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses. Content is aimed at Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. This course is appropriate for any Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who prescribes psychiatric medications to gain a more thorough understanding of psychotropic drugs. This course is approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing as Category C education. Nurses wishing to take this course for purposes of renewal of prescriptive authority recognition are reminded that any pharmacotherapeutic course for continuing education credit must be relevant to their scope of practice.

At the conclusion of the course, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe the neurotransmitter systems that provide the pharmacological basis for drug action in the prevention of illness, restoration, and maintenance of health in advanced practice psychiatric and mental health nursing
  • Describe the neurotransmitter systems that reinforce substances of abuse
  • Discuss interactions and adverse reactions of different classes of psychotropic drugs
  • Discuss special considerations of psychotropic drugs for special populations (i.e., Alzheimer's or pediatric patients).


Those successfully completing the course will be awarded 15 contact hours.

The University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurse Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (Certificate #UOC-0616 - Approval expires 10/01/2019).

This course has been approved for Pharmacology hours by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing for 18 contact hours of Category C education (based on 50 minutes per contact hour) for Advanced Practice Nurses (Adult or Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists certified in Adult or Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing).


The cost of the course is $250, and can be paid by credit card, check, or money order.


Course is open enrollment. To register online click here or you can contact the University of Oklahoma Continuing Education Department at 405-271-2062.

You will have 6 months to complete this course. Once you have been given a password into the course, you are no longer eligible for a refund or cancellation fees.


The following required textbook should be obtained as soon as possible to assist you to successfully complete the online course. It is available online through or other online booksellers:

  • Stahl, S.M. (2013). Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (4th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-107-68646-5
  • Sadock, B.J., Sadock, V.A. & Sussman, N. (2014). Kaplan and Sadock's Pocket Handbook of Psychiatric Drug Treatment (6th edition). Wolters Kluwer. ISBN: 978-1-4511-9225-4
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