Pharmacotherapeutics for RANS online

Centre for Remote Health


'People from six places come together in the middle for meeting’ by Patricia ‘Pat’ Ansell Dodds: Click to find out moreWho should attend

Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nurses is an online self-paced course intended to provide nurses with the knowledge and skills to manage medicines safely. It is designed to assist nurses practising in remote locations to develop their knowledge and skills, confidence, competence, and preparedness to ensure quality use of medicines within individual scope of practice. Nurses are recognised as forming the backbone of rural and remote primary care and provide a growing volume of services especially in relation to chronic disease management. Nurses in the remote context practice at an advanced level in a collaborative manner often with limited or distant medical and pharmacy support. The extended scope of practice of nurses in remote Australia and the challenges of the remote context to providing appropriate and safe health care adds further complexity and highlights the need for advanced knowledge and skills.

The course comprises 8 modules that are structured to build on participant knowledge and experience. The first two modules, RAN practice and pharmacology, provide a foundation for nursing practice in the remote context. The subsequent six clinical modules explore the management of conditions common to remote practice, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, respiratory disease, mental health, infectious disease and antibiotic use, and pain management. Participants may enrol in the Pharmacotherapeutics online course at any time. You are provided with access for 3 months from date of registration, to complete all components. Associated with the online modules are activities to provide practical application of medicine management concepts and principles, including clinical scenarios, personal reflection, online tutorials, and multiple-choice quizzes. Recommended resources, references and clinical guidelines will be referred to throughout the modules and weblinks to these will be made available. There is no requirement to purchase any text for Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nurses

About the Course
Nurses are recognised as forming the backbone of primary health care in remote areas providing a rapidly growing volume of services, especially in relation to chronic disease management.

RANs practise at an advanced level often with limited or distant medical support and are required to possess a broad knowledge base in relation to disease management, including the administration, monitoring, supply and storage of medications.

Dealing with medications is a tricky and complex exercise. The phamacotherapeutics course will assist participants to develop knowledge and skills in the use of medications, the risks associated with them, and strategies to increase the benefits and minimise the risks of treatments. It is based on the principles of Quality Use of Medicines and collaborative practice. The course will take the participant on a journey from legislation, remote context and principles of good prescribing practice, to pharmacological principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics into the practical use of medicines in the management of clinical conditions.

The course covers conditions, both chronic and acute, that are common to remote practice and challenges participants to think beyond the general scope of nursing. A practical approach to disease management is promoted, underpinned by principles of drug therapy, such as adverse reactions, drug interactions, pharmacology, medication adherence and professional and legislative issues.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of state and territory legislation and health service policies governing the possession, administration and supply of medications in remote and isolated areas
  • Select, supply and administer appropriate medication under scheduled treatment protocols integrating comprehensive assessment and best practice guidelines
  • Apply clinical reasoning skills to identify factors that impact on selecting, monitoring and individualising treatment
  • Describe the principles of pharmacology; pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and how these principles relate to the treatment of individual patients
  • Access up-to-date evidence, best practice guidelines and recommended evidence based reference material for drug therapies
  • Engage in effective communication in a culturally respectful manner, with patients, carers and other health providers, to ensure optimum health outcomes
  • Implement strategies that maximise treatment adherence and therapeutic relationships  


Registration Process

  1. Register for Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nuarses via the Flinders University payment portal using the Proceed to Registration link above.
  2. Following registration you will receive an introductory email with your login details.


pdf Course Guide (1.06 MB)
pdf Frequently Asked Questions (226 KB)
pdf See what participants had to say about our most recent course (1.08 MB)


Tobias Speare

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