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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 5522 (August 28, 2021).

49 Pa. Code § 21.369. General curriculum requirements.

§ 21.369. General curriculum requirements.

 (a)  The curriculum shall be developed, implemented and evaluated by the faculty and be based on the philosophy and objectives of the school.

 (b)  The curriculum must be organized and developed to include the knowledge, attitudes, skills and abilities necessary for practice as a CRNP and in accordance with this chapter as related to CRNP practice.

 (c)  The curriculum must provide for both clinical and theoretical experiences. The curriculum must have the following components incorporated into each CRNP program:

   (1)  Graduate nursing core. The graduate nursing core must include the following content:

     (i)   Research.

     (ii)   Health care policy and organization.

     (iii)   Ethics.

     (iv)   Professional role development.

     (v)   Theoretical foundations of nursing practice.

     (vi)   Human diversity and social issues.

     (vii)   Health promotion and disease prevention.

   (2)  Advanced nursing practice core. The advanced nursing practice core must include the following content:

     (i)   Advanced health/physical assessment.

     (ii)   Advanced physiology and pathophysiology.

     (iii)   Advanced pharmacology.

   (3)  Specialty content. The CRNP student shall receive sufficient clinical experience to provide depth and breadth in a given specialty or with designated populations, geared to nurse practitioner practice. Clinical hours must meet at least National certification requirements with a minimum of 500. Additional hours must be provided for specialties that provide care to multiple age groups (for example, family CRNPs) or for those who will practice in multiple care settings. When defining additional clinical hours, the complexity of the specialty content, as well as the need for clinical experience to enhance retention and skills, shall be considered. The expected graduate competencies must be the key determinant of the clinical component.

   (4)  Advanced pharmacology.

     (i)   CRNP program graduates shall have a well-grounded understanding of pharmacologic principles, which includes the cellular response level. This area of core content must also include both pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacokinetics of broad categories of pharmacologic agents. Advanced pharmacology shall be taught in a separate or dedicated 3-credit or 45-hour course. Pharmacology content shall also be integrated into the other content areas identified in the advanced practice nursing core. Additional application of this content shall also be presented within the specialty course content and clinical experiences of the program to prepare the CRNP to practice within a specialty scope of practice.

     (ii)   The purpose of this content is to provide the graduate with the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose and manage (including the prescription of pharmacologic agents) a patient’s common health problems in a safe, high quality, manner.

     (iii)   The course work must provide graduates with the knowledge and skills to:

       (A)   Comprehend the pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of drugs.

       (B)   Analyze the relationship between pharmacologic agents and physiologic/pathologic responses.

       (C)   Understand the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of broad categories of drugs.

       (D)   Understand the motivations of clients in seeking prescriptions and the willingness to adhere to prescribed regimens.

       (E)   Safely and appropriately select pharmacologic agents for the management of client health problems based on client variations, the problem being managed, and cost effectiveness.

       (F)   Provide comprehensive and appropriate client education in relation to prescribed pharmacologic agents.

       (G)   Analyze the effects of single and multiple drug regimens on the client’s health and functioning.

       (H)   Understand the variety of State legal requirements for CRNP prescriptive authority.

       (I)   Fulfill legal requirements for writing prescriptions as a CRNP in this Commonwealth in accordance with § §  21.283—21.287 (relating to CRNP).

   (5)  Professional role content. The course work must provide graduates with curriculum in:

     (i)   Management of client health/illness status.

     (ii)   The nurse-client relationship.

     (iii)   The teaching-mentoring function.

     (iv)   Professional role.

     (v)   Managing and negotiating health care delivery systems.

     (vi)   Monitoring and ensuring the quality of health care practice.

 (d)  The instructional strategies must be appropriate and consistent with the program’s philosophy, mission and objectives.

 (e)  The clinical facilities of the CRNP program must provide a variety of experiences with sufficient quality and quantity. Clinical experiences must be consistent with the scope of practice.

 (f)  CRNP courses and curriculum must be organized to continue the development of values, understandings, knowledge and skills needed in all aspects of practice as a CRNP and emphasize specialty areas.

 (g)  The ratio of students to faculty must insure optimal learning opportunities in clinical laboratory sessions, be consistent with the objectives of the CRNP courses, and comply with §  21.373(c)(3)(ii) (relating to facility and resource requirements).

 (h)  The curriculum for CRNP programs must give evidence of providing learning experiences which will prepare graduates for CRNP practice. The standards of practice are defined and delineated by the profession and § §  21.18 and 21.284 (relating to standards of nursing conduct; and prescribing and dispensing parameters).

 (i)  Course syllabi that identify all aspects of each course must be developed and readily available.


   The provisions of this §  21.369 issued under sections 6.1 and 8.1 of The Professional Nursing Law (63 P.S. § §  216.1 and 218.1).


   The provisions of this §  21.369 adopted June 2, 2006, effective June 3, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2667.

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  21.363 (relating to approval process).

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