Sample Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Subjects are representative of a graduate nursing core curriculum. Subjects in red are specific to an advanced practice nursing track.


Perioperative implications

Recommended activities


Ethical issues e.g., Do-Not- Resuscitate (DNR)

Fair and equitable distribution of finite resources


Counsel perioperative patients in situations where ethical issues arise

Serve on hospital ethics committee/IRB

Assume accountability for practice

Serve as consultant for patient advocacy issues

Nursing theory

Appropriate theories (e.g., natural, social, organization, biological) to serve as a foundation for perioperative patient care

Apply appropriate  theories from nursing and related fields to provide high quality health care to patients

Health policy/social issues

Public, governmental, and third party participation in direction of perioperative care

Changing demographics, cultural/racial/ethnic/gender diversity of patient population

Attend legislative hearings related advanced practice issues

Evaluate local/state/national socioeconomic and health policy issues and trends

Articulate health policy concerns and the significance of advanced practice nursing role to elected/appointed officials 

Serve on boards or task forces that influence health policy, e.g., state nurses’ associations and/or professional organizations

Provide age and culturally competent patient care


Advanced leadership role in initiating/guiding change within the perioperative environment

Chair  department/hospital committees

Provide education for other departments (e.g. Sterile Processing Dept. [SPD], med-surg unit, PACU)

Mentor/precept staff and students

Advocate for improved access, quality, and cost effective health care

Serve on national/state/regional professional associations


Analytical skills for evaluating and providing evidence-based, patient centered care in the perioperative setting

Application of knowledge to practice

SCIP initiatives

Dept. research projects

Evidence-based practice

Utilizes new knowledge in analyzing the outcomes of nursing interventions

Develop strategies for incorporation of research into treatment regimen

Grant writing

Management of the patient

Organization of health care delivery model

Fiscal management of perioperative patient

Payment systems

Management of resources

Deliver health care in acute  care setting while recognizing that patient will be discharged to community-based system

Analyze and monitor the cost-effectiveness of services

Demonstrate fiscal responsibility of own practice while providing quality care.

Incorporate nursing interventions to maximize quality of life.

Professional role development

Role of the NP in the perioperative environment

Multi/intra disciplinary health care team member

Development of role-specific job description/resume

Articulate role of NP in perioperative environment to other health professionals, policy makers, and consumers

Advocate for nursing profession

Actively recruit/mentor potential students  

Advanced Pathophysiology

Physiologic responses to surgical experience

Health promotion/disease prevention

Effect of changes in normal functioning related to perioperative plan of care

Expert clinician

Provide staff in-services on specific disease entities

Incorporate findings in management of care

Advanced Pharmacology

Pharmacotherapeutics/pharmacokinetics of medications prescribed during perioperative period 

Single/multiple drug regimens for perioperative patient

Safely and appropriately prescribes pharmacologic interventions (based on prescriptive authority standards for state)

Liaison between pharmacy, physicians, and nurses in providing optimal patient care

Analyze relationship between medications and physiologic/pathologic responses.

Reconciliation between home and facility-administered medications.

Discharge meds planning

Advanced Physical Assessment

Current and relevant patient data pertinent to perioperative experience

Referral agent

Communication/observational skills

Pre-operative assessment, including complete functional assessment, health history, physical examination, and appropriate diagnostic testing

Development of intraoperative plan of care which takes into consideration life circumstances and cultural/ethnic/developmental variations

First assisting

Discharge planning

Clinical hours/practicum

Minimum 500 hours with an appropriate preceptor in a NP role

Clinical experience with emphasis on independent and interprofessional practice