Three Individual Online Courses to Strengthen Your Nursing Skills

Key courses can help you earn credits toward degrees like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

If you’ve chosen a nursing career, you know that continuing education is a licensing requirement. But engaging in lifelong learning offers so much more than that. It keeps you on the cutting edge of healthcare innovation. It can help you forge new paths of opportunity and set you apart as a nurse leader. And most importantly, investing in higher education can lead to improved patient outcomes.1

But it can be challenging trying to further your education while working full time and enjoying family life. That’s what makes online education a superior choice for working adults. Walden University offers more than 80 online degree programs and through its School of Lifelong Learning, offers hundreds of for-credit individual courses; non-credit, skills-based course offerings; and more.

Included in Walden’s range of for-credit courses are three key nursing courses known as the “Three Ps”: Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning (i.e. physical assessment). Each course confers 5 credits which can be applied toward a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) nurse practitioner online degree program, if you choose.

Here are some highlights of what you’ll learn in the “Three Ps”:

Advanced Pathophysiology
In this online course, students focus on understanding the bio-physiological processes, the deviations from these processes, and an in-depth examination of the scientific concepts related to the biology of disease processes. Advanced practice nursing students learn how normal organ systems function and how organ systems are interrelated to help the body maintain homeostasis. Students explore a variety of topics, such as immunity, inflammation, cancer genetics, and cardiovascular disease.

Advanced Pharmacology
Students focus on the pathophysiological dynamic processes that occur in health and illness across the lifespan and related pharmacologic therapies. They explore a range of topics, including advanced concepts of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of broad drug categories and their therapeutic implications to clinical nursing practice. Through this online course, students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of acute and chronic diseases across the lifespan.

Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning
The physical and emotional well-being of patients and families can be complex and multifaceted. Advanced practice nurses need to have the knowledge and ability to provide safe, competent, and comprehensive physical health assessments. Students in this online course focus on concepts and skills to assess patients across the lifespan. They learn to use diagnostic reasoning, advanced communication, and physical assessment skills to identify changes in health patterns.

Advance Into Higher Education

Through individual course offerings like these, Walden gives lifelong learners the opportunity to gather skills and knowledge to advance their careers. Walden’s School of Lifelong Learning offers non-degree online courses in health, education, counseling, business and management, data science and technology, psychology, and more.

Enroll in courses to enrich your life and work, and if you’re earning a Walden college degree, you can apply the credits toward your online degree program. Literacy in Academically Diverse Classrooms (Accelerating) offers three credits you can use when earning an online MS in Education degree.  

In addition to for-credit courses, Walden’s School of Lifelong Learning offers non-credit, skills-based online courses and employer training and development options. Meeting the Leadership Challenge, a nursing continuing professional development course, is a self-paced series of seven micro-courses in which you’ll explore your own leadership style, examine best practices, and learn how to create a shared vision and lead teams to success. You can claim 36 nursing contact hours by completing all content in each micro-course, achieving 80% or higher on each assessment, completing the end-of-course evaluation, and downloading and printing or saving your contact hour certificate.

As a leader in distance learning for more than 50 years, Walden knows how to design and deliver online education to help working professionals meet their higher education goals. With individual online courses, certificate programs, and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, you can blaze a path to enrichment for you and all those whose lives you touch in your career.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online courses for credit, professional development courses, and tailored employer training programs through its School of Lifelong Learning. Degree seekers may wish to explore Walden’s suite of online degree programs, offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Learn new skills in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,