Week 1: Introduction to Neuroanatomy
The human brain is organized into the cerebral cortex, brainstem, subcortical structures, and the cerebellum. These anatomical structures are made of inter-connected elements that create distributed and highly inter-connected circuits. It is in these circuits where cognition, behavior, and affect are processed.
—Camprodon, J. A., & Roffman, J. L. (2016, p. 6)
By using a combination of psychotherapy and medication therapy, psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNP) are positioned to provide a very unique type of care to patients with psychiatric disorders. To be successful in this role, you must have a strong theoretical foundation in pathophysiology, psychopharmacology, and neuroscience. This foundation will help you assess, diagnose, and treat patients as you relate presenting symptoms to theoretical neuronal functioning.
This week, as you begin to study psychopharmacology, you will explore the basic functional unit of the nervous system, the neuron. You will review the structure of the neuron and you will examine the anatomy of the central nervous system and consider the functionality of the different structure and outward (phenotypic) expression of their activities. You will analyze these concepts as you complete your short answer assessment for this week.
Camprodon, J. A., & Roffman, J. L. (2016). Psychiatric neuroscience: Incorporating pathophysiology into clinical case formulation. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 1–19). Elsevier.
- Describe the functions and structures of the central nervous system
- Describe the different structures that make up the neuron
- Explain the function of neurons in intracellular communication
Practicum Manual Acknowledgment
The Practicum Manual describes the structure and timing of the classroom-based and practicum experiences and the policies students must follow to be successful in the nurse practitioner (NP) specialties.
Click here and follow the instructions to confirm you have downloaded and read the entire MSN Nurse Practitioner Practicum Manual and will abide by the requirements described in order to successfully complete this program.
Optional Discussion Forum: PMHNP Study Support Lounge
The PMHNP Study Support Lounge is offered throughout the course as a place of academic refuge, where you can ask questions, offer insights, and interact with your peers. Your Instructor may also weigh in to provide global feedback to the group based on trends, common problems, and common strengths in student posts.
As a peer, you are encouraged to provide constructive, helpful feedback to your peers. Advanced practice nurses always benefit from the feedback of others. Your Study Support Lounge posts may be procedural (“How do I attach a Kaltura video to a Discussion post?”), conceptual (“How does this relate to the other therapy approaches we have studied?”), or analytical (“What do these diagnostic results actually mean in the context of this specific patient case?”). Although not mandatory, this is an opportunity to interact and study together as you navigate the assignments, so you are highly encouraged to take part in this activity. Full participation in activities like these is a statistically significant predictor of success.
To Participate in this Optional Discussion:
PMHNP Study Support Lounge
Assignment: Short Answer Assessment
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, before you can recommend potential pharmacotherapeutics to address a patient’s condition or disorder, you must understand the basic function and structure of the neuron and central nervous system. For this Assignment, you will review and apply your understanding of neuroanatomy by addressing a set of short answer prompts.
- Review the Learning Resources for this week in preparation to complete this Assignment.
- Reflect on the basic function and structure of the neuron in relation to the central nervous system.
- Reflect on the inter-connectedness between neurons and the central nervous system, including the pathway and distribution of electrical impulses.
- Reflect on how neurons communicate with each other and review the concept of neuroplasticity.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra
Address the following Short Answer prompts for your Assignment. Be sure to include references to the Learning Resources for this week.
- In 4 or 5 sentences, describe the anatomy of the basic unit of the nervous system, the neuron. Include each part of the neuron and a general overview of electrical impulse conduction, the pathway it travels, and the net result at the termination of the impulse. Be specific and provide examples.
- Answer the following (listing is acceptable for these questions):
- What are the major components that make up the subcortical structures?
- Which component plays a role in learning, memory, and addiction?
- What are the two key neurotransmitters located in the nigra striatal region of the brain that play a major role in motor control?
- In 3 or 4 sentences, explain how glia cells function in the central nervous system. Be specific and provide examples.
- The synapse is an area between two neurons that allows for chemical communication. In 3 or 4 sentences, explain what part of the neurons are communicating with each other and in which direction does this communication occur? Be specific.
- In 3–5 sentences, explain the concept of “neuroplasticity.” Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 7
Submit your Assignment.
Submission and Grading Information
To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:
- Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK1Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
- Click the Week 1 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
- Click the Week 1 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
- Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK1Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
- If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
- Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
To access your rubric:
Week 1 Assignment Rubric
Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity
To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:
Submit your Week 1 Assignment draft and review the originality report.
Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 1
To participate in this Assignment:
Week 1 Assignment
What’s Coming Up in Week 2?
Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
Next week, you will examine how neurotransmitters and receptor theory may impact the function of the central nervous system. You explore medication adherence and consider how it might impact a patient’s treatment goals.
Practicum – Upcoming Deadline
In the Nurse Practitioner programs of study (FNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP, and PMHNP) you are required to take several practicum courses. If you plan on taking a practicum course within the next two terms, you will need to submit your application via Meditrek .
For information on the practicum application process and deadlines, please visit the Field Experience: College of Nursing: Application Process – Graduate web page.
Please take the time to review the Appropriate Preceptors and Field Sites for your courses.
Please take the time to review the practicum manuals, FAQs, Webinars and any required forms on the Field Experience: College of Nursing: Student Resources and Manuals web page.