Shadow Health's Undergraduate Pharmacology places the patient in the forefront of the pharmacology curriculum, preparing students to effectively, confidently, and safely meet the needs of their patients in the clinical setting.


Doris Turner is an 86 year old woman admitted to Shadow General Hospital with community acquired pneumonia. Students begin care of Ms. Turner at 4 pm, shortly after she is admitted. They are responsible for initiating antibiotic therapy as well as any as-needed medications. They will evaluate Ms. Turner's condition for expected outcomes and adverse effects after they have administered her medication. Preceptor Diana is available during the assessment if students are unsure how to proceed safely.

Assignment Types

Patient Cases

In each Patient Case scenario, students apply pharmacological principles through interactive learning that goes far beyond thought exercises and multiple choice questions.

Students practice the medication administration process, building on experiences and understanding of course content as they work up to a complex patient case. As students complete each patient scenario, they establish mental models that will translate to real world practice and develop critical thinking skills to improve safety.

Undergraduate Pharmacology's patient cases range in complexity, beginning with a Basic case and culminating in Unguided and Complex patient cases. This gradual increase in challenge and responsibility allows students to apply newly mastered skills in novel and varied situations -- just as they will in their practice.

Guided Patient Cases

Guided Patients Cases include patients John Larsen, Tina Jones, and Doris Turner. They are separated into three levels, Basic, Intermediate, and Complex. Each level is meant to help students by introducing them to the skills necessary to perform, building knowledge, and showing mastery.

Unguided Intermediate Patient Cases

The Unguided Patient Case includes patient Edward Carter. Unlike the Guided Patient Cases, the Unguided Patient Case operates at an Intermediate level. The goal is to assess critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills in students through gathering subjective and objective data and providing education and empathy at appropriate times.

Mechanism of Action Concept Labs

Through Shadow Health’s Concept Labs, students explore common disease states and the medications used to treat them. For each key therapeutic class, students visualize the mechanism of action and intended as well as unintended effects. These Concept Labs are flexible learning tools full of rich visuals and animations, as well as dynamic comprehension checks. There are currently five Concept Labs available in the Pharmacology DCE — Anti-Asthmatics, Antihypertensives, and Antidiabetics, Anti-Infectives, and Analgesics.

Med Math Assignments

Each medication math activity increases patient safety by improving student competency in medication calculation. Students solve medication calculation questions that relate to medications ordered in the Basic, Intermediate, and Complex patient scenarios.

Shadow Health provides immediate feedback to students, which includes two-strike scoring and worked examples for each question.



The Undergraduate Pharmacology DCE is built from the ground up to integrate the ADPIE process into students' learning, centering the steps of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation in both their education and their practice.


Mapped To

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Baccalaureate Essentials

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing


National League for Nursing

CNEA Accreditation Standards


I really like how you can interact with the patients in a safe environment and then when you are finished you can look back at what you could improve on!

ADN Student / University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

The Shadow Health program is an excellent way for students to interact with patients and develop confidence, and learn before working with a real patient and making big mistakes.

ADN Student / Daytona State College

Shadow Health has helped me improve in my medication administration skills. The prompts help me remember what to do after each step.

BSN Student / Mount St. Mary’s University - Los Angeles

I enjoy Shadow Health because it allows me to interact with the patient and learn how to pass medications and explain what they are for before having to do it in a real life scenario. Shadow Health really helps me familiarize myself with teaching the importance of following their exact order.

BSN Student / Baker College

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