Ninth Annual Focus on Pharmacology: An Evidence-Based Conference for Advanced Practice Clinicians

This program happened in the past, and no dates are currently scheduled.

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Conference ID



The purpose of this conference is to provide pharmacology information in multiple areas, and to promote clinical excellence through improving the quality of care to patients.


The primary audience is nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and advanced practice clinicians; however, the program content is relevant to the broader health care community.



Penn State College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Penn State College of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA)

6.0 Contact Hours

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Nurse practitioners please note: This program includes 6.0 contact hours of pharmacology education as required for certification renewal by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). All sessions qualify for pharmacology education credit.


7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 7:30 a.m. | Check-In/Continental Breakfast/Visit Exhibitors
  • 8 a.m. | Welcome
    Janet Shields, DNP, CRNP, PPCNP-BC
  • 8:15 a.m. | Keynote: Hot Topics in Drug Therapy: New Products, New Uses, New Warnings
    Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP, CSP, FAAN, DCC, FNAP
    — Describe recommendations for the use of new medications.
    — Explain the therapeutic advantage and risks of newer products.
    — Recognize new indications and cautions for established products.
  • 9:15 a.m. | Concurrent Session 1
    • 1A, Pediatric Track — Current and New Treatments for Seizures in the Pediatric Population
      Elizabeth “Betty” H. Michael, MS, CRNP, CSN
      — Discuss the appropriate medications used in treating children with generalized epilepsy.
      — Identify the appropriate medications used to treat children with partial epilepsy.
    • 1B, Acute Care Track — Problem Cases in Acute Care Pharmacology
      Moderator: Barbara Birriel, PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC, FCCM
      NP Students: Farhat Amin, RN, BSN; Jacqueline Clapp, RN, BSN, CCRN; Dana Kliewer, RN, BSN, PCCN; Chelsea McCracken, RN, BSN, CCRN; Jenilee Raibeck, RN, BSN; Tyler Thomas, RN, BSN, CCRN
      — Recognize pharmacologic problems in acute and critical care.
      — Analyze case studies involving pharmacologic problems.
      — Plan appropriate treatment based on case analysis.
    • 1C, Primary Care Track — You are My Sunshine: Update on Vitamin D
      Carol Forsyth, MSN, CRNP, RN, FNP-BC— Describe effects of hyper/hypo-vitamin D levels on health.
      — Identify recommended levels of vitamin D, correct labs to order for screening and appropriate dosing of vitamin D.
      — Explain metabolism of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
  • 10:15 a.m. | Break/Visit Exhibitors
  • 10:30 a.m. | Concurrent Session 2
    • 2A, Pediatric Track — Pediatric Migraines: Holistic Assessment and Therapeutic Pharmacological Management
      Lisa A. Ruth-Sahd, DEd, RN, CEN, CCRN and Kaitlyn E. Sahd-Brown, BSN, RN, CPN
      — Identify the pathophysiology of migraines.
      — Distinguish how to assess the pediatric migraine patient using a holistic approach.
      — Determine the best holistic treatment for individualized care of the pediatric patient and family.
    • 2B, Acute Care Track — What You Need to Know When an Oncology Patient is Admitted
      Linda Farling, MSN, CRNP, OCN
      — Review potential side effects due to treatment from surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
      — Differentiate between chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
      — Explain side effects pertinent to different classes of chemotherapy agents.
    • 2C, Primary Care Track — Menopausal Management
      Pamela J. Keller, MSN, CRNP
      — Define menopause and perimenopause.
      — Explain the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), bioidentical hormones and complimentary therapies.
      — Plan the follow-up care and monitoring of the menopausal female.
  • 11:30 a.m. | Lunch/Visit Exhibitors
  • 12:45 p.m. | Keynote: Antimicrobial Update: A Focus on Lower Respiratory Tract Infection – Pneumonia, COPD Exacerbation and Acute Bronchitis
    Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP, CSP, FAAN, DCC, FNAP
    — Identify the most likely causative organisms in select bacterial lower respiratory tract infections.
    — Review the current clinical recommendations for lower respiratory tract infections.
    — Develop a plan for antimicrobial therapy according to current clinical recommendations for the above-mentioned conditions.
  • 1:45 p.m. | Break/Visit Exhibitors
  • 2 p.m. | Concurrent Session 3
    • 3A, Pediatric Track — Got Acne? Diagnosis and Treatment of Acne in the Pediatric Population
      Nicole Boyer, MSN, CRNP
      — Describe the etiology and pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.
      — Review the disease spectrum and various clinical presentations.
      — Define the treatment options for acne, and their indications.
    • 3B, Acute Care Track — Pathways to Emesis: Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy
      Christine Shulenberger, PharmD, BCPS
      — Discuss the pathways for emesis and the pharmacotherapeutic role of anti-emetics in the management of acute emesis.
      — Given a patient case, identify patient-specific factors that should be utilized in guiding decision making prior to initiating an anti-emetic.
      — Given a patient case, design an appropriate therapeutic regimen for the management of emesis in a hospitalized patient.
    • 3C, Primary Care Track — Approaches for Diagnosis and Management of Drug Allergies
      Faoud Ishmael, PhD, MD, FAAAAI
      — Review mechanisms of drug allergies.
      — Describe diagnostic strategies for drug allergies.
      — Discuss safe alternatives and treatment options for drug allergies.
  • 3 p.m. | Zebras in Pharmacology
    Lindsay C. Trout, PharmD, BCPPS
    — Assess potential issues when administering certain medications through feeding tubes.
    — Recognize when to use actual vs. ideal weight in medication dosing of overweight patients.
    — Express how renal failure affects the dosing of medications.
  • 4 p.m. | Adjournment

Planning Committee

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Katherine Curci, PhD, CRNP, CNM
Assistant Professor of Family
and Community Medicine
Director, Advanced Practice Clinicians
Penn State College of Medicine

Carol Forsyth, MSN, CRNP, RN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Bone and Joint Institute

Suzanne Frazier, MS, CRNP, CHFN, NP-C
Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner
Heart Failure Disease Management Coordinator
Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute

Robin Kingston, MSN, CRNP, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Children’s Hospital

Kim Kopenhaver Doheny, PhD, CRNP, NNP-BC
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Director of Clinical Research Newborn Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Pam Meinert, PhD, CRNP, FNP, RN-BC
Liaison, Nursing Education and
Professional Development

Myra Popernack, MSN, CRNP, CPNP-PC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Children’s Hospital

Janet Shields, DNP, CRNP, PPCNP-BC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Children’s Hospital

Mark Whelchel, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, CCRN
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute ICU

Bonnie Wilson, MS, CRNP, AGACNP-BC
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Stacy A. Snyder
CME Conference Coordinator
Penn State College of Medicine

Invited Faculty

Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP, CSP, FAAN, DCC, FNAP
Founder, President and Principal Lecturer
Fitzgerald Health Education Associates, Inc. and Family NP
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

Lisa A. Ruth-Sahd, DEd, RN, CEN, CCRN
Professor of Nursing
Nursing Extern Faculty Coordinator
York College of Pennsylvania
Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine

Penn State Health Faculty

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Barbara Birriel, PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC, FCCM
Assistant Research Professor
Penn State College of Nursing

Nicole Boyer, MSN, CRNP
Director of Dermatology Advanced Practice Clinicians Fellowship
Department of Dermatology

Linda Farling, MSN, CRNP, OCN
Interventional Pulmonology
Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Carol Forsyth, MSN, CRNP, RN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner
Penn State Bone and Joint Institute

Faoud Ishmael, PhD, MD, FAAAAI
Associate Professor of Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Pamela J. Keller, MSN, CRNP
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner,
Minimally Invasive GYN Surgery

Elizabeth “Betty” H. Michael, MS, CRNP, CSN
Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Neurology

Kaitlyn E. Sahd-Brown, BSN, RN, CPN
Staff Nurse; Adjunct Faculty
PA College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Penn State Children’s Hospital

Christine Shulenberger, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist

Lindsay C. Trout, PharmD, BCPPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
Pediatric Critical Care


Includes: Instruction, lunch, online handout materials, refreshments

  • $175 per person
  • $106 for NP/PA students

To receive the reduced student rate, call Lori at 717-531-6483.

Registrations received after April 6, 2018, will incur a $25 late fee.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received after March 30, 2018, will incur a $25 processing fee.

No refunds will be given after April 3, 2018.

The University reserves the right to cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies. Preregistered participants will be notified if a program is filled or canceled.

Access (ADA)

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of special accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Continuing Education at least one week in advance of your participation or visit.


Content and speakers for all programs are subject to change. Registrants will be notified of any significant updates.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest (COI and educational balance)

It is our policy to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of our educational programs. Faculty and course directors have disclosed relevant financial relationships with commercial companies, and Penn State has a process in place to resolve any conflict of interest. Complete faculty disclosure will be provided to program participants at the beginning of the activity.

University Nondiscrimination Policy

This publication is available in alternative media on request. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, genetic information, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status and retaliation due to the reporting of discrimination or harassment. Discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the Nondiscrimination Policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; tel 814-863-0471/TTY. US M.Ed. J6162

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