University of Southern Indiana
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Oral Anticoagulation Therapy Program

Description of Program
Oral anticoagulation therapy is associated with an increased risk for adverse drug events leading to emergency department visits and readmission to acute care facilities.  Since the 1960s warfarin was utilized to improve patient outcomes. Despite the challenges associated with its use, warfarin remains a foundational drug for patients.  Starting in 2010, the direct oral anticoagulants represent other choices for patients. Health care professionals who care for patients requiring these medications must remain knowledgeable on the current guidelines and best practices to improve patient outcomes.

Who should enroll in this program?
This program is designed for English-speaking health professionals (nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, pharmacists, and physicians) involved in the management of patients requiring oral anticoagulation therapy.

Program Content
This program reviews the physiology and pathophysiology of the clotting system, patient conditions associated with oral anticoagulation, the pharmacokinetics of warfarin and DOACs, and evidence-based guidelines.  A textbook is not required for this program.

Learning Outcome
The learning outcome of this program is to enable the learner to distinguish the differences and similarities between the oral anticoagulant drugs and employ the current therapeutic guidelines and best practices in managing anticoagulation therapy through interprofessional collaborative practice.

Program Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define the terms platelet adhesion, platelet activation, and platelet aggregation.
  2. Describe the general process of hemostasis, including the sequence of the three stages that prevent blood loss.
  3. Explain the role of the vascular endothelium, platelets, circulating clotting factors, endogenous anticoagulants, and thrombolytic proteins in the coagulation process.
  4. Briefly describe the series of events that occur in the extrinsic pathway, the intrinsic (contact) pathway, and the common pathway.
  5. Define the major functions of thrombin and fibrin in the clotting cascade.
  6. Define how activation proteins (proteins C and S) are produced and the role of vitamin K in their production.
  7. Identify and discuss the mechanisms, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, dosing, monitoring, adverse effects, and management of warfarin.
  8. Compare and contrast the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, dosing, monitoring, adverse effects and management of the direct acting oral anticoagulants.
  9. Identify and discuss the role of antithrombotic and thrombolytic drugs in valvular disease, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
  10. Apply the current clinical guidelines when choosing the appropriate anticoagulation therapy for patients with VTE and atrial fibrillation.
  11. Assimilate evidence based interprofessional collaborative practice.

Delivery of the Content
The learner will log into the program via the internet and work independently through the modules. The independent study provides an opportunity to learn while in the comfort of your own home and office.  Program staff are available during business hours by phone or email to assist participants with technical issues or concerns.  Questions regarding content can be directed to the contributors of the content. After the learner works through the content, she/he will complete the case-based comprehensive exam.   

Note: Many businesses, especially government agencies or health institutions, utilize security firewalls.  Access to web links within program and communication from the instructor, or other students may be blocked. We recommend not using your work email address for this course.

Contact hours
10 contact hours

The University of Southern Indiana designates this activity for 10 contact hours related to pharmacotherapeutics for nurses.  This content meets the pharmacology continuing education requirements for the renewal of the advanced practice registered nurse prescriptive authority license. 

The University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning designates this knowledge based Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) activity for 10 contact hours for completion of this program. Pharmacists who request to have their contact hours reported to the Certified Pharmacy Education Monitor (CPE) must indicate this request during registration and include the correct NABP e-PID# and Birthdate (mmdd).

The University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning designates this activity for a maximum of 10.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Successful completion of this program does not guarantee expertise in the content. Clinical experience and judgment coupled with an understanding of the content are necessary to attain competency. Achieving certification is a means to demonstrate competency.

Criteria for Successful Completion

  • Submit registration and payment.
  • A certificate for contact hours will be awarded with the completion of case-study analysis and submission of program evaluation. Following review of the content, the learner will apply the content to patient case studies to demonstrate problem solving and decision-making strategies. The certificate of completion will be sent via email immediately upon the completion of the program evaluation.

Faculty Name and Credentials

We strive to provide interprofessional education by utilizing a variety of content experts, instructors, contributors, and reviewers.

Jane Swartz DNP, RN, ACNS-BC

Holly Jahn PharmD, CACP

Conflict of Interest Statement

There is no conflict of interest for anyone in a position to control content for this activity.

Expiration date of this content: August 1, 2020. 

Accreditation Statements


In support of improving patient care, University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

State of Indiana
The University of Southern Indiana is an approved provider of continuing education for several professionals licensed in the state of Indiana, including social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and dental professionals.

State of California
The University of Southern Indiana is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #13378.

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