How to administer inotropic drugs

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2019.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Qualified Nurses


Andrew Parry, Lecturer, adult nursing, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales.

Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills on how to administer inotropic drugs.

Detailed description

This module aims to help nurses to administer inotropic drugs in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner. The mode of action of inotropic drugs makes them well suited to treat haemodynamic compromise experienced by critically ill patients. Effects such as increased force of myocardial contraction and vasoconstriction make them highly potent. Knowledge relating to cardiovascular physiology and the mode of action of inotropes enables the nurse to deliver inotropic drugs safely. Invasive blood pressure monitoring should be established before administering inotropic drugs, because of their rapid action. Inotropes should be administered via a central venous catheter. Drug administration procedures should be followed stringently.


Please note that information provided by RCNI Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code.