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Disciplines: Nursing
Hours: 2 Contact Hours (2 Pharm Hours)
  • Peggy Piascik, PhD, RPh
  • Martha M. Libster, PhD, MSN, APRN-CNS, APHN-BC
Peer Reviewer(s): Gary Kracoff, PhD, RPh
Item#: N1822
Contents: 1 Course Book (46 pages)
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Probiotics: Dietary Sources and Supplements

Price $17.95
Item # N1822
High-Level Content
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: September 27, 2017

Expiration Date: September 30, 2020

Probiotic use quadrupled between the 2007 and the 2012 NHIS (Black et al., 2015). The 2012 NHIS found that approximately 4 million (1.6%) U.S. adults and 300,000 children ages 4 to 17 (0.5%) had used probiotics or prebiotics (Black et al., 2015; Clarke et al., 2015). Probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement by adults, not including vitamins and minerals. Many uses have been proposed for probiotics. Nurses who are knowledgeable can assist consumers in evaluating the resources, information, and scientific literature on probiotics to make choices with regard to their use, dose, adverse effects, interactions, and product quality.

Course Objectives

  • Review the background and history of probiotics.
  • Describe common uses of using clinical evidence for their effectiveness.
  • Identify common adverse effects and safety concerns when using probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Apply nursing considerations of probiotic use in patient education.
  • Compare the use of probiotics in dietary supplements to foods sources in support of patients’ self-care.


Peggy Piascik, PhD, RPh, received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University (ONU) and a doctorate in pharmacology from The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy. She is a professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP). Dr. Piascik speaks at continuing education conferences on the topics of new drugs, dietary supplements, and personalized medicine. She teaches a problem-based elective course in the area of herbal and dietary supplements and co-coordinates an elective course in behavior modification coaching. Dr. Piascik is a past president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). She is a four-time recipient of the UKCOP Senior Class Teaching Award and a two-time recipient of the AACP Innovations in Teaching Award. She was named a University Great Teacher by the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. Dr. Piascik is a distinguished alumnus of ONU and the recipient of the Jack L. Beal Post-Baccalaureate Award from OSU.

Martha Mathews Libster, PhD, MSN, APRN-CNS, APHN-BC, received her bachelor of science degree in education from New York University, her bachelor of science in nursing from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, her master of science in nursing from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and her doctorate in humanities – health care history from Oxford Brooks University in Oxford, England. Dr. Libster, a professor of nursing for 14 years, an international speaker, and a medical science writer, is author of seven books on herbalism, self-care, history of nursing and healthcare reform, cultural diplomacy, and integrative nursing. Her books include Demonstrating Care: The Art of Integrative Nursing (2001), The Nurse-Herbalist (2012), Enlightened Charity (2009), and the award-winning Herbal Diplomats (2004). Dr. Libster, a member of the Alder Grove Wellness Group, practices as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, a board-certified advanced practice holistic nurse, and practitioner of traditional Chinese and Western herbal therapies. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the Authors Guild.


Gary Kracoff, PhD, RPh, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Northeastern University, his doctorate in naturopathic medicine, and his homeopathic medical diploma from Westbrook University. Dr. Kracoff provides in-depth consultative services at Johnson Compounding & Wellness in Waltham, Massachusetts. Dr. Kracoff’s guiding philosophy is to treat the person as a whole and not to chase symptoms. He focuses on finding out the “why” of what is happening physically and mentally, then works with individuals to restore balance in the body. Dr. Kracoff frequently lectures at pharmacy, medical, and health-oriented  conferences. He is an educator at the Academy of Integrative Medicine, conducting 2-day seminars for healthcare professionals twice a year. Dr. Kracoff serves on the faculty of the Center for Education and Development of Clinical Homeopathy.


  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • Martha Libster was paid for editing this course book but has no conflicts of interest related to the publication of this course book.
  • Gary Kracoff has disclosed that he is on the advisory committee for Boiron USA and is medical director at the Academy of Integrative Medicine. He has agreed to present content that is current, evidence-based, and without bias.