This postgraduate apprenticeship is delivered in partnership with local employers and has been designed to develop registered nurses (adult nursing) who wish to specialise in community district nursing practice. The course equips you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to meet the occupational District Nurse standards (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education 2019) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) professional standards for Community Specialist Practitioner in District Nursing/Home Nursing (2001).
The course prepares you to work collaboratively with individuals, family, carers, groups and communities within a multi-professional and multiagency care environment to support co-constructed health and care outcomes. Leadership and change management skills prepare you to lead a team and ensure quality evidence-based approaches in the delivery of district nursing services. This programme promotes consideration of the multiple perspectives and influences which shape healthcare. Each of the modules has a specialist focus and you are supported to utilise the evidence and information available to make informed sound judgements involved in planning, improving and advancing district nursing services.
You'll undertake this apprenticeship with your employer, a local provider of community health services (NHS Trust). It involves an 18-month (78 week) programme which includes a minimum of 20% off-the-job, university-based learning, made up of 50% theory and 50% practice. This apprenticeship also involves a 3-month period for your End Point Assessment (EPA), and upon successful completion of this, you'll be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma. You'll then be eligible to record SPDN: Specialist Practitioner: District Nursing, and V300: Nurse Independent/Supplementary Prescriber with the NMC.
A variety of approaches to teaching and learning will be used to enable you to achieve the learning outcomes. These include online e-learning, online live lectures, seminars and group work as well as some clinical skills taught on campus.
You'll take the lead in your own learning and be supported in this by workplace practice supervisors, assessors and academic assessors. Clear learning outcomes will be provided for the course and in each module. The Practice Assessment Document (PAD) will also support and facilitate a work-based learning process. This will act as a guide to the development of knowledge and skills through key milestones in practice learning. Patient and carer participation is an important part of the course, with service user feedback a requirement of learning and progression in practice and Patient and Carer Participants involved in education delivery to ensure that service users perspectives are part of theory and practice.
The course features a range of assessment activities. Formative and summative assessment is used to support learning. Formative assessment will take the form of ongoing feedback from tutors and supervisors in addition to the specific formative assessment activity. Summative assessments include essay, reflection, exam, portfolio, OSCE, viva, research proposal/service improvement plan and assessment in practice.
Undertake a targeted history and complete a comprehensive and focused physical examination of patients with acute and/or chronic health issues. Evaluate clinical findings and assess symptom complexes to make a clinical decision/working diagnosis. Examine the process of clinical decision making in relation to evidence based practice, accountability and medico-legal requirements.
Maximise your use of available health data and build a comprehensive understanding of local population health and community needs. Use integration of theory and local community data to explore the determinants of health and the long term conditions which impact on health and create complex care needs. Undertake a variety of learning and teaching approaches to support your learning and personal development. Complete the module with a comprehensive understanding of the complex factors which shape health and the skills required to respond to complex health needs in district nursing practice.
Explore the concepts and theories involved in leadership, change management and apply them to personal leadership styles and the management of teams to deliver district nursing services. Examine the context of changing demands within healthcare environments and explore methods of workload management and quality improvement in district nursing practice.
Using evidence and managing information is an important part of developing and delivering safe and effective evidence-based healthcare services. Examine the different types of evidence and information which are used to inform practice and explore the methods of enquiry, which can be used to advance knowledge and services at the forefront of district nursing practice. Systematically review the quality and relevance of evidence, and identify methods of researching, monitoring, evaluating and improving practice. Learning and personal development will be supported by a variety of learning and teaching approaches and you will complete the module with a comprehensive understanding of how research, audit, evaluation and service improvement contribute to the advancement of evidence based district nursing practice.
This short course prepares apprentices who are experienced practitioners in their respective fields irrespective of specialism to become safe and effective prescribing practitioners. This module is designed to meet the “Standards for Prescribing Programmes” as outlined by the NMC (2018) and is underpinned by the principles detailed in the NMC documents “Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education” (NMC 2018) and also “Standards for student supervision and assessment” (NMC 2018). The competency framework which supports the practice element of this module is the Royal Pharmaceutical Society “A Competency Framework for Prescribers” (RPS 2016) divided into the following areas:
1. Assess the patient
2. Consider the options
3. Reach a shared decision
5. Provide information
6. Monitor and review
7. Prescribe safely
8. Prescribe professionally
9. Improve prescribing practice
10. Prescribe as part of a team
You'll work in practice with an assigned practice assessor, a registered healthcare professional and experienced prescriber with suitable equivalent qualifications for the course. You may also work with other practice supervisors (for example, other non-medical prescribers, pharmacists or doctors) where relevant to gain a wider understanding of prescribing practices.
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Apprentices must hold current NMC registration as Registered Nurse (Adult) with post registration experience of at least six months and be employed by a local provider of community health services (NHS Trust) with the contractual support of their employer to undertake the 18 month (78 week) apprenticeship programme followed by an End Point Assessment period of three months. The programme requires 590 hours of learning in practice alongside the 590 hours of theory. During ‘off-the-job’ learning in the workplace, students must have access to the support and oversight of a Practice Supervisor, a Practice Assessor and an assigned Academic Assessor who have appropriate experience in district nursing.
Applicants must hold Maths and English GCSE at a minimum of Grade C or numerical grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent). The academic programme team will be able to offer advice and support with this. As this programme is level 7, programme apprentices must be ready to study at level 7 and hold an Honours Degree of 2:2 or above in a first degree or have significant, relevant and recent level 6 study.
The funding band is £11,000. The fee for this apprenticeship will be covered by an Apprenticeship levy through your employer.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This course will equip you with the required skills and knowledge to address the complex health needs of patients you'll care for as a district nurse.