Key Facts

Module Title: NUR-40047: Independent and Supplementary Nurse/Midwife Prescribing
Mode of Study:Part-time
Contact Details:Contact Course Administration Office
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Fees: Click for details

This module will equip nurses and midwives to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively as independent and supplementary prescribers. This will enhance their roles within clinical practice and enable them to contribute to effective patient outcomes at masters level.

The module, run at Keele University, will have the added benefit to students with links between the School of Nursing and Midwifery, the School of Pharmacy, and School of Medicine for prescribing education. The module will also be run along the prescribing module for Allied Health Professionals to facilitate inter-professional education.

This module has been developed in response to the Department of Health's expansion of prescribing rights for nurses and midwives, to enable them to prescribe a wider range of medications for a broader range of conditions; within independent prescribing - a fuller access of a range of medications within the BNF (British National Formulary) including controlled drugs, for nurses/midwives working within their area of competency and for supplementary prescribing for medicines that form part of an identified/agreed clinical management plan.

The NMC has produced a "Standard for the requirements for education and training for independent/supplementary nurse and midwife prescribing" (2006), and all courses are validated against these. It is being developed at level 7 due to the increased numbers of nurses and midwives now graduating with a degree and wanting to continue their studies into masters level.

The education programme aims to prepare nurses and midwives to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively as an independent/supplementary prescriber.

Course entry requirements as set out by the NMC, which state that the student must:

  • Be a registered first level nurse, midwife and/or specialist community public health nurse.
  • Have at least three years practising experience.
  • Of these three years, the year preceding entry onto the course must have experience in practice in the clinical field for which they intend to prescribe.
  • Demonstrable previous ability to study successfully at Level 6.
  • Have access to a Designated Medical Practitioner as a mentor for the course and signed approval from their manager/Trust prescribing lead.
  • Some training or experience in health assessment.

For more details refer to the NMC "Standards for preparation and training of nurse and midwife prescribers" (2006).

  • policies and procedures of independent and supplementary nurse/midwife prescribing
  • construction of clinical management plans
  • consultation, decision making, therapy and referral
  • influences on and the psychology of prescribing
  • prescribing in the team context
  • clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and the effects of co-morbidity
  • evidenced-based practice and clinical governance in relation to nurse/midwife prescribing
  • legal, policy and ethical aspects of prescribing
  • professional accountability and responsibility issues in prescribing
  • prescribing in the public health context
  • drug licensing, monitoring procedures and reporting of adverse drug reactions
  • cost effective prescribing
  • record keeping

The principal learning and teaching methods used in the module are:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops: The core of each module delivery mode is a series of face to face tutor-led or group-led seminars or workshops.
  • Web-based learning using the Keele Learning Environment (KLE), Blackboard.
  • Group work and peer support. All modules use focused group work and class discussions within face to face tutor time.
  • Directed independent study. Most of the study hours for each module comprise independent learning by expecting participants to add depth and breadth to their knowledge of topics, to practice skills and to reflect on critical incidents and their practice.

The assessments used in the module are:

  • Portfolio - The written portfolio will show the student's progress through the development of their prescribing skills and knowledge and show the application of analysis and synthesis of the evidence base related to this role transformation.
  • Exam - This examination will test the student's knowledge of pharmacology, therapeutics and general principles of nonmedical prescribing The pass mark for this exam is 80% as stipulated by the NMC.
  • Practical Assessment - This practical examination tests the student's ability to ask safe and relevant questions in the assessment of a patient/client in order to then produce a safe and accurate prescription.
  • Competence - Clinical competencies which relate to the role of a non-medical prescriber and are set by the NMC and the National Prescribing Centre. These competencies are assessed in practice between the student and their Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP), who is their clinical mentor. The module lead also verifies the completion of the clinical competencies via a tripartite meeting with all parties.
  • Numeracy Examination - Numeracy assessment using an online numeracy software package.