District nursing is a core service within the NHS. The Five Year Forward View (NHS England 2015) sets out an expectation that more care will be provided in the community in the future. This care will be to people with increasingly complex needs and the people working in these health and social care structures will have to be more flexible to accommodate this.
The district nurse must respond to these challenges and the Queen's Nursing Institute/Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland (QNI/QNIS) Voluntary Standards for District Nurse Education and Practice (2015) provide a strong framework for district nurses in the current NHS as well as the skills and knowledge base needed to respond to the dynamic nature of community nursing.
There are two programmes at master’s level: the postgraduate diploma and the masters. (The postgraduate diploma is Year 1 of the full master's degree.) By successfully completing either of these programmes you achieve the new QNI/QNIS Voluntary Standards for District Nurse Education and Practice as well as the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the Specialist Practice in Nursing in the Home/District Nursing professional qualification which is recorded on the NMC register. This qualification has integrated within it the Community Practitioner Prescribing (V100) qualification (NMC 2006), enabling you to prescribe from the community practitioner’s formulary.
You will also have demonstrated skills at Level 3 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines in brief interventions which is a requirement for a district nurse as set out in the Health Education England’s District Nursing and General Practice Education and Career Framework (2015).
The programmes have been designed in consultation with local employers, professional standards bodies, students (past and present), service users and carers, and district nurse educators from across the country. We hope that this has led to programmes of study which are challenging, contemporary, inspiring and enjoyable.
When you successfully complete your chosen programme, you are well prepared for the dynamic and inspiring world of community nursing as well as being in a strong position to apply for position as a district nurse and team leader.
After successfully completing your course you are eligible to be awarded the recordable qualification of the Specialist Practice Qualification in District Nursing which has integrated within it the V100 recordable qualification of the Community Practitioner Prescriber.
For both programme routes, you study seven modules full time across a total period of 44 weeks. The PgDip route (which is the first year of the master’s route) includes practice competencies which you achieve on placement. The balance of the course is 50% theory and 50% practice.
If you continue to the MSc route after your first year, you undertake an eighth module which gives you 60 credits as a part-time student. This module involves you carrying out live research or a systematic review.
Modules offered may vary.
Where you study
In Year 1 of the MSc (the whole of the PgDip) teaching is split equally between the practice placement and theoretical study.
The practice placement is organised by your local trust which sponsors you for your place on the programme. This placement is usually in a different team to the one in which you have been working to give you a contrasting learning experience.
The theoretical learning is largely at our Middlesbrough campus. If you are studying the MSc, then the teaching in Year 2 is largely self-directed with supervisor support and can be arranged to suit you and your supervisor.
How you learn
These programmes require you to commit to a very comprehensive and individual approach to learning.
There are opportunities for some components of your learning to be accredited through recognised prior learning – this is agreed on an individual basis.
This course helps you gain confidence in accessing digital resources. You share some of your learning with other students on the postgraduate district nursing programme, some with students on other programmes and some further time with just your own programme.
Classroom teaching includes group discussions, presentations, project work and clinical skills development in practical labs. We highly value the experience and knowledge of service users and carers who are involved in the programme, for example through teaching activities and assessment. Your practice teacher plays a significant role in ensuring that you have access to great learning opportunities during placement. Their skills and experiences also provide you with an excellent role model.
The final dissertation module within the MSc route gives you the opportunity to focus on an aspect of district nursing which interests you. You investigate this issue in depth either through live research or a systematic review.
How you are assessed
You are assessed in a number of ways as we know that everyone learns differently.
These include exams, essays, reflections, reports, viva voce, simulations, research proposals, assessment of competencies in practice evidenced through a portfolio, and dissertation (if you are on the MSc programme).
Your practice teacher or sign-off mentor is key to your practice assessments.
When you successfully complete the programme, you are well prepared for the dynamic and inspiring world of community nursing with an advanced level of professional knowledge. You are also well placed to apply for a position as a district nurse and team leader.
Following successful completion of the postgraduate diploma, you can return to Teesside University within five years to enrol on the MSc route.
This prestigious course is for qualified nurses would want to develop their knowledge and skills in order to advance their careers in the specialism of research, education, practice or international nursing.
The MSc Nursing will empower you to take forward your practice and patient care through critically exploring professional biography, the therapeutic relationship and embedding an evidence based and person centred approach to care.
By studying modules relevant to contemporary clinical practice, you take control of your personal, professional and academic development whilst engaging in critical debate about the issues at the forefront of nursing practice. You will gain skills in applying new knowledge to your practice and achieve mastery of nursing related to your chosen award. An innovative feature of the International pathway includes a bespoke module of observational clinical experience and simulated practice for international students.
We also offer our MSc Nursing programme as a one year course which is taught on a blended basis, meaning that whilst you study in Salford for semester 1, the remainder of the course is taught via distance learning. See the course page for details.
There are six pathway options open to you as part of this programme, and your choice might depend on where you see your Masters programme fitting into your career. The modules you select will vary depending on the pathway chosen (see details below).
For the PgCert, you will need to study Critically Exploring Professional Practice and one further optional module and for the PgDip you will need to study Critically Exploring Professional Practice and three further optional modules.
The pathways you can choose to follow are:
MSC NURSING: INTERNATIONAL
A new and innovative award that is open to both international and UK nurses, who will study together the global context of nursing. The pathway includes an opportunity for international students to undertake some bespoke observational placements in the UK healthcare system, supported by application of skills in a state-of-the-art high-fidelity clinical simulation suite.
MSC NURSING: EDUCATION
This pathway is led and taught by experts in the field. This award allows you to concentrate on teaching and learning in both clinical practice and academic contexts. You will work alongside expert teachers who will support you to develop as a teacher with a thorough understanding of a range of learning and teaching strategies.This option may particularly suit those in new clinical teaching roles, or those seeking a future academic teaching career.
MSC NURSING: RESEARCH
Using the evidence-base to improve patient care lies at the heart of this pathway. You will gain advanced knowledge and skills in all aspects of research and have access to international expertise from our research groups.
MSC NURSING: PRACTICE
This pathway is open to nurses practicing in the UK only. It allows you to build on your current skills, plan, implement and evaluate patient care at an advanced level within the context of your own workplace. There is an emphasis on combining practical skills with sound theoretical principles.
MSC NURSING: PRACTICE (NEUROSCIENCE)
This new pathway aims to equip the qualified nurse with the skills and knowledge to create and implement innovative approaches to neuroscience care delivery.
You can choose to focus on the general award in order to keep your career options open. The MSc Nursing will empower you to develop a mastery of your practice and take forward person centred care. You will have an opportunity to critically examine your practice and services and develop an evidence based approach to improve patient care.
A range of teaching strategies are used, including seminars, lectures, action learning, online learning, directed study, practice based assessments and peer supported learning. The MSc Nursing is underpinned by a student centred teaching and learning philosophy.
Part-time students usually study one module per semester; full-time students will undertake two modules per semester. All students must complete 120 level 7 credits before progressing on to the dissertation.
For the two year part-time option, students will study over Semester 3 whereas for the three year option, you will study over Semesters 1 and 2.
A range of formative and summative assessments will cater for your individual learning style. These include:
On graduation nurses will have achieved mastery of their chosen field and will be better equipped to influence the future of nursing based on current evidence. You will have the underpinning theoretical knowledge to support your innovative clinical practice.
Completing the Masters course will enable you to exercise more choice in your career and to consider applying for senior posts within your organisation with greater confidence. You will be able to move into clinical nurse specialist positions, practice education facilitator roles, research posts and management positions.
Students who have successfully completed the course have implemented practice-based innovations, which include the pioneering of a person-centred ward round within a mental health setting, which is being rolled out across the entire Trust; and the review of pharmaceutical waste within an acute medical ward, in order to make financial savings and improve systems and processes.