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Course content

Initially students will enrol for the Postgraduate Diploma award. If they are successful they can apply to undertake the top-up MSc Advanced Clinical Practice award by completing the 60 credit Dissertation module. Graduates from the full MSc course will receive confirmation that they have completed an RCN Accredited Advanced Nurse Practitioner pathway.

The School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University has been delivering high quality Royal College of Nursing (RCN) accredited Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) education for over 20 years, with demand increasing year on year. While initially the focus was on developing experienced nurses working in primary care settings, this has subsequently expanded to include nurses from secondary and tertiary services.

This course has therefore been developed for both experienced qualified registered nurses and other health professionals working in primary, secondary and tertiary health care settings, who wish to undertake advanced clinical education at master's level. This education will provide high-quality preparation not only for Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) but also for Advanced Clinical Practitioners and health professionals who need to work at a higher level of practice.

RCN Accreditation

While not all of the students undertaking this course will be nurses, other health professionals will benefit from the rigorous standards set by the RCN Accreditation unit for advanced nurse practitioner preparation. Their standards are currently the only quality marker for Advanced Practitioner preparation in England. RCN Accreditation indicates that this course has been evaluated against 15 standards and associated criteria for educational preparation and judged to prepare practitioners to an advanced level (RCN, 2012).

Further, in accordance with the RCN endorsement (2012), the course has also been designed to comply with the Department of Health (England) (2010) position statement on Advanced Level Nursing.

This programme has been accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation until 31 August 2021.

Modules

PgDip:

The structure for the course comprises of a prescribed sequence of six compulsory modules, the order depending on the start date (September or January) and the rate of progression.

Each 20 credit module accounts for 200 hours of total student effort. This typically comprises of 36 – 42 classroom contact hours, 14 blended learning activity hours, practice based learning hours (equivalent to a minimum of 3 hours per week) and the remainder for self-directed study.

A range of assessment strategies will be used to reflect the academic, clinical and professional aspects of the programme. This includes use of exams, a written case study, an essay, completion of a Practice Based Learning record including Practice Facilitator feedback and evaluation of practice, OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and production of a clinical portfolio including patient feedback.

The first part of the course includes:

Physiological Principles for Advanced Clinical Practice
Clinical Assessment Skills for Advanced Practice
Non Medical Prescribing

The second part of the course includes:

Clinical Reasoning in Advanced Practice
Leadership and Research Skills for Advanced Practice

There is an option for the final module according to work setting from:

Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Community and Primary Care)
Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Emergency Care)
Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Acute and Critical Care)

The Complexity modules share a common learning framework and approach to assessment but the focus, content and assessment requirements are adapted for the context.

MSc (top-up):

Students can progress to undertake the Dissertation module (60 credits) to gain the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice award.

Teaching and learning

There are a range of facilities to support teaching practice skills and simulation. These include the skills laboratories, clinical and simulation equipment, themed notice boards, resources, anatomical models and the media/skills technicians who maintain the labs and prepare for sessions.

Students are supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) using “Moodle”. Students have access to the VLE using a web browser from home, from campus, or when mobile if they have a smart phone or tablet. Open access computers are provided in the Library and Learning Resource Centre on our Southwark campus. These computers enable access to the internet, email, Microsoft office and other supported software. Direct IT helplines are available to support students

E-learning will complement face-to-face delivery for all modules within the course, with 14 specific hours assigned to blended learning activities in each timetable.

Skills workshop

A four day workshop will continue to be provided mid-way through the course, to give the opportunity for students to practise, consolidate and develop their new skills in a supervised, supportive environment. This is currently used as an effective strategy which is very highly evaluated by our students.

Placements

Practice based learning requirements
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (2007) identify that learning within the work place is integral to a higher education programme and is demonstrated through engagement within the practice environment. This is particularly important for preparation for a course of this nature; for any students, even those with many years of experience, some of the areas covered by the programme will be new such as history-taking, physical examination skills, ordering and interpreting investigations, making differential diagnoses, pharmacology, prescribing, social sciences and mental health assessment, etc. One of the key requirements for the course is that the practice experience provides learning opportunities that enable students to achieve the course learning outcomes (RCN, 2012) and so in order to ensure this, learning in practice is purposely structured and assessed.

Students will spend the equivalent of 3 hours per week working in a "supernumerary capacity" in order to focus specifically on their clinical and professional development. This requirement extends beyond the University semesters to include the summer periods.

Practice Based Learning is supported through identification of a doctor/qualified Advanced Practitioner to act as the student's "Practice Facilitator" to initially supervise and subsequently support their clinical development. Other experienced senior clinicians can also supervise and support student development.

Evidence of practice based learning (36 hours of direct supervision and 180 hours of indirect supervised clinical practice) and feedback on progress is used as an element of assessment on the following modules: 1. Clinical Assessment Skills for Advanced Practice [Level 7] 2. Clinical Reasoning in Advanced Practice [Level 7] 3. Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice [Level 7]

The overall total for supervised hours through successful completion of these modules is 648 hours.

Employability

Graduate and employer surveys and feedback indicate our graduates are making a positive impact on patient care and service innovation in general practices, walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units, emergency departments, projects for refugees, asylum seekers and homeless populations, elderly care facilities, “out of hours” developments, rapid response services, intermediate care teams, prison services, acute medical and surgical teams, critical-care outreach and specialist hospital services.

Some of our graduates are now lead nurses within social enterprises, nurse partners in general practices, nurse representatives on commissioning boards, community matrons and consultant nurses. To date two graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral studies.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

Visit the Advanced Clinical Practice - PgDip/Top up to MSc page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

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