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Advanced Nurse Practitioner (MSc/PGDip)

Course Description

The Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) team at London South Bank University (LSBU) has a long history of delivering high-quality ANP education, initially with the first ANP programme in the UK based at the RCN Institute, London and subsequently at LSBU. LSBU has provided ANP education at both degree and masters level in the past. However developments in policy related to advanced nursing practice have increasingly emphasised the need for masters level education to inform and underpin nursing activities at an advanced level.

You will initially enrol for the postgraduate ANP award programme, which comprises of a prescribed sequence of five compulsory modules and the Non Medical Prescribing programme. The curriculum for this award has been shaped by the Department of Health (2010) position statement on Advanced Level Nursing which is the current English policy standard for ANPs. It has been mapped against its four themes of "Clinical/direct care practice", "Leadership and collaborative practice", "Improving quality and developing practice" and "Developing self and others". This ensures that graduates from our Postgraduate Diploma ANP programme (PgDip ANP) will be able to demonstrate all of the elements that are detailed in this statement and are therefore benchmarked against the current policy standards for advanced nursing practice in England.

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Accreditation unit. This is the only quality marker for ANP programmes in the UK and demonstrates that our programme has been rigorously evaluated against 15 standards and associated criteria (RCN, 2012) and judged to prepare ANPs to an advanced level commensurate with the RCN guidance on ANPs (RCN, 2012). The sequencing of modules is designed to support advancement of clinical knowledge and skills during the programme.

The programme incorporates the Non Medical Prescribing programme for those students who are not already independent prescribers.

You have the option to exit at the end of the PgDip ANP or can choose to progress to gain the MSc award by undertaking a dissertation. You do not have to make this decision until year two or three depending on your rate of progress through the postgraduate diploma programme. You have up to five years to complete the Postgraduate Diploma. Graduates would be required to enrol to undertake the Dissertation within two years of completing the PgDip ANP. Those choosing to progress to the MSc ANP award have six years overall to complete this award from point of registration.

This clinically-focused programme is a "generic" ANP preparation programme. While it is offered to nurses working in any setting and with any client group it should be noted that the curriculum is designed to develop a "generalist" approach at advanced level. In practice this means that you will be expected to gain substantial experience in and demonstrate advanced level knowledge and clinical competence in relation to assessment, clinical reasoning, formulation of appropriate differential diagnosis, diagnostic decision making and initiation or delivery of appropriate timely evidence-based care for patients experiencing problems related to the following: head, neck, ENT, skin, eyes, lymph nodes, respiratory system, cardiac and peripheral vascular systems, gastrointestinal system, musculoskeletal system, neurological system (including cranial nerves), and mental health.

The programme is therefore not appropriate for nurses working within a specialist area who want to continue to further their learning and career within that specialty. An alternative MSc Nursing and MSc Healthcare programme provide a more suitable alternative. Take a look at our online CPPD prospectus for more information http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/hsccpd/ .

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/advanced-nurse-practitioner


The RCN ANP standards (2012) and DH (2010) Advanced Nursing position statement are central to the design of the curricula and staging of the modules. Key material is introduced, further developed, revisited and consolidated in a spiral approach, with knowledge and skills pertaining to all of the ANP domains and competencies taught, developed and assessed during the programme. All modules carry 20 credits at masters level (Level 7) other than the "Physiological Principles for ANPs" module which is provided at degree level (Level 6) to develop key foundation knowledge to underpin subsequent applied patho-physiology and pharmacology educational input.

The first two modules on the course are:
- Physiological Principles for ANPs
- Advanced Assessment Skills for Clinical Practice

These, along with the Non Medical Prescribing (NMP) programme, can be taken on a stand-alone single module basis and then credited into the ANP course within a two year time frame.

The other modules are listed below and these can only be taken once a student is enrolled on the programme:
- Clinical Reasoning and Applied Pathophysiology for ANPs
- Leadership and Service Development for ANPs
- Managing Clinical Complexity for ANPs

Non Medical Prescribing

The PgDip ANP includes the requirement for you to become an Independent Prescriber by successfully completing the Non Medical Prescribing (NMP) programme. This ensures that graduates from the programme will be able to fully meet patient's needs and service demands. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) stipulates the rules for delivery of the NMP programme, which dictate that this must be taken as a distinct entity with a separate application process. At LSBU the NMP programme is available as a Graduate Certificate (60 credits, Level 6) and a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, Level 7). Those on the PgDip ANP programme who have not already successfully completed the NMP programme or equivalent, will undertake the full NMP programme at Level 7 and 20 credits will be used towards the PgDip ANP award. A separate occurrence of the NMP programme will be provided for all ANP students from January to July each year. If you have previously completed the Non Medical Prescribing programme (or equivalent) at master's level then you will not be required to repeat this component. However, those who have previously completed the NMP programme (or equivalent) at degree level will be required to make up 20 credits at masters level by undertaking an optional module of choice. The School offers a wide variety of modules including ones that focus on assessing and managing children's minor illness, mentorship and developing research or specialist skills. Alternatively you could use master's level credit from prior learning at LSBU or study undertaken at another university.


To date we have prepared over 1,000 ANPs who have gone on to enjoy excellent employment opportunities. For example our graduates are now making a positive impact on service delivery and patient care in general practices, walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units,A&E departments, refugee/asylum seekers/homeless projects, elderly care facilities, 'out of hours' developments, rapid response services, prison services, intermediate care teams, generalist and specialist acute services,critical-care and ITU, outreach initiatives that cross traditional healthcare boundaries, and innovative community-based services. Some are now lead nurses within social enterprises, partners in general practices, nurse representatives on commissioning boards, community matrons and nurse consultants.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is provided by experienced qualified ANPs, many of whom work regularly in clinical practice. A variety of student-centred, teaching strategies are used including skills demonstrations and supervised, practical workshops and use of online learning resources. High quality student skills development and supervision is provided with a one teacher to 15 student ratio.

E-learning complements face-to-face delivery for all modules. Blended learning is used as a teaching and learning strategy alongside classroom attendance in modules to enhance your clinical and professional development and support you to overcome the challenges that ANP's face in the workplace. You therefore need use of a computer and efficient internet access between classroom sessions. For those who are anxious about their ability to study and write at master's level will be supported with sessions on study skills, academic writing, formative feedback on their writing and one to one tutorials.

Practice based learning

Focused practice based learning activities are an integral part of the programme to complement classroom learning and develop your clinical and professional scope of practice to an advanced level. Evidence of clinical development and completion of certified clinical hours, form one of the components of assessment for the clinical modules. Requirements for skills development and practice based learning extend beyond the University semesters to include the summer periods. You are therefore strongly advised to negotiate for your study day to continue throughout the calendar year.

Learning within the work place is supported through identification of a doctor/qualified ANP to act as your "Practice Facilitator" to initially supervise and subsequently support your clinical development. Details of these activities and the role of the Practice Facilitator are provided in the Practice Based Learning Handbook which accompanies the programme and are discussed during a specific session for students and their Practice Facilitators within the Orientation programme at the start of the course.


A range of assessment methods are used including health needs assessment leading to development of a service proposal, clinical case analysis, completion of certified clinical hours, a clinically focused portfolio and practical assessments including OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) Guided practice-based learning takes place in the your own work place, supported by a visit from an ANP Mentor.


The attendance requirements for this programme are greater those normally associated with a traditional post-graduate course; we use additional study days / blocks to develop the professional skills that are integral to the pathway. The nature of this programme means that those who miss any sessions will lose out on their learning experience. Academic Regulations stipulate that students who miss more than two sessions within a module will not normally be eligible to continue to finish the module. Please consider this requirement when you plan to undertake the programme.

Visit the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (MSc/PGDip) page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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