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The student-centred Advanced Practice in Health Care postgraduate programme is the only one in Wales to be accredited by the Royal College of Nursing. The Advanced Practice in Health Care programme enables experienced health care professionals from varied clinical backgrounds to develop their skills and knowledge to an advanced level of practice in health care. The MSSc and PGDip in Advanced Practice in Health Care has also been carefully mapped against the prospective Advanced Nurse Practitioner competencies of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The clinical component of the Advanced Practice in Health Care programme is taught by a team of active practitioners consisting of: Advanced Nurse Practitioners, an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner and a Medical Doctor.
The Advanced Practice in Health Care programme is consistent with current thinking on advanced practice and complies with both the competencies provided by the Royal College of Nursing, 2012 (RCN) and their high standards of course delivery. Students of the Advanced Practice in Health Care programme will develop critical and creative thinking skills in relation to clinical practice to an advanced level on the programme. Additionally, students of the Advanced Practice in Health Care programme will develop their knowledge and skills with regard to their role as a researcher, educator, manager and leader in health care.
The Advanced Practice in Health Care programme at Swansea University commenced in 1992. Since then it has undergone several changes in order to remain at the forefront of contemporary practices in health care. The modules are designed to enable the clinician to develop knowledge and skills essential to the role of an advanced practitioner (Scottish Government, 2008). Students may also undertake studies for non-medical prescribing.
Modules on the Advanced Practice in Health Care programme typically include:
• Foundations in Research
• Clinical Assessment and Diagnostic Skills
• Non Medical Prescribing
• Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology
• Advanced Practice: Management and Leadership
• Advanced Practice and Education
The academic lead for the Advanced Practice in Health Care team works on a national basis with the Welsh Government on advanced practice policy.
The Programme Coordinator is a committee member of the RCN Accredited Advanced Nurse Practitioner Educators Group.
Several members of the teaching team for the Advanced Health Care programme have published books and papers on the subject of Advanced Practice in health care.
Swansea was one of the first universities in the UK to offer nurse practitioner/advanced nurse practitioner education. We now have twenty years of experience of doing so. The programme is informed predominantly by the Advanced Practice Toolkit, the Royal College of Nursing document (RCN, 2012) and by working closely with our colleagues in the NHS.
The practitioner teachers work within the local NHS and so provide a link. There is a formal link between the College of Human and Health Sciences and the Bridgend Rehabilitation Team. Several members of the teaching team work on committees with Hywel Dda Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.