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Specialist Practitioner (District Nurse) (PgDip)

Course Description

Designed to prepare experienced nurses for 21st century district nursing, the programme combines theory and practice and will develop knowledge and skills to produce safe, autonomous and competent specialist practitioner district nurses. You will possess the expertise to initiate, lead and deliver contemporary district nursing practice.

About the programme

The programme comprises 50% theory and 50% practice and is underpinned by the philosophy and values of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the requirements for a recordable qualification as a Specialist Practitioner District Nurse. The programme consists of six core modules, some of which are discipline specific and others which are shared. The shared learning provides a highly effective experience and contributes to the overall strength of the programme. All modules provide new knowledge, understanding and skills needed for contemporary district nursing practice.

The practice component will be undertaken within the District Nurse setting and students will be supervised and assessed by a Practice Teacher or experienced District Nurse.

On completion of this programme students will have developed a significant range of new knowledge, understanding and advanced skills needed for contemporary district nursing practice.

Students will also receive an academic award of Postgraduate Diploma and the professional recordable qualifications of ‘Specialist Practitioner District Nursing’, ‘Community Practitioner Prescriber’ and ‘Nurse Independent/ Supplementary Prescriber’.

Additional Entry Information

Applicants must identify a designated medical practitioner (DMP) who can provide a minimum of 78 hours of supervision and who meets the criteria for supervising students on the Prescribing in Advanced Practice module (NMC, 2006).

As the programme includes the Assessment in Advanced Practice module, applicants must have obtained agreement from an experienced practitioner or Advanced Nurse Practitioner to act as a clinical supervisor.

Competitive entry requirements necessitate the need for an interview. Interviews will be conducted in partnership with stakeholders.

Your learning

The programme comprises of six SCQF Level 11 (20 point) modules. Students must complete all six modules:
Trimester 1:
• Contemporary Nursing District Nursing: Managing Long Term Conditions
• Responding to Public Health Challenges

Trimester 2:
• Research for Health and Social Care
• Prescribing in Advanced Practice

Trimester 3:
• Assessment in Advanced Practice
• Consolidation of Practice

- MSc Health Studies (Community Health):
Successful students may have the opportunity to progress to Masters level with the option of continuing to the MSc Health Studies (Community Health).

Our Careers Adviser says

This programme will prepare graduates for a demanding and rewarding career as a Specialist Practioner in District Nursing.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our campuses are equipped with artificial simulated environments with contemporary healthcare technology, where you’ll learn in a realistic context, to put your knowledge into practice. The unpredictability of patient symptoms are mimicked using sophisticated software in a clinical ward setting, ranging from low to high dependency beds.

Investment in the Domus Initiative – an older adult artificial home environment – provides you with experience in caring for older people and dementia care. In a first for the Scottish university sector, we have established A Community Orientated Resource for Nursing (ACORN) where students can practice within a simulated primary care environment.

Lanarkshire and Paisley campuses also provide midwifery students with excellent learning and teaching environments with facilities and equipment that includes a birthing room with maternal simulator and a birthing pool for simulated water births.

Life-changing research

We work jointly with a range of partners, both nationally and internationally, on our research interests, and this directly informs teaching at UWS – which means that you’ll learn from the experts.

Our programmes are informed by practice and all of our academic staff are members of the School’s Institute of Healthcare Policy and
Practice. Some of our most recent initiatives include –

• the launch of a new resource, ‘Jenny’s Diary’, which will provide an invaluable tool for families and practitioners to help people with a learning disability understand their diagnosis of dementia

• the development of a new ‘Philosophy of Care’ in partnership with Broomfield Court Care Home in Glasgow, which will look at ways of enhancing the culture and care within a care setting

• we have collaborated with Ayrshire Hospice to launch the first University Hospice in Scotland to help improve the lives of people with life-limiting illness, their families, partners and carers across Ayrshire & Arran; and Ardgowan Hospice in Greenock, with it becoming a University Teaching Hospice and launching a two-year research project with the University aimed at revolutionising the way palliative
care is delivered to improve the patient journey

• the launch of Dumfries & Galloway Recovery College – the first of its kind in Scotland – which offers short courses designed to enhance self-belief, identify ambitions and encourage learning

• in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh, the mental health team lead research into the relationship between emotional intelligence and clinical and academic performance in student nurses

• we are working with the Glasgow Improving Cancer Journey Programme to evaluate this groundbreaking intervention in cancer care in Scotland

• we have launched a new state-of-the-art microbiology lab which will form a research base in the fight against Healthcare Associated Infection

• a collaboration with a number of European partners to develop shared academic and practicebased programmes to prepare family health nurses in Europe

Visit the Specialist Practitioner (District Nurse) (PgDip) page on the University of the West of Scotland website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants must be registered as a first level Nurse on Part 1 of the NMC professional register and have a first degree. As the programme includes non-medical prescribing, applicants must have at least three years’ post registration experience. Of these threeyears, the year immediately preceding application to the programme must have been in the clinical field in which the applicant is intending to prescribe. In addition, applicants must have the support of their employing organisation.

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Recipient: University of the West of Scotland
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