The Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing module is suitable for NMC registrants from all fields of nursing practice (adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing), midwifery and specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN). It builds on existing physical assessment and clinical reasoning skills to develop the practitioners’ pharmacology knowledge base, as well as the theory and practice of prescribing, in order to meet NMC Standards for prescribing programmes (NMC, 2018).The module is delivered using a blended learning approach, which incorporates both face-to-face and online activities. A variety of strategies and techniques are employed, including simulation based learning, to encourage critical enquiry and problem solving, in recognition of the complexities that may be encountered in prescribing practice.
The module can be done as the second part of the Graduate Certificate in Independent/Supplementary Prescribing award, with the first part comprising the ‘Clinical reasoning in physical assessment: lifespan perspectives’ module, or equivalent 30 credits at level 6.
The module can also be done independently of the Graduate Certificate as long as the applicant complies with the module pre-requisites as stated below.
The aims of the module are to:
• enable participants to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of clinical pharmacology and prescribing practice;
• equip participants to become competent, safe and effective independent/ supplementary prescribers, thereby meeting the standards set by the NMC for nurses and midwives.
• Successful achievement of a university accredited physical assessment module such as ‘Clinical Reasoning in Physical assessment: lifespan perspectives’.
• Current nurse (Level 1), midwife or SCPHN with at least 1 year’s post NMC registration clinical experience.
• Written confirmation of support to undertake the module from the applicant’s employer and the Prescribing Lead within their organisation, who must confirm all placement areas have a current and satisfactory educational audit.
• Written confirmation of agreement to provide support from an identified Practice Assessor, who must be an experienced prescriber with suitable equivalent qualifications for the module undertaken, fulfilling criteria in the NMC’s (2018) Standards for student supervision and assessment and the NMC’s (2018) Standards for prescribing programmes.
• Self-employed applicants must have an honorary contract in place and agreement of support from a suitably qualified Practice Assessor and the Prescribing Lead within that organisation, at the point of application.
Evidence of currently working in the clinical field in which the participant intends to prescribe.
Assessment: 2 parts
Part 1: Online exam (PASS/FAIL)
- Multiple Choice Questions – Pharmacology (Pass mark = 80%)
- Drug Calculations – (Pass mark = 100%)
Part 2: Portfolio
- 3 x clinical logs with prescribing considerations
- Competency Assessment Document (CAD) to demonstrate compliance with the current Competency Framework for Prescribers
- Reflective essay, based on one of the clinical logs, written in order to demonstrate compliance with a selected competency from the Competency Framework for Prescriber
1. Interprets relevant data from a range of sources to make or confirm a diagnosis, with consideration of differential diagnoses.
2. Applies a comprehensive knowledge base and understanding of pharmacology to prescribing scenarios.
3. Accurately completes calculations relating to prescribing and practical dosing
4. Appraises treatment options and works in partnership with patients/ carers to agree individualised treatment plans, which comply with local and national frameworks.
5. Evaluates the effectiveness of medications, working collaboratively to ensure appropriate review of management plans and referral
6. Examines local and national prescribing frameworks and practices to enhance safe, cost effective management of patients.
7. Critically reflects on and challenges own and others practice within the context of professional and ethico-legal accountability to improve prescribing practice.
8. Applies effective communication skills to promote safety, informed choice, self-management, continuity of care and multidisciplinary team working.