Undergraduate study
Health & Social Care

BSc (Hons) Specialist Practice in District Nursing

District nursing is a core service within the NHS - this specialist practice degree course will prepare you for a career as a district nurse and team leader. The Five Year Forward View (NHS England 2015) sets out an expectation that more care will be provided in the community in the future. This care will be to people with increasingly complex needs and the people working in these health and social care structures will have to be more flexible to accommodate this.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

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This programme provides you with an academic qualification of an honours degree. By successfully completing this programme you achieve the new QNI/QNIS Voluntary Standards for District Nurse Education and Practice as well as the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the Specialist Practice in Nursing in the Home/District Nursing professional qualification which is recorded on the NMC register. This qualification has integrated within it the Community Practitioner Prescribing (V100) qualification (NMC 2006), enabling you to prescribe from the community practitioner’s formulary.

You will also have demonstrated skills at Level 3 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines in brief interventions which is a requirement for a district nurse as set out in the Health Education England’s District Nursing and General Practice Education and Career Framework (2015).

This programme has been designed in consultation with local employers, professional standards bodies, students (past and present), service users and carers, and district nurse educators from across the country. We hope that this has led to a course which is challenging, contemporary, inspiring and enjoyable.

Professional accreditation

After successfully completing your course you are eligible to be awarded the recordable qualification of the Specialist Practice Qualification in District Nursing which has integrated within it the V100 recordable qualification of the Community Practitioner Prescriber.

Supporting information for applicants

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You study full time for 44 weeks undertaking six modules. This course includes practice competencies which are achieved on placement. The balance of the course is 50% theory and 50% practice.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Applying Leadership and Management in the Context of Specialist Practice

You reflect on your own leadership skills, strengths, weaknesses and areas for development. You are then guided to consider ways to develop your professional leadership skills. You explore the challenges of leading and managing a team in the current health and social care context and consider strategies to be more effective in this role.

Community Practitioner Prescribing (V100)

You consider the issues important for safe and effective prescribing and encourage a reflective approach to practice. You explore the principles of prescribing and, alongside the taught component, you undertake self-assessment to determine your ability to develop safe and effective prescribing practice. You work closely with your practice teacher to develop prescribing experiences and complete a portfolio of evidence which your practice teacher verifies.

Enhancing District Nursing

The district nursing professional competencies sit within this module – teaching in your placement area, with your practice teacher or sign-off mentor, is fundamental to achieving this module. This is evidenced through a portfolio. You also explore core aspects of district nursing in more depth in the classroom, considering issues such as case management, risk assessment, the commissioning agenda and communication skills. You explore in-depth issues specific to the district nursing specialism.

Evidence Appraisal

This award develops your understanding of the concept of evidence-based practice as a framework in which to explore different research methodologies.

You look at the major features of the research process used within educare and health and social care and have two main areas of focus. The first is to develop your understanding of different research methodologies and provide you with appropriate evaluative tools to assess the quality of research. The second is to develop your skills in areas that help you prepare for your final year independent project.

Practice Development in District Nursing

You explore an issue which is relevant to practice in your area and consider potential enhancements to the current district nursing service. You undertake a community needs assessment to help you choose an issue and then explore the evidence base for best practice around this topic. You then outline a practice development that would enhance district nursing and follows on from your initial consideration of the evidence. You are guided through this process by a supervisor from the programme team.

The Principles and Practice of Managing Long-term Conditions

You gain the necessary analytical and innovative skills, knowledge and competence to meet the demands of community service delivery in the area of long-term conditions. You explore the long-term health conditions agenda and develop your clinical skills.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

This programme requires you to commit to a very comprehensive yet individualised approach to learning. There are opportunities for some components to be accredited through recognised prior learning – this is agreed on an individual basis. We help you gain confidence in accessing digital resources. Some of the learning is shared with students on the postgraduate district nursing programme, some with students on other programmes, whilst some time is dedicated to just your programme. Classroom teaching uses lots of different techniques and approaches, for example group discussions, presentations, project work, clinical skills development in practical labs. We highly value the experience and knowledge of service users and carers who are involved in the programme, for example through teaching activities and assessment. Your practice teacher plays a significant role in ensuring that you have access to great learning opportunities whilst on placement. Their skill and experience also provide you with an excellent role model.

How you are assessed

You are assessed in a number of ways as we know everyone learns differently. These include exams, essays, reflections, reports, simulations, projects and assessing competencies in practice evidenced through a portfolio. Your practice teacher or sign-off mentor is key to these practice assessments.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

When you successfully complete the programme, you are well prepared for the dynamic and inspiring world of community nursing as well as being in a strong position to apply for position as a district nurse and team leader.

Entry requirements

Please use this flowchart to ensure you are applying for the correct award.

You will hold 120 credits at Level 5, have an NMC-valid registration as a registered adult nurse, be successful at interview where value-based recruitment is embedded and subject to gaining support from an employing organisation who is responsible for the following essential elements:

  • enabling access to the appropriate learning opportunities - normally you will have supernumerary status throughout the learning programme
  • providing a nominated sign-off mentor or practice teacher who contributes to the teaching and assessment process, is a practising community prescriber and provides you with practice learning opportunities
  • completing a satisfactory work-based risk assessment
  • ensuring you have a satisfactory DBS which was issued within three years of the proposed completion date of your programme and, as the employer, has a policy which requires you to inform them as your employer immediately of any changes which may affect the status of your DBS record - any issues which may have implications for your progression on the programme must be communicated to the programme leader immediately.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information