Module code: NUR3191

Module provider

School of Health Sciences

Module Leader

CROSS CE Mrs (Health Sci.)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Year long

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 96

Lecture Hours: 16

Seminar Hours: 9

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination CALCULATION PAPER Pass/Fail
Examination GENERAL PAPER Pass/Fail
Pass/Fail competencies PRACTICE PRESCRIPTIONS Pass/Fail
Pass/Fail competencies PRACTICE LOG Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Students must be qualified Specialist Practice or SCPHN practitioners working in primary care

Module overview

This module is intended for nurses with Specialist Practitioner Qualifications (SPQ) and registered Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) to equip them with the principles of prescribing to enable them to be safe, effective and cost-effective prescribers (from the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary), in a primary care setting.

Module aims

This module is intended for nurses with specialist practitioner qualifications (SPQ) and registered Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) and those studying for these qualifications, to equip them with the principles of prescribing to enable them to be safe, effective and cost-effective prescribers (from the Nurse Prescribers' Formulary), in a primary care setting.

The module also aims to enable students to understand the principles of good prescribing, the law relating to prescribing, their accountability in prescribing and to understand the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs. It will also enable participants to become familiar with the nurse prescribing formulary and to be aware of current developments in nurse prescribing in the UK.

Successful candidates will attain the NMC recorded qualification Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber when their SCPHN or SPQ appears on the NMC register.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Assess and consult with patients / clients and parents / carers
Undertake a thorough history, including medication history and current medication (including over-the-counter, alternative and complementary health therapies) to inform diagnosis
Understand and apply the relevant legislation to the practice of nurse / midwife prescribing
Critically appraise, use sources of information / advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice
Understand the influences that can impact on prescribing practice
Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of prescribing
Understand and apply knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice
Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines
Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
Practise within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility
Demonstrate knowledge and skills in prescribing for children

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Consultation, decision making and therapy, including referral

Assessment, history taking, communication and consultation with patients/clients and their parents/carers

Developing management plans


Prescribing and not prescribing, non drug treatment and referral for treatment

Numeracy and drug calculations


Influences on and psychology of prescribing

Patient/client demand and preference vs patient/client need – knowing when to say, “No”

External influences eg companies and colleagues

Patient/client partnerships in medicine-taking, including awareness of cultural and ethnic needs

Concordance as opposed to compliance


Prescribing in a team context

Rationale, adherence to and deviation from national and local guidelines local formularies, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae

Understanding the role and functions of other team members

Documentation, with particular reference to communication between team members, including electronic prescribing

Auditing, monitoring and evaluating prescribing practice

Interface between multiple prescribers and management of potential conflict

Budgets and cost effectiveness

Dispensing practice issues


Clinical pharmacology, including the effects of co-morbidity

Anatomy and physiology as applied to prescribing practice and community practitioner formulary

Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed- absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, including adverse drug reactions (ADR)

Interactions and reactions

Patient/client compliance, concordance and drug response

Impact of physiological state on drug responses and safety eg in elderly people. Neonates, children and young people, pregnant or breast feeding women


Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to nurse prescribing

Rationale, adherence to and deviation from national and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae

Continuing professional development – role of self and role of the organisation

Management of change

Risk assessment and management, including safe storage, handling and disposal

Clinical supervision

Reflective practice/peer review

Critical appraisal skills

Auditing practice and scrutinising data, systems monitoring

Identify and report adverse drug reactions and near misses and learn from mistakes


Legal, Policy and ethical aspects

Sound understanding of legislation that impacts on prescribing practice

Legal basis for practice. Liability and indemnity

Legal implications of advice to self-medicate including the use of alternative therapies, complementary therapy and over the counter (OTC) medicines

Safe-keeping of prescription pads, action if lost, writing prescriptions and record keeping

Awareness of reporting of fraud (recommendations from the Shipman Inquiry, Fourth Report)

Drug licensing

Yellow Card reporting to the Committee of Safety on Medicines (CSM) and reporting patient/client safety incidents to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA)

Prescribing in the policy context

Manufacturer’s guidance relating to literature, licensing and off-label

Ethical basis of intervention

Informed consent, with particular reference to client groups in learning disability, mental health, children, critically ill people and emergency situations


Personal accountability and responsibility

The NMC code of professional conduct, standards for conduct, performance and ethics

NMC Standards for prescribing practice

Ethical recommendations from the Shipman Inquiry, Fourth Report

Accountability and responsibility for assessment, diagnosis and prescribing

Maintaining professional knowledge and competence in relation to prescribing

Accountability and responsibility to the employer


Prescribing in the public health context

Duty to patients/clients and society

Inappropriate use of medication including misuse, under-use and over-use

Inappropriate prescribing, over-prescribing, and under-prescribing

Access to health care provision and medicines

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to bring together all elements of learning in University and practice settings building on their existing professional skills to achieve the knowledge and skills required to ensure that students are adequately prepared for their role as Nurse Prescribers.



The learning and teaching methods include:


Lectures, discussion groups, workshops, seminars, case studies, pre and post session study, virtual learning approaches.

Observation of practice, experience in clincal practice

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the integration of evidence based theory and principles of prescribing with the acquisition of practice skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Examinations in calculation of medicines (pass mark 100%) and multiple choice questions (pass mark 80%) with a minimum of 20 questions

A 2000 word critical account of a prescribing incident, following the principles of good prescribing

A log of 18 prescribing related, practice hours & two prescriptions one relevant to the critical incident and one relevant to practice should be included.

Formative assessment

Practice test papers

Feedback through workshop exercises

Essay plan feedback


As above

Please note that any evidence of unsafe practice or breach of confidentiality will result in an automatic refer for the module.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Primary and Community Care BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Public Health Practice BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.