Module code: NUR3191

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.

On successful completion of all aspects of the module, the University will inform the NMC that the student is eligible to register their qualification.  This must be done within 5 years from the identified start of the programme for those taking the module as part of the SPQ and SCPHN programmes. If there is a need for interrupt, the student’s acquired knowledge and skills need to remain valid in order to allow them to achieve the proficiencies set by the NMC, so where necessary, a repeat of some, or all, of the prescribing preparation and assessment may need to be repeated.  For those taking the module outside these programmes, they must register their qualification within one year and may not prescribe until their qualification has been recorded by the NMC.

Module provider

School of Health Sciences

Module Leader

JONES Felicity (Health Sci.)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 80

Lecture Hours: 6

Tutorial Hours: 4

Practical/Performance Hours: 30

Guided Learning: 30

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

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

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

  • Diagnosis

  • 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

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online CALCULATION PAPER Pass/Fail
Examination Online GENERAL PAPER Pass/Fail
Coursework CRITICAL ACCOUNT Pass/Fail
Practical based assessment PRACTICE PRESCRIPTIONS Pass/Fail
Practical based assessment PRACTICE LOG Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment


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 (1.5 hours)

  • 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.

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
001 Assess and consult with patients / clients and parents / carers PT
002 Undertake a thorough history, including medication history and current medication (including over-the-counter, alternative and complementary health therapies) to inform diagnosis KCPT
003 Understand and apply the relevant legislation to the practice of nurse / midwife prescribing KCP
004 Critically appraise, use sources of information / advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice CPT
005 Understand the influences that can impact on prescribing practice and demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of prescribing KP
006 Understand and apply knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice KP
007 Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines KCPT
008 Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively CP
009 Practise within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility KCP
010 Accurately completes and routinely checks calculations relevant to prescribing and practical dosing relevant to patient group/filed of practice KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

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

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: NUR3191

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 2025/6 academic year.