The community environments where health care is offered are undergoing great change. Achieving effective practice in these settings requires highly dynamic and flexible practitioners who can bring about positive change in relation to their community specialist practice.
For a service to be effective, it must be based upon ongoing assessment, planning and evaluation and involve an effective partnership between the patient/client, their carer, their family members and relevant population groups. This requires interdisciplinary, interprofessional and inter-agency collaboration. The importance of working collaboratively is therefore a central philosophy within the CSP PGDip course we offer.
The PGDip in District Nursing (DN) comprises six modules. You will be sponsored or seconded to study full-time over a period of 12 months, or two years part-time.
The modules are:
- Foundations of Community Specialist Practice 1 (DN) is a practice-based module, which enables you to develop an in-depth systematic understanding of the knowledge and skills in primary care nursing in relation to DN practice.
- Leadership in Health and Social Care will help you develop and apply the knowledge and conceptual and practice skills needed to be an effective leader within health and social care environments, in both the public and private sectors.
- Advance History Taking and Assessment this single, level 7 practice-focused module provides students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking through enhanced knowledge and skills in taking a comprehensive patient history and performing a thorough physical and psychosocial assessment. Students will be expected to demonstrate analysis and evaluation through their assessment skills, and ability to accurately communicate a patient / client health history and examination findings using appropriate terminology, reporting deviations from normal in a succinct manner to colleagues within the multidisciplinary team.
- Foundations of Community Specialist Practice 2 (DN) will enable you to demonstrate originality and initiative in the consolidation of your community specialist practice knowledge and skills. You are based in a practice placement which enables you to develop and extend your specialist practice leadership skills in DN practice and to discuss practice issues with colleagues and peers.
- Non-Medical Prescribing (V300) incorporates the learning outcomes specified by the NMC for registration to allow practitioners to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary for Community Practitioners.
- Foundations of Community Specialist Practice 3 (DN) is a practice-based module which aims to consolidate your knowledge and practice experience in a single placement area - a minimum of 50 days will be spent in the practice setting in this final element of the course. You will build on your leadership skills in taking a lead role in managing a caseload of families.
Optional modules include:
- Work-Based Learning is a practice-focused single module which will enable integration and consolidation of your specialist community knowledge and skills. You will work on a project based on the principles of work-based learning.
- Diagnostic reasoning in practice This is a theory-based module. The aim is to enable students to critically appraise knowledge and evidence related to diagnostic tools used within practice. The development of this knowledge will enable the student to provide a theoretical base from which to make efficient and effective decisions in relation to patients/clients health care needs, and their management.
- Care of the Older Person With Frailty This double level 7 practice module will provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the complexity of assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care relevant to the older person with frailty in a variety of care environments including the home, community settings and hospital. Students will gain practical experience of caring for these patients in a variety of settings. The module will provide students with the opportunity to think critically and logically about issues pertinent to the acute care of the older person with frailty.
- Advance Health promotion will explore practical aspects of health promotion, including how to develop strategic and action plans.
- Care of the Deteriorating or Acutely Unwell Adult This single level 7 practice related module provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical problem solving approach to the assessment and management of the deteriorating and acutely unwell adult. This module will enhance the students’ assessment skills enabling them to recognise changes in a patients’ clinical condition and communicate findings to colleagues in the multidisciplinary team. It will examine the management of these patients while implementing human factors principles to improve patient safety.
- Advanced Symptom Management focuses on the development of assessment skills in the context of life-threatening illness, and on the management of distressing symptoms in palliative care.
- Advanced Research Design equips students with the skills to find, appraise and utilise research, as well as plan and design a piece of research work. It helps students define a suitable research question and use this as a basis for identifying appropriate research methodologies for a small scale research project or dissertation. Students will gain the skills needed to plan and outline a rationale for a piece of primary research, secondary analysis, literature review or audit. This module focuses on research as a part of a body of evidence used for health and social care practice, and provides an overview of methodologies and methods commonly used in health and social care policies and working environments.
Teaching and learning
The teaching, learning and assessment strategies which underpin the courses reflect their interprofessional, client-centred and practice-focused approach.
We encourage group work and discussions so that you can develop new skills, knowledge and experience. Lively debates develop within the sessions and you will be able to discuss the relevant issues with others from different primary care trusts and the wider health and social care environment.
To make the most of the range of experience, skills and knowledge within the group, a variety of teaching and learning strategies is employed, including seminars, discussions, debates and group work. You will also have access to the 'Brookes Virtual’ learning environment (an on-line repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises).
The strategies we use encourage self-reflection, the integration of theory and practice, and interprofessional collaboration. Staff will support the development of your academic and professional practice.
The course is centred on practice and you will spend 50% of time in the practice environment. Your community practice teachers (CPTs) are highly involved with the development and implementation of the course and there is a great deal of collaboration with the provider services education leads.
You will be encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate district nurse practice with your lecturers and CPTs, and your assignments will provide a focus for analysing practice. Your CPT will be responsible for facilitating your learning, supervising your progress and assessing your competence in practice.
Approach to assessment
Assessment is based on a developmental process of acquiring, modifying and refining skills and knowledge during each module. A variety of assessments is used, including written assignments, a practice portfolio and examinations.
Your practice knowledge and skills will also be assessed, so that you can demonstrate your ability to critically reflect on and develop practice in line with current professional standards.
Your community practice teacher will assess your competence in practice.
Field trips There will be an expectation that the course will consist of 45 weeks of structured learning in the 52 week programme (or 90 weeks - 104 weeks part time). This will comprise of 50% theory and 50% practice based experience.
The student will be able to chose 5 days alternative practice placement experience in an alternative Health Visiting or School Nurse setting.
In addition, the student will gain 10 days in alternative practice settings (public health days) which will be aligned to the public health nurse role in building a wider picture of community practice.
Additional costs Travel expenses will be incurred (only travel within the practice placement will be reimbursed).
Core texts are available in the university library, there are no essential purchases of books required.
Online submission of assessments eliminate printing costs for all modules.
You will be paid full-time (or part-time) thus your attendance at university is recorded. Sickness and absence during the course will affect your sickness and absence record. Equally punctuality at university is a important part of your professional role.