District Nurse Apprenticeship

Level: 7 

Course duration: Typically 24 Months (Practical training and EPA)

Next start date: September 2024

Mode of delivery: Blended Learning (Campus Teaching + Self Guided Study) with integrated placements dependent on module requirements


The District Nursing Apprenticeship offers employers the opportunity to support community nurses who wish to become District Nurse Specialist Practitioners. Academic learning and practice are integrated to enable apprentices to develop a foundation of specialist knowledge and professional identity. This programme also incorporates the independent and supplementary prescribing qualification.

The apprenticeship is mapped against the NMC Standards for Specialist Education and Practice (2001) and QNI/QNIS voluntary standards (2015).

On successfully completing this course apprentices achieve a PG Diploma, and are eligible for registration by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a District Nurse Specialist Practitioner, and as an Independent and Supplementary Prescriber.

UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

+ 44 (0) 1865 534900 option 4


Who is it for?

This apprenticeship is aimed at qualified nurses (NMC registrants) who wish to further their career and qualify as a District Nurse Specialist Practitioner. 

It is essential that you have a good understanding of this role before applying. We recommend that you make contact with your employing NHS Trust, or the one you are applying with through NHS Jobs.

Entry criteria and costs

The cost of the Apprenticeship for 2024/25 entry (drawn down from the monthly employer levy): £10,000 (subject to annual review)

Apprentices must be employed in a suitable role as a registered nurse, holding at least one year of experience working as a registered nurse prior to the start date of the programme.

In addition:

  • evidence of degree level study (Level 6) from a recognised UK / overseas institution; or
  • a Diploma in Nursing, demonstrating achievement of learning and assessment at level 6.

as well as:

  • hold English and Maths Level 2 equivalent to GCSE A*-C or 9-4
  • be eligible to join the Apprenticeship scheme in England

Functional Skills English and/or Maths can be studied during the apprenticeship if eligible Level 2 qualifications are not already held; however, both must be completed before progression onto the End Point Assessment. It is an employer's discretion whether they may prefer these to be achieved by staff before enrolling on the apprenticeship.

How to apply

We welcome employers and individuals to contact the Apprenticeships Team by completing the expression of interest form below. Once submitted, we will be in touch to outline your next steps and/or arrange a meeting with the Faculty.

Learning outcomes

  • Postgraduate Diploma in District Nursing awarded by Oxford Brookes. 
  • NMC Recordable District Nurse Specialist Practitioner
  • NMC Recordable Independent and Supplementary Prescriber
  • Enhanced leadership knowledge and skills
  • Enhanced critical thinking and academic writing skills
  • Development of advanced history taking and assessment skills
  • Opportunity to develop an idea for service improvement which can be implanted into practice
  • Compilation of portfolio evidence demonstrating competence in clinical district nursing practice

Teaching overview

The programme typically runs for 24 months and one module per semester is undertaken. Apprentices attend half a day at University, half a day private study, and one-and-a-half supernumerary practice days (‘off the job training’). During the final semester, apprentices remain mostly in their practice for consolidatated learning days ('on the job training'), with half a day study per week. 

Progress in the workplace is monitored through regular contact between the employer, apprentice and tutors.

Study modules

Year 1

  • Foundations of Community Specialist Practice District Nursing 1
  • Advanced History Taking and Assessment
  • Foundations of Community Specialist Practice District Nursing 2

Year 2

  • Leadership in Health and Social Care
  • Nurse or Midwife Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing (V300)
  • Foundations of Community Specialist Practice District Nursing

End Point Assessment

This programme has an integrated End Point Assessment (EPA), so there are no additional assessments as part of this apprenticeship route.

The final examination board, the oversight of an external examiner and finally informing the NMC of successful completion of this programme are defined as the stages of the EPA. 

The Oxford Brookes experience

  • The Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery (OSN+M) is an innovative partnership that seeks to be at the forefront of research-driven education, clinical practice and high-quality healthcare research.
  • In collaboration with other universities and healthcare providers, OSN+M enjoys an international reputation in healthcare research, with the majority of it considered world-leading (Research Excellence Framework assessment 2014). 
  • Extensive experience incorporating the Independent and Supplementary Prescribing module into the District Nurse programme
  • The apprenticeship programme fully integrates the teaching, learning and support the University offers with the assessment and training offered within your practice.
  • We have excellent relationships with placement providers, which results in high-quality learning environments and support from Supervisors and Practice Assessors.