Specialist Community and Public Health Nurse Apprenticeship: Health Visitor or School Nursing

Level: 7 

Course duration: Typically 16 Months (Practical training and EPA)

Next start date: September 2023

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


Our innovative Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing) course enables apprentices to develop their practice as a specialist public health nurse. Apprentices will finish the course as collaborative practitioners who are able to lead practice forward.

On successfully completing this course apprentices achieve a PG Diploma, and are eligible for registration by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC):

  • on the third part of the register (specialist community public health nursing)
  • and able to prescribe from the community practitioners formulary (V100)

This apprenticeship route has been crafted to meet both NMC and IFA standards, and the blended approach is designed to meet the needs of postgraduate apprentices.

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Who is it for?

This apprenticeship is aimed at qualified nurses and midwives (NMC registrants) who wish to further their career and qualify as a School Nurse or a Health Visitor. This programme will enhance your career in a leadership role within the public health arena, working alongside professionals and agencies for families with children aged between 0-19. 

Entry criteria and costs

The cost of the Apprenticeship for 2023/24 entry: £12,000 (drawn down from the monthly employer levy)

Apprentices should be employed in a suitable role, and must already be professionally registered on either nursing or midwife pathways (parts one or two of the NMC register). 

In addition:

  • evidence of degree level study (Level 6) from a recognised UK / overseas institution, or an equivalent professional qualification - but extensive experience will also be considered.

as well as:

  • hold English and Maths Level 2 equivalent to GCSE A*-C or 9-4
  • eligible to join an apprenticeship scheme.

English & Maths Level 2 are discretionary for entry if not already held; however, both must be completed by gateway of the End Point Assessment.

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 Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nurse or Health Visitor) awarded by Oxford Brookes

  • Professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (on the Third Part of the Register)
  • Enhanced care delivery in community settings
  • Advanced skills required for evidence-based care of children, young people and their families
  • A problem-solving approach to leadership and clinical practice
  • Professionalism and accountability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills

Teaching overview

The core modules contain learning outcomes linked to competencies as a SCPHN and a V100 Nurse prescriber - including specific modules mapped to professional standards. Each element must be passed, and there is no compensation between the assessment of theory and practice.

A number of modules detailed below use a synchronous teaching delivery, which means working or learning at the same time. On-campus learning refers to conventional lectures or seminars. For online learning, chat rooms and online “live” seminars are used to enhance real-time discourse.

Study modules

Year 1                                                                                                                                              Year 2

Foundations of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing 1

This practice-based module enables apprentices to develop a systematic understanding of public health nursing knowledge and skills within health visiting and school settings. Taught content incorporates the standards of both UNICEF Baby Friendly and Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber (CPNP) V100 qualification*. Teaching is delivered through face-to-face seminars, and a mixture of online synchronous seminars and online learning activities e.g. guided reading in units.

* If your organisation has opted out of the V100 element, you are not required to study this aspect.

Psychosocial Care of Children, Adolescents and their Families

Opens with focus on developing psychosocial assessment skills from a theoretical basis. Apprentices then explore how using assessment of family strengths and difficulties can inform planned interventions. A range of therapeutic approaches are introduced, with encouragement to reflect on their use within specific practice environments. The module develops understanding of needs expressed through child behaviour, and ability to implement ways of managing them. Teaching is blended - with a combination of guided online activities, and synchronous or on-campus action learning sets.

Foundations of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing 2

This practice-based module combines theoretical classroom teaching and online learning, enabling apprentices to integrate public health knowledge and skills. Apprentices are based in a practice placement that enables them to develop skills relevant to health visiting or school nursing, and discuss practice issues with peers. Teaching incorporates content relevant to both UNICEF Baby Friendly, and the Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber (CPNP) V100 qualification*. Teaching is delivered through face to face seminars, online synchronous seminars as well as online learning activities e.g., guided reading in units of learning.

* If your organisation has opted out of the V100 element, you are not required to study this aspect. Equally, if you have not passed the V100 Numeracy and Pharmacology examination, you may opt-out of V100 with agreement of your line manager.

Risk and the Protection of Children

Critically examines contemporary childhood research from an international perspective - with particular focus on experiences of abuse and neglect. Apprentices have opportunity to understand the legal policy contexts of child protection and safeguarding. The module explores explanatory models for understanding child maltreatment, along with evidence of the signs of significant harm to children, including incidence and prevalence rates. Child protection interventions to child maltreatment will be debated in relation to social and cultural contexts. Teaching is blended with a combination of guided online activities, synchronous or on campus action learning sets every two weeks.

Advanced Health Promotion

Explores theoretical and practical aspects of health promotion, including how to develop action plans. Apprentices are introduced to theories in health behaviour and lifestyle, as well as considering wider social dimensions related to lifestyle. The module also provides tools for assessing community health needs, planning health promotion activities, and techniques for engaging differing communities in developing their own healthy lifestyles. Teaching is blended with a combination of guided online activities, synchronous or on campus seminars sets every two weeks.

Foundations of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing 3

A 100% practice-based module aligned to the end of year assessment (e-portfolio) - which captures evidence of competency-based work undertaken. It enables apprentices to consolidate their public health knowledge and skills, while based in a placement that develops public health skills in visiting or school nursing environments, and to discuss practice issues with peers. Apprentice skills are further refined through leading caseload management with the support of their wider team.

Leadership in Health and Social Care

Engages apprentices in inter-professional learning on the leadership required to deliver health and social care. The module equips practitioners at all stages of leadership to research relevant knowledge, concepts, and skillsets to be effective leaders for the public and private sector. It also seeks to enhance leadership practice at personal, organisational, and inter-organisational levels – with reference to core theories of management in team development and aims to promote a learning community where apprentices can nurture a professional network together. This module is undertaken last in the programme as part of an ‘On-the-Job’ block within a consolidated practice placement.

Integrated End Point Assessment

Please refer to the End Point Assesment section below.

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). 
  • Our SCPHN programme has successfully been delivered as a non-apprenticeship for many years, using that programme as an overarching structure. 
  • 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.