Independent/Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses, Midwives & Community Public Health Nurses

Course codes SNM3223/SNM624
40 credits at level 6 (degree) and 30 credits at level 7 (masters)


Who is it for?

This unit is for nurses and midwives working in primary and secondary care wanting to qualify as an independent / supplementary prescriber.

Accreditation under the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) standards has been delayed by the pandemic. While we are still able to deliver the course, we will require all students to have a designated medical practitioner (DMP) rather than an experienced prescriber from any other profession.

You must also meet these criteria below:

  • Be a first level registered nurse or registered midwife
  • Have a valid registration on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) professional register
  • Have at least 3 years post-registration clinical experience. At least one year immediately proceeding their application to the training programme should be in the role in which they intend to prescribe.
  • Have a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) willing to contribute to and supervise the 12 days learning in practice element of training. The medical prescriber will also be required to participate in the assessment of prescribing practice. The practice environment will be audited for suitability prior to the programme commencing.
  • Have the ability to study at level 6 (degree level)
  • Be numerate and confident in undertaking drug calculation skills
  • To access this course at masters level you will be required to have a degree or evidence of study at degree level
  • Have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance 3 years prior to registration as a prescriber - it is an NMC requirement to provide the DBS date and number as evidence, you will be asked for this on the first day of the course.

Regarding prescribing for aesthetics, currently we only offer places to candidates working within NHS settings due to demand for places from the NHS. Please note professionals wishing to prescribe botox etc must study this module at Level 7.

Overview of content:

  • Pharmacokmetics
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Drug Interaction
  • Prescribing for specific patient groups
  • Development of non medical prescribing
  • Consultation skills
  • Differential diagnostics
  • Public health
  • Legal & ethical issues
  • Prescribing response and medicine review
  • Prescribing controlled drugs
  • Clinical governance and audit

What is it about?

This unit enables students to explore the pharmacology of drugs and to examine the issues faced when prescribing in clinical practice as part of an interdisciplinary team. Students are required to undertake supervised clinical practice under the mentorship of a recognised medical practitioner.

How does it enhance practice?

This unit will enable qualified nurses and midwives to critically evaluate the principles underpinning nurse prescribing and to prescribe safely, appropriately, and cost effectively. As a consequence they will fulfil the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) criteria to be recorded in the nursing professional register as an independent/supplementary prescriber.

Course Structure:

1 x study day per week for 26 weeks with an additional 12 days (90 hours) practice based learning.

Due to the pandemic, the University is not currently offering any face to face teaching.  This programme will therefore be delivered through a combination of online tutorials, webinars and online learning activities. You must have access to a computer with fast and reliable internet connection.

 There is a minimum level of computer skills required, including the ability to:

  • navigate the Blackboard virtual learning environment to locate teaching and learning materials and to access and submit assessments (with initial basic training)
  • communicate by email
  • work efficiently with Microsoft Word or similar word processing software
  • use the internet to search websites
  • scan documents for uploading to the e-portfolio
  • navigate e-learning programs
  • participate in online conferencing (webinars)

We appreciate that there are challenges associated with completing supervised practice during the pandemic and associated lockdown. You will be permitted to undertake some of your supervised practice in the remote setting, eg, telephone and video consultations. However, it is not possible to demonstrate the requisite clinical assessment skills remotely and so you must be able to confirm that you are in a position to undertake some face-to-face supervised practice before you will be offered a place on the course

Mode of Assessment:

The participant will be assessed in both theory and practice.

Clinical competencies will be assessed in the participant´s work place by an experienced medical practitioner and supported through the use of a reflective personal portfolio which demonstrates the application of theory to practice through 2 x 3000 word assignments. 

In addition an adapted Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), which is a systematic and detail examination of practice within a simulated learning experience relevant to the participant´s area of practice will be held.

There will also be a written numerical assessment within the context of prescribing practice and a final examination which consists of short answers and multi choice questions

Links to Professional / Academic Award

BMedSci in Primary Care and Public Health
BMedSci (Hons) Health and Social Care Studies

Course Structure:

1 x study day per week for 26 weeks with an additional 12 days practice based learning

Start Date:  22 March 2021

Attendance Dates:  22/03/2021, 29/03/2021, 05/04/2021, 12/04/2021, 19/04/2021, 26/04/2021, 03/05/2021, 10/05/2021, 17/05/2021, 24/05/2021, 31/05/2021, 07/06/2021, 14/06/2021, 21/06/2021, 28/06/2021, 05/07/2021, 12/07/2021, 19/07/2021, 26/07/2021, 02/08/2021, 09/08/2021, 16/08/2021, 23/08/2021, 30/08/2021

Application and Funding:

To apply for this course you need to complete an online application form and you can do this by visiting our how to apply page.  Please provide accurate details of your Nurse/Midwifery training qualifications on the online application form, as you may be contacted to clarify these details if it is not clear. You are also required to complete an approval form which will automatically be sent on submission of your application form.  All applicants need to have support from their Line Manager and the Non-Medical Prescribing Lead from their NHS Trust. 

For information on funding options please see here.

If successful in your application for the course you will receive a confirmation email with the exact details of the location of teaching, closer to the start date.

The Division of Nursing and Midwifery (Health Sciences School) is based at Barber House, Glossop Road, Sheffield; opposite the Royal Hallamshire Hospital however teaching may take place across the University site. 

Who is my Non-Medical Prescribing Lead?

View list of leads (PDF)

The non-medical prescribing lead will confirm local application procedures.

Programme Leader/Contact Name:

Rachel Jokhi

Tel: +44 114 222 2043