Independent/Supplementary Prescribing

Course code SNM624
30 credits at level 7 (masters level only)


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.

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 1 years post-registration clinical experience - ideally with experience in the role in which they intend to prescribe.
  • Have a Practice Supervisor willing to contribute to and supervise the 12 days learning in practice element of training. (This may be someone who is medical prescriber or a non medical prescriber) You will also need a Practice Assessor who will also be required to participate in the assessment of prescribing practice. Both these individuals must be suitable prepared for these roles.
  • The practice environment must be audited for suitability prior to the programme commencing.
  • Have the ability to study at level 7 (Masters level) and be able to evidence study at degree level within the past 5 years.
  • Be numerate and confident in undertaking drug calculation skills
  • Have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance that is dated within 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.

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 supervision of an appropriate prescribing 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.

It is advisable that the prospective student refresh basic numeracy skills and knowledge of anatomy and physiology before starting the programme.

Course Structure:

1 x study day per week for 22 weeks with an additional 12 days (90 hours) practice based learning.

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 and it is anticipated that this will start to lessen . 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 prescribing practitioner and supported through the use of a reflective personal portfolio which demonstrates the application of theory to practice.

One 3000 word assignment that explores a prescribing issue relevant to your area / scope of practice. 

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.

Course Structure:

1 x study day per week for 22 weeks with an additional 12 days practice based learning. 

Start Date:  27 September 2021

Attendance Dates:  

04/10/2021, 11/10/2021, 18/10/ 2021,25/10//2021, 01/11/2021,08/11/2021,15/11/2021, 22/11/2021, 29/11/2021,06/10/2021,13/10/2021, 20/11/2021, 10/01/2022,17/01/2022, 24/01/2022,31/01/2022, 07/02/2021,14/02//2022, 21/02/2022, 28/02/2022,07/03/2022

Start Date: 21st March 2022

Attendance Dates: 28/03/22,  04/04/22, 11/04/22, 18/04/22, 25/04/22, 02/05/22, 09/05/22, 16/05/22, 23/05/22, 30/05/22, 06/06/22, 13/06/22, 20/06/22, 27/06/22, 04/07/22, 11/07/22, 18/07/22, 25/07/22, 01/08/22, 08/08/22, 15/08/22

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