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PGDip Specialist Practitioner Qualification (District Nursing)

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: February 2022
District nurses perform essential work, caring for housebound patients in their own homes and keeping them out of hospital for longer.
Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), this postgraduate diploma gives you the advanced grounding to specialise in this ever-changing and vitally-important area of nursing.
The support from the University staff were paramount for my successful experience. Many skills I learnt on the course, I use daily such as: management of caseload, enhanced view of governance and higher management decisions, confidence on liaison with other disciplines and the ability to safely built up a professional network to support patients safely in the community.
Pedro Lino
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

District nursing is rewarding and challenging work that requires different skills and knowledge to those needed in a hospital. Studying at specialist practitioner level will hone your critical thinking and leadership capabilities, so that you become highly skilled at caring for patients in their own homes, and leading large teams of nurses in this area of practice.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

You will benefit from an excellent standard of teaching provided by staff from the University and practice, in partnership with our NHS Trust partners. As well as this you will be taught by lecturers who have a wide expertise in the field. Our lecturers also maintain close links with practice, ensuring that the programme is up-to-date with modern practice.

We offer continuous support throughout the programme, and you will receive personal tutoring and benefit from a high level of research within the teaching team. Your personal tutor will help guide you through your studies, support you with your academic development and give advice when needed.

Highly regarded by students and practice partners for our teaching in this area, BNU has a strong reputation for its health visitor and school nurse training. You will work with highly skilled academics, who have worked in the community – and spend some of your time in practice yourself, consolidating and deepening your understanding and skills.

What facilities can I use?

We have a range of state-of-the-art facilities for you to access, including our Nursing Simulation Labs, multistorey library and IT suites. Students will be able to access our full range of support services, including the Learning Development Unit for skills and study support, the Careers and Employability Team, Student Finance Team, Accommodation and Counselling Services.

What will I study?

This specialist course will take you through key aspects of contemporary district nursing practice, from mental health across the lifespan and safeguarding to effective caseload management. Developing strong leadership, critical thinking and research skills, you will also learn to take a more strategic view of the way healthcare is delivered in the community, drawing on the latest research, ideas and policy.

How will I be taught and assessed?

This course covers all the areas needed to meet the NMC professional requirements for district nurses.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • understand the complexities of working in a community setting
  • develop appreciate strategic influences on policy
  • take a critical approach to nursing care in the community, with a strong emphasis on providing holistic, evidence-based care to patients in their homes
  • analyse how decisions about care are made, drawing on relevant research
  • work at the forefront of caring for people with a range of healthcare needs, including highly complex ones.

The course makes use of a range of flexible learning and assessment approaches, to ensure you learn in the way that suits you best. We will be looking, in particular, at how well you apply the theory to your own nursing and leadership practice.

You will benefit from strong support throughout, with personal and link tutors at the University, and a practice teacher supporting you to learn in your trust.

As well as spending half your time in practice, case study-type simulations will allow you to explore the kind of issues you will face as a district nurse. You will also work closely with students from other community nursing courses at BNU, building your experience of working in a multi-professional way.

By the end of the course, you will have developed the higher level of skills and knowledge you need to become a leader in this specialist field of nursing. Your e-portfolio will provide evidence of this, to validate your learning with the NMC.

Study this course full time for a year. You will spend two days a week at university and two days a week in practice.

Useful Documents

PGDip Specialist Practitioner Qualification Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

The academic criteria for admission to this programme are a degree (120 credits at level 6) in child or adult nursing. The NMC professional requirements are for applicants to be entered on the appropriate part of the NMC Register.

Applicants will be a level 1 nurse and have a qualification in child or adult nursing, and have completed a period of experience of sufficient length to have consolidated pre-registration outcomes. This will be assessed at interview.

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Enhancing Specialist Community Practice (DN)

Philosophical Enquiry in Practice

Critical Perspectives in Managing Complex Health Needs in the Community Setting (optional)

Leading Innovative Healthcare in the Community Setting (optional)

Critical Issues in Mental Health Across the Lifespan (optional)

Contemporary Issues in Community Palliative Care (optional)

Nurse Prescribing or Post Graduate Certificate Non-Medical Prescribing

Clinical Decision Making for Non-Medical Prescribing

Applied Pharmacology for NonMedical Prescribing

How much does it cost

Home and EU

Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022

£9,100 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

advice@bucks.ac.uk

What are my career prospects? 

As a graduate of this course, you will be well equipped to advance your career as a team leader in community children’s nursing. Your specialist skills and knowledge will also be sought after in areas such as managing community services, or practice or academic teaching.

Course leader

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Sarah Thirtle
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Annette Palmer
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Carole Trespaderne
Carole Trespaderne
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Susan Perryman
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Penny Farrelly
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