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Educational aims

The primary aim of this qualification is to develop and enhance the intellectual and practice skills needed to underpin your practice as an aspiring and autonomous registered nurse, ensuring that your skills are fit for practice and purpose. As you develop your graduate skills, we aim to support the development of your confidence to lead and deliver highly effective person-centred practices across a range of care settings, reflective of the multiple and diverse locations of service delivery.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of the:

  • theories and evidence that underpin nursing as a profession including assessment, planning, practice and audit in order to deliver safe, effective and evidence-based care which is compassionate and person-centred
  • biological, social and behavioural sciences to inform and underpin nursing practice
  • concepts of health and well-being, public health and health promotion needed to meet the needs of individuals and communities
  • value of interdisciplinary collaboration and inter-agency working across a range of health and social services and providers
  • practice that accords with legal, ethical, moral and professional frameworks and respects culture and diversity
  • use of research and other sources of evidence in critiquing care, delivery and evaluation
  • principles and practice underpinning competence in leadership, management, including management of change, teaching and innovation.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • analyse the values held by members of the multi-professional team and their impact on the relationships with service users, carers and other professionals/practitioners
  • critically examine the underpinning disciplines of biology, psychology, sociology, pharmacology and their application to nursing practice across the lifespan and health-illness continuum
  • synthesise and challenge information, research findings and evidence to inform strategies that promote health, recovery or a peaceful death and inform the delivery of compassionate, person-centred nursing care
  • critically analyse nursing care needs and develop innovative, collaborative solutions which enable safe and effective person- and family-centred care
  • evaluate risk management strategies that promote a safe and therapeutic environment
  • critically evaluate a range of leadership and management styles to develop strategies for promoting and sustaining practice innovation and practice improvement
  • effectively utilise models of reflection to support the development of inter-personal skills and competence, and to challenge and improve the performance of self and others in the delivery of healthcare practices.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate competence in professional judgement in managing yourself and others in accordance with professional, ethical, moral and legal frameworks to ensure that the primacy of the service user, carer and community is maintained
  • manage and take the initiative for planning to meet your own development needs and facilitate the development of others
  • sensitively develop, deliver and document care across the lifespan to promote optimal health, appropriate rehabilitation or a peaceful death
  • develop individualised and appropriate therapeutic relationships with service users, carers and communities that promote and enable involvement throughout healthcare processes and proactively encourage partnership working and collaboration across professional groups and service boundaries
  • utilise information technology to assist in the organisation and management of nursing care, inter-professional service delivery and inter-agency working including using data accurately in complex contexts
  • confidently lead comprehensive and systematic assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of person-centred nursing care
  • create and maintain safe environments of care through critical evaluation, raising concerns where appropriate, monitoring and assuring quality and effectively utilising risk management strategies
  • facilitate the learning of service users, carers and others so they are empowered to take control of their health, illness or end-of-life care
  • promote and sustain innovation in practice through effective leadership and change management.

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate analytical thinking in the selection and utilisation of appropriate skills of enquiry including the synthesis of ideas and the ability to challenge accepted wisdom
  • independently plan, monitor, evaluate and improve your own learning and performance
  • contribute to social cohesion in teams, communicating clearly across differing settings and sectors to reduce conflict and inform and develop practice
  • develop and optimise the achievement of personal improvement, professional maturity, resourcefulness and imagination to enhance creative problem solving
  • use information literacy, technology tools and numeracy skills as appropriate to find, critically evaluate, process, present and communicate information.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You are encouraged to progress from one level to the next logically, demonstrating the increasing complexity and difficulty of learning while moving from Level 1 through to Level 3.

Learning is not simply about factual knowledge and understanding. Nursing is a practice-based profession therefore your learning will need to be undertaken and applied in practice, as well as through theoretical studies. You will be assessed at increasing levels of competency and complexity, as you progress through the qualification through the use of a Portfolio and written assignments.

You will learn directly from your experiences in practice and through knowledge and understanding acquired from specially prepared teaching materials that use a variety of learning approaches such as:

  • service user and carer accounts
  • expert practitioner facilitated discussion and debate
  • self-assessment questions
  • DVD and audio materials
  • reference texts
  • computer-aided learning packages
  • directed reading
  • interactive computer-marked assessments (iCMAs)
  • online discussion forums
  • tutorials
  • printed and web-based resources.

To successfully progress through the qualification you will be required to integrate this theoretical learning with practice-based learning in order to underpin your delivery of safe, effective, compassionate, person- and family-centred care.

As you progress through the qualification you will increasingly work independently with the study materials and will be encouraged to form ‘communities of learning’ with other students on this qualification as well as students studying the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing. This will be promoted through face-to-face meetings, online forum activities, telephone and email.

In practice, you will be supported and aided in your learning by a tutor and practice-based mentor in each setting where you learn and gain experience.

Skills are developed throughout the qualification in parallel with knowledge and understanding. At each level half of your qualification is delivered through a practice-based module. This module is elongated and runs over at least a calendar year. It accounts for your practice hours and provides supported opportunities for you to enhance and develop practice skills. These skills culminate in you demonstrating a graduate profile, enabling delivery of highly skilled, evidence-based care and exercising leadership to individuals and communities.

Assessment is through a combination of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), end-of-module assessments (EMAs)and a portfolio of practice-based experience, learning and achievements. These assessments might require answers ranging from essay type questions, interactive computer-marked assessments (iCMAs), project-based work and examinations. Throughout the qualification, assessment in practice will be undertaken by a qualified and recognised mentor who will assess your increasing competence in practice through the Practice Portfolio. The mentor will be supported by a tutor.

You will need to pass all components of assessment in order to progress through the qualification.

The development of practice and professional skills is an essential feature of this qualification.

Across Levels 1, 2 and 3, you will be working to incrementally develop your knowledge and understanding of increasingly complex concepts that underpin nursing practice. You will do so in a variety of practice situations in order to demonstrate your increasing competence in practice skills across a range of client groups and contexts of service delivery.

By the completion of the qualification you will be required to demonstrate your fitness to practise as a graduate by meeting all NMC competencies.