Nursing - Advanced Practice Nursing

The MSc in Nursing (Advanced Practice Nursing) is designed to prepare nurses to practice at a higher level of capability in independent, autonomous, and expert practice, that is innovative, flexible, and patient-centred. The programme also prepares students for their role as clinical and professional leaders with a commitment to the dissemination of evidence-based knowledge and the instruction of others.

The clinical learning and preparation for advanced nursing practice is addressed on both a theoretical and practice level and includes the required content for registration as a nurse prescriber of medicinal products. The programme seeks to develop the leadership capacity of participants with professional and clinical leadership underpinning the theoretical and clinical aspects of the programme. The MSc in Nursing (Advanced Practice Nursing) is a 2 year programme, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, involving academic and practice learning and assessment. The programme is designed to recognise relevant prior learning of applicants and includes a number of exit routes for those who have completed learning towards registration as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner previously. Our aim, through the delivery of this programme, is to facilitate the needs of the students, whilst promoting excellence in nursing practice and leadership.

This programme uses a blended learning approach employing a number of teaching modalities including classroom, online, workshops, clinical instruction and clinical practice. Each 10 credit module involves 200 hours of engagement and can be divided between classroom, clinical skills instruction, online activity and independent learning. There will be up to 40 hours of directed learning such as required reading, e-tivities, group activities per module. Students need to engage in self-directed independent learning as part of each module. In year 1 students complete 60 credits and this includes preparation for registration as a Nurse Prescriber of Medicinal Products with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). In 2nd year students complete a dissertation under the guidance of allocated research supervisors. Clinical learning is supported through an individualised learning plan and assessed by a Clinical Supervisor in practice. Students must complete a minimum of 500 hours of supervised practice in preparation for registration as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with NMBI.

Why Choose This Course

The MSc in Nursing (Advanced Practice Nursing) at UCC is a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) approved programme for the preparation of participants for registration as Advanced Nurse Practitioners in Ireland. This programme is designed in accordance with the NMBI standards for advanced nursing practice educational programmes (NMBI, 2017) in the preparation of nurses for a role in advanced clinical practice, leadership, quality and scholarship. The programme has also embedded learning to meet the requirements for registration as a nurse prescriber of medicinal products with NMBI. A balance between theoretical and clinical learning ensures the holistic development of participants as senior clinicians, clinical and professional leaders and scholars. The flexibility of the programme at UCC ensures that students with relevant prior learning have a number of exit routes from the programme, recognising a life-long learning approach to learning in development of the competence and skill as an advanced nurse practitioner.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Students will continue to practice in their own practice setting. Clinical placement is an essential element of this programme from both a nurse prescribing of medicinal products perspective and development of advanced nursing practice perspective and for the most part this is usually facilitated in the student's own practice area and setting. There are opportunities to identify clinical placements outside of your own practice site as part of an individualised learning plan. Sometimes these can be national and international and should be negotiated with the student's clinical supervisor, employer and the course co-ordinator.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the MSc in Nursing (Advanced Practice Nursing) are required to:

1.Have a minimum of an honours primary degree in Nursing or equivalent.

2.Hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

3.The candidate must have three years' recent post registration clinical experience in nursing/midwifery (within the past 5 years) with the equivalent of one-year full time experience in the specific area of practice.

4.Provide evidence of support from an employer and a completed Site Declaration Form (Advanced Practice Nursing Site Declaration Form All Applicants), signed by the Director of Nursing/Public Health/ authorised Nurse Manager. This must contain confirmation of a designated medical practitioner mentor and/or Advanced Nurse Practitioner mentor who will provide supervision, support and learning opportunities, including opportunities to practice under supervision to gain the required competencies and clinical competence to practice at an advanced level in nursing.

5.If required to complete the Nurse Prescribing of Medicinal Products part of the programme, provide nomination and confirmation of a designated medical practitioner/mentor (completed Site Self-Declaration Form (Nurse and Midwife Medicinal Product Prescribing Site Declaration Form), signed by the Medical Practitioner/Mentor) who will provide the student with supervision, support and opportunities including shadowing opportunities to gain the required competencies for nurse prescribing in his/her practice area/organisation.

Subjects taught

Year 1
Students take 60 credits as follows:
GP6002 Systematic Approach to Assessing and Evaluating Patients (10 credits)
NU5048 Professional, Ethical, Legal and Communication Issues Informing Nurse and Midwife Prescribing and Clinical Practicum (10 credits)
PF5011 Holistic Approach to Prescribing Medicinal Products and Clinical Practicum (10 credits)
MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
NU6162 Decision Making, Nursing and Advanced Practice Professional roles (10 credits)
NU6163 Leadership, Quality Improvement and Governance for Advanced Practice (10 credits)

Year 2
Students take the remaining 50 credits as follows:
NU6160 Dissertation for Advanced Nursing Practice Programme (30 credits)
NU6161 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum (20 credits)

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.


2 years Part-time

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
This programme will enable students to develop skills and competence in advanced clinical practice, clinical leadership and scholarship. Students who successfully complete this programme will be eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Nurse Prescriber and a Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). This will open career opportunities in expansion of clinical practice in current or future roles as well as in advanced nursing practice.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider