Nursing & Midwifery - Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing)

Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing) - PgDip Nursing and midwifery
Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) and Advanced Midwife Practitioner (AMP) roles in Ireland have evolved and expanded in recent years, in response to Ireland's healthcare service needs. A clear policy framework for advanced practice nursing now exists that is responsive to heath service needs and aligns with national nursing health policy (Opens in new windowDOH, 2017) and professional nursing regulation (Opens in new windowNMBI, 2017).

The educational programmes that prepare nurses to practice at an advanced level in clinical settings must complement the requirements of such health policy and profession standards criteria while meeting the healthcare needs of the population.

RCSI's approach to advanced practice nursing
The advanced practice nursing programmes at RCSI School of Nursing and Midwifery provide innovative and practical frameworks to guide the educational and professional development of nurses and midwives progressing to ANP/AMP roles. The programmes offer nurses and midwifes the opportunity to develop the appropriate knowledge and clinical skills required for ANP/AMP roles through reflection and practice experience, clinical learning, online learning, face-to-face learning and clinical simulation practice.

RCSI's advanced practice nursing programmes acknowledge and prioritise the mentoring and clinical support requirements for each student to realise their full potential as ANP/AMPs. These programmes are suitable for nurses and midwives working within and between a variety of healthcare settings and services.

Course details
Advanced practice nursing is a defined career pathway for registered nurses, committed to continuing professional development and clinical supervision, to practice at a higher level of capability as independent autonomous and expert practitioners (Opens in new windowNMBI, 2017). The Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing) curriculum offered at RCSI is innovative, flexible and practice-orientated, leading to participants' registration as advanced nurse practitioners.

On successful completion of this programme, nurses will be eligible to apply for registration as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) and a Registered Nurse Prescriber (RNP) with the NMBI. This programme is delivered part-time over two years.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing), successful students will be able to:
• Articulate a vision for advanced practice nursing that is developed through research, critical thinking and experiential learning.
• Implement practice changes using negotiation and consensus-building, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team and persons receiving care, across a variety of contexts utilising advanced research, ethics, political, clinical leadership and quality improvement skills.
• Demonstrate mastery in conducting comprehensive holistic health assessment using evidenced based frameworks to determine diagnoses to inform autonomous advanced nursing care.
• Synthesise and interpret assessment information at an advanced level within the practice area identified, or identified scope of practice.
• Demonstrate advanced nursing practice skills and knowledge within the domains of the Advanced Practice Nursing Model in attainment of advanced competencies.
• Practice in an often unpredictable variety of ill-defined contexts.
• Articulate safe boundaries and engage in timely referral and collaboration for those areas outside their scope of practice, experience and competence.
• Take significant responsibility for teaching others through clinical supervision and mentorship, and utilization of advanced practice knowledge and clinical competencies.
• Demonstrate advanced clinical leadership and professional accountability in clinical decision-making and in collaborative risk assessments, through the promotion of a safe practice environment.
• Demonstrate a range of standard and specialised research, or equivalent tools and techniques of enquiry, to further advance nursing practice.

Successful students will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the theory, concepts and methods pertaining to the modules they complete, and will be able to critically discuss the incorporation of that knowledge in their area of practice. The programme learning outcomes are developed in compliance with the NMBI guidelines (Advanced Practice, Nursing Standards and Requirements and the Post-registration Nursing and Midwifery Programmes Standards and Requirements), the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 9 structure and the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

Subjects taught

Year 1
• Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I
• Pharmacology
• Advanced Systematic Assessment
• Professional Accountability in Nurse/Midwife Prescribing

Year 2
• Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II
• Advanced Professional Accountability, Clinical Governance and Decision Making
• Optional Specialist Module (x 1)

Entry requirements

To be eligible for this programme you must:
• Have a minimum of an honours primary degree in nursing or equivalent.
• Hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Opens in new window Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
• Have two years' recent post-registration clinical experience in nursing/midwifery (within the past five years), with the equivalent of one-year full time experience in the specific area of practice. This aligns with the standards and requirements for nurses and midwives with prescriptive authority of medicinal products (2010).
• 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 ANP mentor.
• Possess competencies at Level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications.
• Demonstrate evidence of continuing professional development.
• Possess a competent level of information technology literacy.
• Be currently employed as a nurse or midwife in the voluntary and statutory services of the Health Service Executive or a private health service organisation.

Please note:
*If you do not hold a level 8 qualification, you may still be eligible to join the programme through our pathway programme, please contact us for further information on this route.


2 years
Delivery: Part-time

In the first year of the programme, you will have one day of classes every two weeks in RCSI Dublin, with supplementary learning via online classes.

In the second year, you have less in-class sessions; however, this is supplemented with supervision sessions.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider