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Nurse prescribing training and preparation

  • Last modified date:
    25 January 2011
The NMC has now determined a new standard in respect of Independent Prescribing (for the Extended Formulary) and Supplementary Prescribing, and will only validate new recordable courses against that standard.

To enable modification of existing Extended Formulary nurse prescribing courses, additional training and preparation has been incorporated to form the new NMC standard for Independent and Supplementary Prescribing at academic level 3. Existing courses that have been modified (for example to allow for the inclusion of open and distance learning) will need to be re-validated by the NMC. In all such cases the NMC requires confirmation that modifications to existing Extended Formulary courses incorporating the additional requirements for supplementary prescribing have been approved internally prior to the course being offered.

The responsibility for the content of the detailed curriculum of both the Extended Formulary nurse prescribing course, and the new integrated course that combines preparation for independent and supplementary prescribing, lies with the commissioner of the course. DH expects course commissioners and validators (WDCs and the NMC) to approve only those courses that demonstrate content that is consistent with published guidance.

The Department of Health believes that preparation for supplementary prescribing will take between one and two additional days, together with the course on Extended Formulary nurse prescribing. It therefore decided that the length of a combined course covering both the Nurse Prescribers' Extended Formulary and Supplementary Prescribing should be at least 26 days, plus learning in practice. Of the 26 days taught element, a substantial proportion should be face-to-face contact time. However other ways of learning, such as open and distance learning formats, will also be considered.

The course for Extended Formulary Nurse Prescribers currently attracts 20 CATS points. How many CATS points the amended course should attract is a matter for HEIs, in discussion with the commissioning Workforce Development Confederation(s). This is essentially an issue of standards and levels of learning. HEIs and WDCs will wish to keep in mind, in the light of credit transfer considerations, the need for consistency in the amount of credit that courses attract. It is expected that HEIs modifying existing courses will only adjust the credit awarded to acknowledge additional learning related to supplementary prescribing.

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