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District nurses care for people in their home and in the community. If you’re already a qualified nurse, this course will develop your community nursing skills. You’ll learn to lead teams in delivering excellent patient-centred care, improve your caseload management and independent working skills, and gain a prescribing qualification.
Caring for people in their own homes is different from caring for them in hospital. District nursing is a specialist role, a key part of which is to lead teams that provide support and care in the community. You’ll be working with patients (and their carers) in their own home or in care homes, helping to avoid hospital stays where possible.
With an ageing population, specialist district nurses are likely to be vital to the future of the NHS. They must provide community-based care compassionately and effectively to broad mix of people. Our degree course will give you the skills you need to take on this rewarding role, including a prescribing qualification.
You’ll learn to work with other agencies, including social services, commissioners, charities, and other health and social care organisations. This will help you build your teamworking skills as you experience the challenges and opportunities of multidisciplinary, multi-agency working.
You’ll also explore how individuals and their families can care for themselves at home, thereby enhancing people’s dignity and reducing hospital admissions. This in turn will develop your case management skills, enhance your clinical leadership and management, and deepen your understanding of legal and ethical issues.
Our course features a mix of classroom and online learning, and 120 placement days – with support from your tutors at all times. You’ll also have a mentor who’ll help you to develop a personalised programme of learning, hear from external speakers, and do your own research.
As the largest academic institution to train nurses in East Anglia, we offer outstanding facilities. These include our fantastic clinical skills resources in Cambridge and Chelmsford, and superb libraries.
When you graduate, you’ll be able to record your qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Community Specialist Practitioner (District Nursing) with a prescribing qualification.
We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.
Employers will be impressed by the practical experience you gain on this course. You’ll have 120 days’ practical clinical experience under your belt, including a five-week consolidated practice placement. You’ll also have managed a small caseload under the supervision of your mentor, a qualified district nurse.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
Fundamentals of District Nursing
You will choose one of the following modules:
Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing – see notes below
Year two, core modules
Leadership and Management in the Community
Undergraduate Major Project
Caring for People with Dementia
Clinical Assessment Skills for Health Professionals
Holistic Assessment Skills for Community Nurses
Integrated Care in the Community
Law and Ethics in Health and Social Care
Management of the Person with Diabetes
You will take one module from the above list. The choice will depend on modules you may have completed in the past and on availability. The course leader will discuss your options with you at the beginning of the course. Modules are subject to change.
You’ll learn theoretical and practical skills on this course – and we’ll assess you on both. Essays, examinations, case studies, poster presentations, a competency-based portfolio, and an extended literature review all help to demonstrate you’re developing the skills you need.
Where you’ll study
The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.
We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.
We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.