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Community Specialist Practice Courses

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  • Entry requirements
    Applicants for the postgraduate NMC Community Specialist Practice PGDip courses will normally be health care professionals with a minimum of one year’s professional (ie post-qualification) practice. In addition, applicants must normally: * be registered on the relevant nursing or midwifery parts of the NMC register: o for Community Learning Disabilities Nursing, part 5, 6, 7 or 14 o for Community Mental Health Nursing, parts 3, 4, 7 or 13 o for Community Nursing in the Home/District Nursing , part 1, 2, 7 or 12 o for Community Children’s Nursing, part 8 or 15 o for General Practice Nursing, part 1, 2, 7, 8, 12 or 15 * demonstrate evidence of Level 3 study on entry * have the support of their manager or sponsorship from a primary care trust (PCT) or mental health trust (MHT) * have access to a community practice teacher * have a source of funding to enable them to meet the course fees. Additionally: * Entry onto the course will be subject to satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau clearance. * Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate that their level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level,
  • Academic Title
    Community Specialist Practice Courses
  • Course description

    This exciting course offers the following five Postgraduate Diploma options:

       1. PGDip Community Mental Health Nursing
       2. PGDip Community Learning Disabilities Nursing
       3. PGDip District Nursing
       4. PGDip Community Children’s Nursing
       5. PGDip General Practice Nursing

    Students who successfully fulfil the required criteria within the above PGDip courses can qualify for the relevant NMC Community Specialist Practitioner (CSP) Award, which includes being a non-medical prescriber able to prescribe from the community practitioners’ formulary. You will also have been deemed to have met the minimum mentorship requirements.

    The overall aim of the Oxford Brookes CSP PGDip options is to provide a course structure and teaching and learning methods that are relevant to you whether you are in the academic or practice environment. We do not believe that academic preparation is separate from practice application but an integrated part of the same process. Our aim is to enable you to become a high-quality and skilful community specialist practice practitioner who is able to lead and bring about change in your practice environments.

    The community environments where health care is offered are undergoing great change. To achieve effective practice in these settings requires highly dynamic and flexible practitioners who can bring about positive change and enable primary care to be central to the services that are offered to clients and carers. To achieve this, you will need sound academic skills and evidence-based practice to enable you to lead this change in your own practice area and that of community specialist practice as a whole.

    The course will challenge you and help you to develop the knowledge and skills that you require in these exciting and challenging times.

    For a service to be effective, it must be based upon on-going assessment, planning and evaluation and involve an effective partnership between the patient, client, their carer, their family members and relevant population groups. This involves inter-disciplinary, inter-professional and inter-agency collaboration. The importance of working collaboratively is therefore a central philosophy within all the CSP PGDip courses we offer.

    The Community Specialist Practice courses aim to enhance the quality of care provided to patients, clients, their families and carers. They do this by:

        * developing evidence-based expertise and exemplary practice in the relevant community specialism
        * promoting collaboration and leadership within inter-professional/multi-agency teams
        * promoting leadership in community specialist practice research and practice development
        * promoting care that is responsive to the social, cultural and political context of care, and which promotes social inclusion
        * encouraging the development of self-awareness, reflective skills and a commitment to continued learning.

    Our courses are founded on the belief that health care should focus on each individual’s changing needs, experiences and personal priorities. Using this framework, we believe, will enable you to develop a critical understanding of care delivery within your practice area.

    These courses are centred on practice and you will spend a large amount of time in the practice environment. You will be supported by a practice teacher who will encourage and challenge the development of your professional practice.
    Your career

    Maintaining life-long learning is critical to community practitioners as this is a rapidly changing health and social care environment. If you are to a be an effective evidence-based community practitioner, it is important to ensure that you are always up-to-date and have the appropriate knowledge and skills to deliver quality care and support to patients and their families. Undertaking a postgraduate programme offers you the scope to gain the advanced knowledge and skills you will need in your role whether you are an expert practitioner or, as a manager, or leader of services.
    Course content

    The PGDip in Community Specialist Practice comprise six compulsory modules:

       1. Advanced Research Design. This single module aims to equip you with skills to find, appraise and utilise research, as well as plan and design a piece of research work.
       2. Leadership in Health and Social Care. This single module offers you the opportunity to develop and apply the knowledge and conceptual and practice skills needed to be an effective leader within health and social care environments, in both the public and private sectors.
       3. Work-Based Learning (with a community mental health (CMH) / community learning disabilities nursing (CLD) / district nursing (DN) / community children's nursing (CCN) / general practice nursing (GPN) focus). This is a practice-focused single module which will enable integration and consolidation of primary care knowledge and skills. You will work on a project based on the principles of work-based learning. This will offer a mechanism by which critical examination and evaluation of an aspect of primary care practice around an identified health need can take place.
       4. Community Specialist Practice 1 (in either CMH or CLD or DN or CCN or GPN). A practice-based single module, which enables you to develop an in-depth systematic understanding of the knowledge and skills in primary care nursing in relation to CMH or CLD or DN or CCN or GPN.
       5. Community Specialist Practice 2 (in either CMH or CLD or DN or CCN or GPN). This is a practice-based single module that will enable you to demonstrate originality and initiative in the consolidation of your community specialist practice knowledge and skills. You are based in a practice placement which enables you to develop and extend your specialist practice leadership skills in CMH or CLD or DN or CCN or GPN and to discuss practice issues with colleagues and peers.
       6. Prescribing from a Designated Formulary (Nurse Prescribing). This single module incorporates the learning outcomes specified by the NMC for registration to enable practitioners to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary for Community Practitioners.

    Many opportunities are available to continue your studies, for example you could take the credit you have achieved in the PGDip into the Student Designed Award and by completing a triple dissertation module gain a master's degree.


    The report of the QAA Major Review 1 (Health Visiting, Nursing, Midwifery and Operating Department Practice programmes) conducted in October 2005 was overwhelmingly positive and revealed high levels of confidence in all the areas reviewed.

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