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Wednesday 19 August 2020

New resource boosts nurses’ prescribing skills

UCLan collaborates with North West universities to create new educational platform

Nursing academics from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been at the forefront of creating a new online resource which will boost the skills of graduate nurses.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the professional body for UK registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates, has recently specified that new nurses should be ready to prescribe medicines as soon as they have registered.

Until this year, they were required to work for three years before being able to undertake a specific postgraduate prescribing qualification.

The major change means all education providers must ensure all nursing graduates have sufficient knowledge and skills to enter an NMC approved non-medical prescribing programme from the point of qualifying from their undergraduate course.

Staff from UCLan’s School of Nursing have worked with academics from the universities of Bolton, Chester, Cumbria and Salford along with the Health and Education Co-operative to create the much-needed ‘Readiness to Prescribe’ resources.

"We’re delighted we’ve been able to create the first resource developed to meet this new standard"

Mental Health Nursing Lecturer Mark Edwards

UCLan’s Mark Edwards, a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, said: “We’re delighted we’ve been able to create the first resource developed to meet this new standard. It’s been a collaboration of nine academics and followed on from the wonderful work our former colleague Dilyse Nuttall did before she passed away.

“This is an amazing resource for both students and academics. It helps to introduce medicines management and prescribing concepts, building on content as the students progress through the years of study. There is no other resource available like this.”

The new online resource takes a progressive approach to building knowledge and understanding. It is broken into three different parts, starting with baseline knowledge and gradually building to help develop confidence.

Features include students being able to work at their own pace, monitor and track their progress; quizzes at the end of each section; and completion receipts so students can evidence their work.

The resource is now available for other higher education institutions to access.

Joanna Tate, Manager of Health and Education Co-operative, said: “Combining expertise from across member universities is at the heart of HE Co-op activity. Using this platform students will benefit from knowledge held by leading experts in specific professions such as pharmacy, adult, child, community and mental health nursing - providing an invaluable insight into prescribing and medicines management by lecturers and programme leads passionate about what they do.”