Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing (V100)

Key information

Start date: January 2023

Attendance dates:

To be confirmed


Distance learning / Kate Granger Building, 30 Priestley Road, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7YH

Some modules may be taught at: Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

Contact details:

  • Level
    6 (undergraduate)
  • Credits
  • Module code

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Equip you with the principles of prescribing to enable you to be a safe, effective and cost-effective prescriber in a primary care setting.
  • Enable you to understand the principles of good prescribing, the law relating to prescribing, accountability in prescribing and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs that are listed in the Nurse Prescribers Formulary.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will have the knowledge and skills to meet the standards of proficiency required for community practitioner nurse prescribing and will be able to: 

  • Assess and consult with patients/clients and parents/carers
  • Undertake a thorough history, including medication history and current medication (including over-the-counter, alternative and complementary health therapies) to inform diagnosis
  • Understand and apply the relevant legislation to the practice of nurse/midwife prescribing
  • Critically appraise, use sources of information/advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of prescribing
  • Understand and apply knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines
  • Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
  • Practise within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in prescribing.

Course content

Indicative module content includes:

  • Assessment, history taking, communication and consultation with patients/clients and their parents/carers
  • Developing management plans
  • Diagnosis
  • Prescribing and not prescribing, non drug treatment and referral for treatment
  • Numeracy and drug calculations.

  • Patient/client demand and preference vs patient/client need – knowing when to say, “No”
  • External influences (for example companies and colleagues)
  • Patient/client partnerships in medicine-taking, including awareness of cultural and ethnic needs
  • Concordance as opposed to compliance.

  • Rationale, adherence to and deviation from national and local guidelines local formularies, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae
  • Understanding the role and functions of other team members
  • Documentation, with particular reference to communication between team members, including electronic prescribing
  • Auditing, monitoring and evaluating prescribing practice
  • Interface between multiple prescribers and management of potential conflict
  • Budgets and cost effectiveness
  • Dispensing practice issues.

  • Anatomy and physiology as applied to prescribing practice and community practitioner formulary 
  • Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed- absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, including adverse drug reactions (ADR)
  • Interactions and reactions
  • Patient/client compliance, concordance and drug response
  • Impact of physiological state on drug responses and safety, for example in elderly people., neonates, children and young people, pregnant or breast feeding women.

  • Rationale, adherence to and deviation from national and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae
  • Continuing professional development – role of self and role of the organisation
  • Management of change
  • Risk assessment and management, including safe storage, handling and disposal
  • Clinical supervision
  • Reflective practice/peer review
  • Critical appraisal skills
  • Auditing practice and scrutinising data, systems monitoring
  • Identify and report adverse drug reactions and near misses and learn from mistakes.

  • Sound understanding of legislation that impacts on prescribing practice
  • Legal basis for practice. Liability and indemnity
  • Legal implications of advice to self-medicate including the use of alternative therapies, complementary therapy and over the counter (OTC) medicines
  • Safe-keeping of prescription pads, action if lost, writing prescriptions and record keeping
  • Awareness of reporting of fraud (recommendations from the Shipman Inquiry, Fourth Report)
  • Drug licensing
  • Yellow Card reporting to the Committee of Safety on Medicines (CSM) and reporting patient/client safety incidents to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA)
  • Prescribing in the policy context
  • Manufacturer’s guidance relating to literature, licensing and off-label
  • Ethical basis of intervention
  • Informed consent, with particular reference to client groups in learning disability, mental health, children, critically ill people and emergency situations.

  • The NMC code of professional conduct, standards for conduct, performance and ethics 
  • NMC Standards for prescribing practice
  • Ethical recommendations from the Shipman Inquiry, Fourth Report
  • Accountability and responsibility for assessment, diagnosis and prescribing
  • Maintaining professional knowledge and competence in relation to prescribing
  • Accountability and responsibility to the employer.

  • Duty to patients/clients and society
  • Inappropriate use of medication including misuse, under-use and over-use
  • Inappropriate prescribing, over-prescribing, and under-prescribing
  • Access to health care provision and medicines.

Learning and teaching methods

For the 2020/21 curriculum our CPD modules will be delivered using hybrid learning. This means that depending on the subject and content of learning and teaching, modules may be delivered solely online or via a combination of face to face and online delivery, however for all programmes face to face contact time will be reduced, as per Government guidelines and to ensure the reduction of risk for all. Further information can be sought from the course leader (see below).

Usual learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Discussion groups
  • Seminars
  • Case studies
  • Pre and post session study
  • E-leaning.


The assessment is designed to demonstrate the integrative nature of the learning and its application in practice and consists of three parts:


  1. A general paper of multiple choice questions  - pass mark: 80 per cent
  2. A calculation paper of short answer questions - pass mark: 100 per cent.  


A critical account of a prescribing incident, following the principles of good prescribing.

Practice log 

A log of 18 prescribing related, practice hours and two prescriptions relevant to practice should be included (one related to the essay).    

Course leader

Carol Cross profile image

Carol Cross

Teaching Fellow and Pathway Lead in Community Nursing and Director of Studies for Specialist Practice

Entry requirements

You must be a qualified Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Specialist Practice or Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) working in primary care.

Fees and funding

To be confirmed

How to apply

Please download and fill in an application form.

It is important to ensure that you complete all sections and answer all questions, incomplete forms will cause a delay and may result in you missing out on an available place.

Send your completed application back to us at the address or email included on the form.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

If your sponsoring healthcare provider is funding you for this module, by submitting an application you agree to allow all information regarding your module (for example your exam results) to be shared with the sponsoring provider.

Cancellation policy

If you withdraw less than seven days before the module commences or do not attend on the first day (without informing the module administrator) the full cost of the module will be charged. Withdrawals after the module commences will also be charged.

Module availability

Places are confirmed approximately one month before the module start date. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. 


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to module content) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the module. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a module with us. Read more.