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Universities in North West England have developed what is believed to be the first online resource of its kind to help prepare student nurses for prescribing medications at an earlier point in their careers.
It follows the introduction of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s new nurse standards in 2018 that are now being implemented by education institutes.
“We’re delighted we’ve been able to create the first resource developed to meet this new standard”
The standards specify that newly qualified nurses should be ready to prescribe immediately as soon as they are registered.
Previously, student nurses would have been required to work for three years before being able to undertake a specific postgraduate prescribing qualification.
But now, under the new standards, all education providers must ensure nursing undergraduates have sufficient knowledge and skills to enter an NMC-approved non-medical prescribing programme from the point of qualifying.
Nursing academics from the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Bolton, the University of Chester, the University of Cumbria and the University of Salford, along with the Health and Education Co-operative, have worked together to create what they described as the first-ever training resource to meet the new standard.
The ‘Readiness to Prescribe’ course aims to “introduce medicines management and prescribing concepts” and is broken into three different parts, starting with baseline knowledge and then expanding to help build confidence.
It offers knowledge from leading experts across adult, child, community and mental health nursing and pharmacy and allows student nurses to quiz themselves at the end of each section.
Those using the online tool will be able to work at their own pace, as well as monitor and track their progress. Students will also be awarded completion receipts to evidence their work.
“Using this platform students will benefit from knowledge held by leading experts in specific professions”
Mark Edwards, a lecturer in mental health nursing at the University of Central Lancashire, 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.”
He said it was 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,” said Mr Edwards, who added there was “no other resource available like this”.
The resource is now available for other higher education institutions to access.
Joanna Tate, manager of Health and Education Co-operative, said: “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.”
Top image credit: University of Central Lancashire