Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

NURSING 740 - Prescribing in Advanced Nursing Practice

30 Points

Semester 2


The knowledge and competencies that form the basis of prescribing in advanced nursing are developed under supervision.

Course information

Aims of the course

This course is the capstone course for nurses applying for Nurse Practitioner registration with prescribing (Medicines Act/Regulations 2001). The course will give nurses the opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills in the application of pharmacotherapeutic concepts in prescribing practice. Emphasis for this course is on the utilisation of critical decision making and evidence‐based practice to formulate differential diagnoses, and therapeutic planning. The RN student will demonstrate competent management skills for clients in their area of practice with common health problems.

This practicum includes a minimum of 150 hours of direct clinical supervision by a Medical or Nurse Practitioner (the Clinical Supervisor) in the defined area of practice.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will:

1. Demonstrate competency in prescribing within the legislated Nurse Practitioner scope of practice and according to the established prescribing process and guidelines.

2. Demonstrate advanced practice competencies including performance of advanced health assessments (history taking, psychosocial assessment with cultural sensitivity) and physical examination, diagnosis, treatment and care planning, implementation of care, evaluation of care and appropriate revision of care plan when needed.

3. Demonstrate sound, evidence‐based clinical judgement, provided logically and systematically to formulate diagnoses of common health problems presenting in clinical practice

4. Demonstrate integration of knowledge for advanced practice, including anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, chemistry, pharmacotherapeutics, with implementation into the client‐specific plan of care.

5. Demonstrate the ability to develop care plans that consider evidence based treatment that considers safety, cost and efficacy in implementation.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of health promotion and disease treatment plans based on client outcomes.

7. Demonstrate skill in the provision of health information to the client, clients family and other members of the health care team about relevant interventions, appliances, treatments or medications

8. Articulate pharmacologic therapy rationale when prescribing including:

 Describes indications, contra‐indications, drug‐drug interactions for prescribed medication.

 Describes implications of alternative/traditional/complementary medicine as well as other over –the –counter products.

 Describes risk and benefits of prescribing decisions

 Articulates implications of prescribing in extremes of age (infant/child and older‐persons health) where appropriate.

9. Demonstrate ability to utilise the skills of pharmacovigilance in prescriptive practice by:

 Demonstrating ability to recognise adverse reactions, education of client in reporting adverse reactions to prescriber and reporting of adverse reactions to appropriate agencies.


Course structure/delivery

There are 4 study days, there are two sets of two day blocks (2x2 day blocks).


Assessment points 



Learning contract

 Outlined and identified student’s individual learning objectives

 Academic and Clinical Mentor reviewed

To be reviewed and confirmed by end of week 3 

Area of practice description

 Description of students proposed area of NP practice 


Included in the portfolio.

Written long case studies (2)

 The long case should be about 5000 words and follow the NC long case guideline (on the NC website).

 There will be the opportunity to peer mark one of your fellow students second case presentation

40% (20% each)

Cases included in the portfolio. 

NP mock panel examination

 Clinical viva examination with NP Panel

Must pass at a minimum of B‐ 65% 


Clinical competency onsite assessment

 Include the completed assessment with the completed marking grid for the summative assessment

Must achieve all areas at a ‘competent’ level to pass the course.

Will be reviewed by academic mentor‐included in the portfolio

Nursing Council New Zealand Competency assessment evaluation

Must complete a grid evaluating how you have achieved each component of the prescribing competency as provided by Nursing Council 


Clinical log

 Signed off by clinical mentor with evidence from patient numbers to support 150 hours of clinical mentoring.

 Note NPTP students need a minimum of 250 clinical supervised hours. 

Will be reviewed by academic mentor 
Using the NZ Nursing Council NP Portfolio guidelines submit a portfolio to include: Your area of practice statement, the case studies assessed in this course, the Clinical competency assessment and the NCNZ competency evaluation grid.   10%

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator