Non-medical prescribing (NMP) enables nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals to take on additional responsibilities to prescribe medicines for patients. NMP has several benefits for the NHS, including better utilising the skills of healthcare professionals and improving care for service users.
Claire started her nursing journey in Glasgow where she completed her training, before moving to London and settling into critical care nursing. Eventually, she moved to Essex where she now manages a new Regional Vascular Unit with high dependency beds.
In 2019, keen to progress her learning and career, Claire started her Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing.
Explaining why she chose to study with the OU, Claire said, “The distance learning appealed to me. It allowed me the ability to stay focused in my clinical responsibilities whilst learning in my personal time.”
“I couldn’t commit to the weekly full day on campus learning offered by local universities as I was heavily involved in setting up the new vascular service. With the flexibility of the OU option, although demanding, I could do both at the same time.”
Describing her experience of the course, which is delivered in partnership with employers through a combination of supported distance learning and practice-based learning within the workplace, Claire said, “The extra clinical time that distance learning facilitated was invaluable.”
“The online study materials were very good, and the videos helped to drive home learning because I could watch them over and over again. The quizzes throughout helped solidify key learning points and helped me formulate answers in written exam-style responses.”
“In practice, I received very positive feedback throughout my learning and found that all clinicians were very open minded to non-medical prescribing. I had worried about how it may be perceived as it is a relatively unusual skill in my clinical setting, but I was always encouraged by my prescribing peers and that was a welcome bonus.”
Claire has now completed her Postgraduate Certificate, making her eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as an independent prescriber. This will allow Claire to work more independently, taking responsibility for assessing and prescribing medicines for service users to increase the effectiveness and speed of the care they receive.
“I always wanted to be a nurse, it sounds cliché, but it’s true. I can’t imagine doing anything else, and I love the continuous learning. My prescribing qualification is the cherry on top of a very successful career,” says Claire.
Claire advises future non-medical prescribing students, “You can never read enough! Keep reading about prescribing and take every practical opportunity you get to observe other non-medical prescribers in practice; it’s really eye-opening to see how different prescribers tackle the same issues.”
Find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing.
Lauren Robinson is part of the Strategic External Engagement Team within the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at the OU. Specialising in B2B communications management, she is responsible for employer and partner communications within the Faculty. Lauren has completed her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) with the OU and is currently studying towards her MBA. She is a keen reader and enjoys travel and cooking.