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    Registered nurse students synthesise knowledge integrating assessment, diagnostic skills, clinical reasoning, applying treatments and consolidating prescribing practice under the guidance of an authorised prescriber.

    The aim of this paper is to enable the student to integrate, critique and synthesise previous learning (in research, theory, philosophy, ethics, clinical care, education, and leadership) and its relation to the competencies required of the nurse practitioner.

    About this paper

    Paper title Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Practicum
    Subject Nursing
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,984.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NURS 405 or NURS 416

    This paper is designed for registered nurse students studying for the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice toward nurse practitioner registration in New Zealand.

    Every applicant shall normally be required to satisfy the University's and Nursing Council of New Zealand’s requirements such as:

    • Be a New Zealand registered nurse, with a current New Zealand practising certificate and be in good standing with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
    • Have completed three years equivalent full-time practice within the last five years (with at least one of those years in New Zealand) in an area of practice she/he will undertake supervised clinical practicums.
    • Have approved access to area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills.
    • Have completed an approved Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging a B or better.

    Teaching staff

    Staff from the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies

    Paper Structure

    Registered nurse students synthesise knowledge through theoretical content and clinical practice integrating:

    • Health assessments
    • Diagnostic skills
    • Clinical reasoning
    • Applying treatments
    • Consolidating prescribing practice (150 hrs) under the guidance of an authorised prescriber
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.


    Simulation laboratories.

    Prescribing practice under the guidance of an authorised prescriber.

    View Timetable Information.


    DiPiro J. et al. (2014). Pharmacotherapy: A pathophysiologic approach. (9th ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

    Guyatt G., Rennie D., Meade M., and D. Cook (2015) Users' Guides to the Medical Literature. Essentials of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. Third Edition. New York : McGraw-Hill Medical

    Keenan, R. (2016). Health care and the law (5th ed.). New Zealand: Brooker Publishing.

    Ram,S., & Chesney, S. (2014) Pharmacy Law Guidebook (3rd ed.). New Zealand: Thomson Reuters.

    Webb P., Bain C., & A. Page (2017). Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals . Third edition. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Learning Outcomes reflect the Nurse Practitioner Competencies of Nursing Council of New Zealand (2017).

    The competencies and elements:

    • Align with the role and activities described in the nurse practitioner scope of practice.
    • Build and expand upon the competencies required for registered nurses and for nurse prescribers.
    • Apply across diverse practice settings and client populations.

    NB. In addition, students also meet the NCNZ competencies for RN Prescribing (2016).

    By the end of this paper the student will be able to:

    Assessment Outcomes:

    • Synthesise advanced nursing assessment including history taking, psychosocial, economic and cultural aspects, advanced physical. examination incorporating advanced pathophysiology to determine clinical diagnoses and appropriate client management plans for long term and common conditions incorporating health promotion.
    • In conjunction with advanced nursing assessments, demonstrate sound clinical judgements leading to diagnosis, treatment, care planning, including safe prescribing under supervision and appropriate documentation.
    • Integrate, critique, synthesise knowledge and experiences to apply evidence based interventions in their practice.
    • Demonstrate achievement of the Nursing Council competencies for the nurse practitioner scope of practice including articulation of the autonomous nurse practitioner role.

    Prescribing Outcomes:

    • Apply the regulatory framework and principles associated with prescribing; under the supervision of the prescribing mentor prescribe and administer interventions, appliances, treatments and medications within legislation, codes, scope and specific area of practice, and according to established prescribing process and guidelines; development of a personal formulary.
    • Propose appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment plans including evaluation and review of patient response based on sound physiological/ pharmacological/non pharmacological rationale and current best practice.
    • Synthesise knowledge enabling individualisation of dosages and regimes, taking into account factors such as cultural, body mass, gender and age variations.
    • Demonstrate safety and accuracy in drug prescribing practice and administration, accounting for variance in body mass and altered pharmacokinetics.
    • Demonstrate and apply a working knowledge of pharmaco-economics and preferential prescribing incorporating antibiotic stewardship.
    • Appropriately address other important considerations that will include issues of polypharmacy, drug dependency and client adherence to treatment, which will entail education of clients/client groups.
    • Demonstrate and apply a comprehensive understanding of the use of medication in combination and with alternative/complementary medicines and over the counter medications/appliances whilst incorporating a risk and benefit analysis.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of adverse reaction monitoring, management and reporting to make safe and appropriate prescribing decisions.

    Professional Accountability/Leadership Outcomes:

    • Clearly articulate their nurse practitioner or expanded area of practice and communicate the application of their advanced nursing knowledge and expertise in clinical, political and professional contexts.
    • Demonstrate an advanced ability to integrate legal and ethical concepts into their clinical practice including responsibilities, documentation, regulatory framework, auditing and ethics of drug treatments.
    • Practice in accordance with national and local professional standards and protocols (Including the Treaty of Waitangi) relevant to nurse practitioner practice.
    • Demonstrate advanced nursing practice within their area of practice (encompassing health consumers, whānau and diverse communities) while working collaboratively with interdisciplinary professionals across health care environments.
    • Demonstrate leadership in quality assurance processes such as clinical audits, risk management processes including delegation and direction, and case /peer reviews.
    • Identify opportunities for change and act as a change agent where appropriate.
    • Demonstrate nursing leadership in a range of situations across practice environments and serve as a supervisor/mentor to enhance the professional development of others.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through critical reflection and self-monitoring, participate in research activities and utilise research to underpin evidence based practice.
    • Participate in research activities and utilise research to underpin evidence-based practice.


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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