AC6643 - Developing Evidence Based District Nursing Practice

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The transformation of community services, particularly in relation to long term conditions is of paramount importance to the role of the Community Specialist Practitioner in District Nursing. Therefore the explicit purpose of this module is to enable the student to develop the knowledge and skills commensurate with Community Specialist Practice in relation to the management of complex conditions in primary health care. Students will engage in professional debates around their role in the assessment and management of complex conditions and the prevention/delay of hospital admissions. This will be achieved through integrating theory, research and practice pertinent to the role. Fundamental to this will be the development of advanced history taking and clinical physical assessment skills. Learning will be facilitated through lectures, seminars, clinical skill development, peer review and action learning sets in practice. Furthermore as the NMC competencies for Community Specialist Practice are attached to this module. Learning in practice will take place with the support of a Community Practice Teacher (CPT) and a Guidance Tutor.


Bickley L. (2013) Bate’s Guide to Physical Examination and History taking.(11th Ed). London. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Bryman A. (2008) Social Research Methods. (3rd Ed ) Oxford. University Press
Chang, E Johnson, A (2014) Chronic Illness and Disability. (2nd Ed) London. Churchill Livingstone

Chilton, S Bain, H. Clarridge, A. Melling, K. (2012) A Textbook of Community Nursing. Chichester. Hodder and Stoughton LTD.

Department of Health (2013) Care in Local Communities. A New Vision and Model for District Nursing. Department of Health. London.

Ellis, P (2010) Evidence Based Practice in Nursing. New York. Sage Publishers

Jasper M. (2006) Professional Development, Reflection and Decision-making. Oxford. Blackwell Publishing

Kumar, P. Clark, M. (eds) (2011) Medical Management and Therapeutics. London Saunders Elsevier.

NMC (2001) Standards for Specialist Education and Practice. Nursing and Midwifery Council. London.

Polit, D, F. Beck, C. (2011) Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. (9th Ed).Philadelphia. Lippicott, Williams and Wilkins

Sines, D. Aldridge-Bent, S. Fanning, A. Farrelly, P. (2013) Community and Public Health Nursing. Chichester Wiley Blackwell.


Department of Health

Evidence Search health and Social Care

NHS Improving Quality

The Kings Fund

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)


Health and social care policy
Public health, health beliefs, health education, prevention and managing behaviour change
Evidence based practice and research mindedness for practice
Advanced history taking and clinical and physical assessment skills
Anatomy and physiology of respiratory, cardiac, abdomen and nervous systems
Communication and decision making in complex and challenging situations
Partnership working with users and carers and facilitating person centred care
Multi-disciplinary and inter professional working
Professional accountability and legal and ethical issues
Risk assessment and management
Management of long term conditions and complex health care
Therapeutic interventions and psychological and emotional care for patients and carers
Advanced care planning and end of life care
Mental health and dementia care, capacity and consent
Safeguarding vulnerable adults


The aims of the module is to enable students to:-

1. Make effective use of research, evidence, theoretical concepts, practice knowledge and guidelines within the context of district nursing interventions to patients requiring complex interventions.

2. Critically analyse and undertake the assessment and management of long term health issues, through history taking, assessment, clinical and physical examination.


On completion of this module students will be able to:-

Draw on a range of evidence from a variety of sources and critically analyse its role in the delivery of evidence based practice (a1, a2, a4, b1, b7, d5).

Critically analyse assessment frameworks utilised in practice settings and review their decision making within the management of complex situations (a2, a4, b2, b7, c1, c4, c5, c6, d4, d5, d7)

Explore the relationship of complex conditions to body systems, clinical management, and professional, legal and issues (b5, b6, b7, c1, c3, c6)

Conduct a concise, thorough history and assessment of the presenting health issue within a range of body systems explaining the necessity for clinical investigations and confirming diagnosis (a6, b7, d6)

Critically reflect on their role as a team leader within the changing context of primary care and in the prevention/delay of hospital admissions (a3, a5, b3, b4, b7, c2, c4, d1, d2, d3)

Demonstrate competency in the NMC Standards for Community Specialist Practice in District Nursing (a5, a6, b5, b6, b7, c2, c3, c4, c5,c6, d1, d2, d3, d5, d6).




This module is integral to the BSc (Hons) Community Specialist Practice District Nursing Programme.




This module will be delivered using a variety of approaches to teaching and learning that will enable the student’s to achieve the learning outcomes. These include lectures, seminars, practical work, action learning sets, group and individual tutorials, directed and independent study and extensive use of the e- learning portal. Tripartite contracts will also be in place between the student, Community Practice Teacher and their Guidance Tutor. A range of IT facilities will be incorporated for the assessment for learning such as Turnitin and the e-learning portal.


a) Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

There are three parts to the assessment for this module which all students must pass successfully to complete the module and demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes:-

1. Literature Critique: - Students will critically analyse a variety of sources of evidence relevant to one long term condition to explicitly review the causes and consequences and care requirements. They will be required to critique the strengths and limitations of the evidence within the literature critique. In the light of this evidence they will reflect on practice and to evaluate patient care and the implications for District Nursing Specialist Practice (3000 words) (50%) (LO 1, 5).

2. An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE):- This will assess the students’ ability to take a concise history and targeted physical assessment (Pass/Fail) (LO 2, 3, 4).

3. Portfolio:- Students are required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating that they have achieved the standards for Specialist Practice in District Nursing (50%) (LO 1-6).

b) Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

1) Students will also be guided to produce a 500 word plan which will provide a rationale for the choice of condition, together with an overview of the structure, content and references. This will be discussed during individual tutorials and verbal feedback provided. Student will use this to inform the writing of the 3000 word literature critique. (LO 1,5 )

2) Formative feedback will be provided during the OSCE practical sessions and in the OSCE mock exam. (LO 2, 3, 4)

3) A learning contract outlining the students’ strengths and opportunities for development will formatively assess students learning requirements to inform the practice curriculum. Learning activities, action learning sets, peer discussion in tripartite meetings within practice will be facilitated by the Community Practice Teachers and the Guidance Tutor to facilitate this process. Students will receive feedback on formative work at key stages throughout this year long module (LO 1-6).

c) Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

Feedback will be provided for both formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment will be provided both verbally and in written formats

1) From their peers/ lecturers at seminar presentations and within group tutorials.

2) During the OSCE practical sessions and in the OSCE mock exam.

3) From peers, community practice teachers and the programme team.

Summative feedback will be provided
1) Via Turnitin in the form of a plagiarism report when they submit a revision assignment

2) Electronic submission and feedback software will be utilised in line with University regulations

3) Within clinical practice from initial and intermediate reviews and during tripartite meetings of which there are one per semester.

This continuous formative feedback enables the students to gain confidence in their ability and to monitor their progression academically and clinically



Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Location Coach Lane Campus

City Newcastle

Start October 2020

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