NURSPRAC 717 : Practicum for RN Designated Prescribers

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester Two (1225) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Prepares registered nurses to apply for prescribing rights as Designated Prescribers. Provides nurses with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in the application of pharmacotherapeutic concepts to prescribing as a designated prescriber. This includes direct supervision of prescribing activities in the clinical area and the ability to work closely and effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment.

Course Overview

This course aims to develop nurses’ capability to practice at an advanced level with strong knowledge and skills in the application of pharmacology and therapeutics to the treatment of common conditions as a designated prescriber. The practicum includes direct clinical supervision of clinical practice and prescribing activities by a prescribing mentor (Senior Doctor or NP). The registered nurses will utilise advanced skills in the management of common conditions including skilful deliberation of risk and benefit considerations for prescriptive and non-prescriptive approaches to patient management. This role requires the RN to work closely and effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment and to have their employer endorsement to develop an RN prescribing role.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: NURSING 742, 773, 785

Course Contacts

Matt Baker-Course Administrator
Sandra Oster, Nurse Practitioner, Course Director

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Nursing

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically analyse clinical assessment findings in relation to underlying pathophysiological and psychosocial processes. Generate solutions to clinical problems based on appropriate clinical guidelines and evidence. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  2. Critically analyse pharmacotherapeutic information and demonstrate the ability to discuss the indications, contraindications and alternatives for common classes of drugs utilised in the treatment long term and common conditions (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  3. Demonstrate the ability to identify contraindications, effects and drug interactions associated with the use of prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines and devices (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.2 and 6.3)
  4. Critically evaluate the causes of microbial resistance and the importance of incorporating non-pharmacological strategies and knowledge of local resistance patterns into prescribing practices (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.2 and 6.3)
  5. Develop effective relationships and communication with other prescribers, patients and other members of the health care team (Capability 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  6. Demonstrate willingness to seek guidance or refer when patient concerns are outside the scope of an RN designated prescriber to maintain professional and regulatory boundaries for practice (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.2 and 6.3)
  7. Demonstrate the ability to recognise situations of drug misuse and drug seeking and take appropriate action. (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  8. Demonstrate the achievement of the Nursing Council Competencies for RN Delegated Prescribers in common and long-term conditions (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Case Studies 75% Individual Coursework
Presentation 25% Individual Examination
Competency assessment Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Case Studies
Competency assessment

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 30 hours of lectures,  60 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation. 

 150 hours of mentored clinical practice for RN designated prescribing with an authorised prescriber mentor.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is [required] at scheduled activities including [labs/tutorials/clinics] to [receive credit for] components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including [seminars/tutorials] will [not be available] as recordings.
The course [will] include live online events including [group discussions/tutorials].
Attendance on campus is [required] for the [exam].
The activities for the course are scheduled as a [block delivery].

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Canvas is the learning management system which will be used to:
  •  Access the Course Outline and course information
  •  Access to required and additional readings
  •  Access to information to support and develop academic writing
  •  Discussion of topical issues or questions raised during the course
  •  General notices and course information.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

The feedback reflects the challenges of implementing the expanded responsibilities for RN prescribing within the workplace.  There is a need for a significant amount of self-directed study and regular contact with the prescribing mentor to assure safe prescribing practice.   

Other Information

Eligibility for the RN designated prescribing practicum requires a signed commitment from your employer and an appropriate authorised prescribing mentor. To obtain the course admission documentation, please email 
Please refer to the Nursing Council of New Zealand website for further information for employers and clinical mentors for preparation for the practicum course and requirements for registration as an RN designated prescriber.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 26/10/2021 12:00 p.m.