Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing)

Nursing and midwifery

Course details

Advanced practice nursing is a defined career pathway for registered nurses, committed to continuing professional development and clinical supervision, to practice at a higher level of capability as independent autonomous and expert practitioners (NMBI, 2017). The Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing) curriculum offered at RCSI is innovative, flexible and practice-orientated, leading to participants’ registration as advanced nurse practitioners.

On successful completion of this programme, nurses will be eligible to apply for registration as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) and a Registered Nurse Prescriber (RNP) with the NMBI. This programme is delivered part-time over two years.

Course code: C32811

Learning outcomes

At the end of the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice Nursing (Prescribing), successful students will be able to: 

  • Articulate a vision for advanced practice nursing that is developed through research, critical thinking and experiential learning.
  • Implement practice changes using negotiation and consensus-building, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team and persons receiving care, across a variety of contexts utilising advanced research, ethics, political, clinical leadership and quality improvement skills.
  • Demonstrate mastery in conducting comprehensive holistic health assessment using evidenced based frameworks to determine diagnoses to inform autonomous advanced nursing care.
  • Synthesise and interpret assessment information at an advanced level within the practice area identified, or identified scope of practice.
  • Demonstrate advanced nursing practice skills and knowledge within the domains of the Advanced Practice Nursing Model in attainment of advanced competencies.
  • Practice in an often unpredictable variety of ill-defined contexts.
  • Articulate safe boundaries and engage in timely referral and collaboration for those areas outside their scope of practice, experience and competence.
  • Take significant responsibility for teaching others through clinical supervision and mentorship, and utilization of advanced practice knowledge and clinical competencies.
  • Demonstrate advanced clinical leadership and professional accountability in clinical decision-making and in collaborative risk assessments, through the promotion of a safe practice environment.
  • Demonstrate a range of standard and specialised research, or equivalent tools and techniques of enquiry, to further advance nursing practice.

Successful students will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the theory, concepts and methods pertaining to the modules they complete, and will be able to critically discuss the incorporation of that knowledge in their area of practice. The programme learning outcomes are developed in compliance with the NMBI guidelines (Advanced Practice, Nursing Standards and Requirements and the Post-registration Nursing and Midwifery Programmes Standards and Requirements), the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 9 structure and the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).


Year 1

  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I
  • Pharmacology
  • Advanced Systematic Assessment
  • Professional Accountability in Nurse/Midwife Prescribing

Year 2

  • Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II
  • Advanced Professional Accountability, Clinical Governance and Decision Making
  • Optional Specialist Module (x 1)