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BSc (Honours) Nursing Practice

If you're a registered nurse, the BSc (Hons) Nursing Practice offers a practical way to take your career forward - enabling you to step up to an honours degree while continuing to earn. Its flexible, modular approach is designed to meet the needs of nurses working across a range of settings and specialities, in both the NHS and independent sectors. Study options focus on key areas for contemporary nursing - leadership; ageing and the life course; and public health. As you study, you'll reflect critically on your own practice; cultivate a person-centred approach to work with service users, their carers and families, and explore how your learning can contribute to evidence-based practice improvement. By the end of your studies, you'll have enhanced your professional expertise to meet the complex challenges of contemporary health care practice.

You'll need to provide evidence of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). See Entry requirements below.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Key facts

Code: Q53 Made up of: 360 credits

If you have a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing or a Registered Nurse qualification

  • You'll need to apply for credit transfer towards the Level 1 and Level 2 requirements of this degree - see 'Credit for previous study elsewhere' section below if your DipHE in Nursing or equivalent was awarded by another Higher Education Institution
  • You can register your intention to study for this degree if your DipHE in Nursing was awarded by The Open University
  • You'll need to provide evidence of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Current NMC PIN)
  • Students who received their nurse education and training in an EU/EEA member state, and who are nationals of those states, are eligible to apply for NMC registration (subject to NMC regulations)
  • Your claim will be assessed, and if there's any shortfall of credit at Level 2, you'll need to devise an appropriate study plan derived from the list of eligible Level 2 modules.
Fees: Our fees depend on where you are ordinarily resident. We have a range of funding options to help you with payment. When you apply to study we will tell you the fee and funding options that are available to you. Before you apply you can read What you can expect to pay.

Career relevance and employability

The BSc (Hons) Nursing Practice enables registered nurses to enhance their career prospects by moving to a degree-level qualification. As nursing careers move towards graduate-only entry, it will help you develop your understanding of the nursing role and strengthen your future employability.

This qualification will be of particular interest if you want to build on your current knowledge and experience in the setting in which you work. It will provide the understanding and skills you need to take the lead in practice development and innovation. You'll also have the opportunity to improve your IT skills - particularly in relation to researching and analysing the evidence base for practice and collaborating with others to enhance your continuing professional development.

There's more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Educational aims

The degree aims to:

  • provide access to a flexible programme of study that will enable registered nurses to remain work based
  • consolidate and build on previous professional and academic learning experiences
  • develop their individual nursing practice and contribute to their lifelong learning journey
  • challenge registered nurses to critically evaluate the evidence, knowledge and contemporary professional arguments underpinning practice in order to contribute to the development of nursing
  • assist registered nurses to acquire the qualities and transferable skills necessary to fulfil the requirements of qualification at honours degree level and also for employment as a graduate nurse.

Learning outcomes

The degree provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding

After studying this degree you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of the factors underpinning person-centred practice in your own care setting
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the contribution and limitations of relevant research and how this can be used to enhance practice
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary leadership and the likely impact of nursing leadership on the development of health care
  • demonstrate a critical appreciation of relevant health care strategies, policies and guidelines and their implications for nurses in relation to improving health care
  • demonstrate how contextual knowledge can affect health and well-being within differing care settings.

Cognitive skills

After studying this degree you should be able to:

  • provide critical and reflective analysis of complex aspects of nursing practice, using relevant and established theoretical frameworks and recognising the provisional nature of knowledge
  • synthesise evidence to support proposals for innovation and change to enhance service delivery and improve health outcomes
  • rigorously evaluate research and other forms of evidence, including health strategies, policy and guidance
  • support personal and professional development through the refined skill of reflection.

Practical and/or professional skills

This degree will help you to develop the key attributes of expert nursing practice as expressed by the five practice links: Holistic practice knowledge; Saliency; Knowing the patient; Moral agency and Skilled Know-How.

Key skills

After studying this degree you should be able to:

  • access, retrieve, interpret and utilise information and evidence appropriately including the use of information technology
  • demonstrate effective communication skills
  • demonstrate personal organisation and responsibility
  • exercise effective decision making and initiative
  • demonstrate an engagement with continuing professional development
  • articulate the importance of involving service users, carers and supporters.

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