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BSc (Honours) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – Health Visiting/School Nursing

This is an opportunity to develop your professional nursing practice, building on what you already possess. Successfully completing this course qualifies you as a registered specialist in either health visiting or school nursing and enables you to take up a variety of community nursing positions working at an individual, family and community level: Working with children and families with a particular focus on the 0-19 years’ agenda. The skills experience and knowledge you gain enables you to improve your career prospects. You can take on specialist role in health visiting or school nursing, advanced practice and a variety of new roles.

Course length 52 Weeks
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

Successfully completing this course allows you to register as a specialist community public health nurse – health visitor or school nurse.

As a student health visitor or school nurse, you study changes in public health policy and legislation, and learn how to meet the needs of the local population in ways that value and respect the dignity of individuals and communities. Student health visitors and school nurses work in partnership, using strengths-based approach to understand the priorities and need of patients, families and colleagues. There are many opportunities for you to share learning from a diverse range of student groups – for example, with midwifes, social work and child and adolescent mental health, district nurses.

The course is 50% theory and 50% practice ensuring shared multidisciplinary learning and the opportunity to work alongside other statutory agencies and voluntary organisations. Attendance is 100%, with set annual leave across the academic timetable. You have status as a temporary employee for the length of the course (SCPHN).

We structure the course to reflect the important balance of the practice elements, which are designated practice days or work-based learning. Consolidated practice enables you to work independently while remaining under the supervision of a practice teacher. The theoretical elements involve a mix of learning approaches including self-directed study days.

You build on your existing professional registered nurse knowledge and experience, focusing on responding to the needs of populations including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and recognising health inequalities. As well as gaining this specialist knowledge, you also develop your judgment in care and programme management, and in leadership and practice development for effective application to working with children, young people and families (0-19 age range).

When it comes to putting what you have learnt into practice, you benefit from strong partnerships with health, education and local authority organisations in the region. The modern and diverse placements you go on are designed to meet the changing needs of children, young people and families. Placements may be with social services, education or voluntary sector organisations.

Service users, nurses, students and lecturers all contribute to on-going development of this course and the student experience. This broader contribution helps enhance the course content, case study learning and applying theory to practice, so that we are working together for patients, children, families and communities.

To complete this course you need to successfully apply for a student health visitor or student school nurse NHS training post and be sponsored by your employing organisation. This leads to your NHS employer then organising an appropriately qualified mentor or practice teacher to guide and assess your practice experience. You have supernumery status for the length of the course with set annual leave across the academic timetable.

Course teaching team
Experienced health visitor and school nurse lecturers deliver the course. As a student you learn from a highly motivated and proactive teaching team aiming to improve lives through excellence in professionalism. We ensure our students and the public benefit from a commitment to evidence-based education, application to practice and impact on quality of care.

Some lecturers are engaged in ongoing research and are publishing in peer reviewed journals with areas of expertise that include safeguarding, the child and families agenda, behaviour change and community development.

Four members of our teaching team are also Fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), a professional body which strives for excellence in the health visiting profession.

Key areas of study
Key areas include • applying evidence into practice; public health, quality of care –safety and public protection • working together for children and families - family centred care • a toolkit for behaviour change, developing therapeutic relationships • transforming services through innovation and influence • safe and effective nurse prescriber.

Study individual modules
You have the option to study individual modules from this course and gain academic credit towards a qualification. Visit our continuing professional development website for more information.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. (NMC). Graduates are eligible to apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a specialist community public health nurse. You must be registered with the NMC in order to practise as a specialist community public health nurse in the UK.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

To complete this course you need to
• have at least 120 credits at level 5
• be registered on part one (nursing) or part two (midwifery) of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register and have an active NMC PIN number
• an enhanced level of disclosure on a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
• self-declaration of good health and character in line with the NMC requirements
• Ability to demonstrate the potential to practise at specialist level on completion of the course
• successfully apply for a student health visitor or student school nurse NHS training post

If you are shortlisted you attend a joint NHS and Sheffield Hallam interview. You must bring original copies of your qualifications, certificates, NMC registration, course application form and references with you. This interview is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have the personal, NHS values based and intellectual qualities to complete the course and meet the required standards to become a health visitor or a school nurse. You must show how you strive to improve health and wellbeing and peoples experience of the NHS.

Recruitment and selection
• Firstly, apply for a student health visitor or school nursing NHS training post. You need to be sponsored by an employing organisation- your NHS employer will then organise an appropriate qualified mentor/practice teacher to guide and assess your practice experience.
• The NHS will then shortlist you and set a date for your 1st Interview
• Hold the dates 25th May and 28th June 2016 for your Sheffield Hallam interview
• ALL Applicants’ must complete NHS application form and a Hallam application form - www.shu.ac.uk/study/form
• ALL applicants are asked to bring original copies of academic qualifications and certificates and NMC registration to the interviews; all documents will be checked by the interview panel, (and copies retained) and candidates must provide supporting references.

Our interviews are compliant with NHS Constitution - values based recruitment (VBR).

Successful candidates must meet both the selection criteria as set out by the employing NHS organisation and Sheffield Hallam course entry requirements.

Course enrolment professional requirements
Before enrolling, you must fully declare during the admissions process any

• unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on convictions that must be declared see the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.
• disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or educational establishments
• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

Successful candidates also need to complete Verification Form A (this will be sent to you along with a conditional offer letter).

You also need to complete
• a DBS Enhanced Disclosure, and provide us with a copy of your DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate if requested. Enrolment also depends on the DBS check being deemed suitable for professional training.
• occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course and an approved programme of immunisation, as recommended by the Department of Health. Health screening will be completed by your employer.
• Provide a copy of your NMC registration (verified at interview and enrolment)

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements – from when you apply to the end of your course – you must tell the Professional Issues Team immediately by calling 0114 225 3995 or 0114 225 5786.

Course structure

Full-time – one year (September to September - 52 weeks)
Part-time – typically two years (This is only an option is you are supported by an NHS Employer)

Starts September

Typical modules may include


• family centred public health • developing therapeutic relationships • perspectives on safeguarding for scphn • evidence based public health practice • developing specialist practice • nurse prescribing (v100)

  • examinations
  • essays
  • presentations
  • research reviews
  • reports
  • case studies
  • practice-based portfolios
  • action learning sets


You enhance your professional and academic development on this course and the skills, experience and knowledge you gain enable you to improve your career prospects. Completing the course enables you to be registered with the NMC as a registered specialist community public health nurse - as either a health visitor or school nurse. It also enables you to be annotated on the NMC register as a community practitioner nurse prescriber.

As a health visitor or school nurse you develop the essential skills and attributes to work in different health, social and educational settings. You gain experience of public health at an individual, family and community level, working with children, young people and families.

There are many ways you can develop your career after completing this course including working as a
• in a specialist role - such as working with early interventions (parenting), homeless, asylum seekers, safeguarding, looked after children (LAC), domestic violence (DV), child sexual exploitation (CSE), public health,
• Practice Educators – Community practice educator, mentor
• Family nurse partnership nurse (FNP)
• Counsellor
• Sexual health advisor
• Management opportunities, such as - children’s services manager, head of health and social services
• Overseas with the voluntary overseas service


Home / EU student

Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase.

2016/17 academic year

The Department of Health funds this course, subject to your appointment to a student health visitor or student school nurse training post.

Further information is available on the NHS Employers' website.

International student

How to apply

To apply for this course you must have successfully been shortlisted for a student health visitor or school nursing NHS training post.

After you have been invited to an interview at an NHS Trust, you need to apply to Sheffield Hallam by completing the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form and then bring the hard copy to your interview.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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