The Autonomous Practitioner - Adult Nursing

The details
Health and Social Care (School of)
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Tuesday 22 April 2025
Friday 27 June 2025
18 July 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC B740 Nursing (Adult),
BSC B740CO Nursing (Adult),
BSC B742 Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B742CO Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIB770 Nursing (Dual Award in Adult and Mental Health),
MSCIB770SO Nursing (Dual Award in Adult and Mental Health)

Module description

This module consolidates learning around compassionate, clinical leadership in adult nursing. Students will consider the accountabilities and human consequences associated with their own and others' leadership decisions at the point of care.

Students will be supported to explore the complexities and uncertainties of clinical situations. Students will critically examine how the 'quality' of care is defined, measured and audited, and the impact of these measurements on the lived experiences of people. They will reflect upon their own professional development needs and proactively plan their own development

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To enable students to critically consolidate their role as an autonomous adult nurse, accountable for leading and managing the care of groups of people in complex and uncertain situations.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Work in partnership with people, families, carers and colleagues to safely and effectively lead, manage, monitor and prioritise care for a group of people in complex and unpredictable situations.

  2. Recognise the inter-relationship between safe staffing levels and appropriate skills mix, and reflect how these affect public safety, public protection and quality of adult nursing care.

  3. Act as a role model by complying with legislation, regulations and policies for assessing, managing and reporting and documenting risks, near misses and critical incidents.

  4. Demonstrate effective person and team leadership when working with colleagues and leading teams in adult care services.

  5. Reflect on the role of registered nurses and other professionals at different levels of seniority when prioritising actions and care in the event of a major incident in adult care services.

  6. Demonstrate knowledge of how prescriptions are generated, the role of generic, unlicensed and off-label prescribing, and the risks associated with these prescribing approaches.

Module information


  • Understanding and applying the principles for making reasonable adjustments.

  • Understanding the responsibilities of the registered nurse in medicine management including the role of generic, unlicensed and off label prescribing and the associated risks.

  • Planning and managing safe discharge and transfer of patients between care settings.

  • The principles of effective and authentic clinical leadership in adult nursing contexts.

  • Group, team and organisational dynamics.

  • Prioritisation and delegation of care needs.

  • The integration and influence of health legislation and policies in decision-making and leadership.

  • Measuring quality of care and the performative use of metrics.

  • Maintaining safe work and care environments.

  • Skill mix and safe staffing in adult nursing contexts.

  • Managing and reporting risk in clinical settings where adult nurses work.

  • Major incidents in adult nursing contexts.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and flipped classroom

Interactive lectures from keynote speakers and clinicians (shared with mental health nursing students) will introduce the principles, concepts and models of leadership, quality improvement and governance. Online learning objects, including videos from managers, leaders and people with lived experience, will be used to prepare students for lecture activities.


Opportunities to apply the principles to a series of field specific case studies in action learning sets (both face to face and virtual) will be co-facilitated by clinicians and academic staff who hold, or have held, clinical leadership roles.

Simulated practice

Opportunities will be offered for students to participate in simulated activities to rehearse leadership activities in complex and ambiguous situations, in the safety of a simulated environment.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Adult Nursing (Southend): Summative assignment      

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mrs Hellen Horton, email: hellen.horton@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Dr Rosemarie Derwin
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Programme Director/ Lecturer
Dr Yusra Abdelat
Angila Ruskin University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 76 hours, 55 (72.4%) hours available to students:
21 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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