Online course details

Course level

Level 7

Course credits

20 credits

Next course date

September 2021 or January 2022


10 weeks


Tutored online learning



Online course description

Nursing is one of the most trusted and transformational professions, and 2020 showed us that the World needs nurses to lead and advocate. 2020 also highlighted that many health and social care workers are experiencing stress, mental health issues, and burnout. Modern health and social care practice is a challenging place to work, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made this even more challenging. Stress and burnout will almost certainly increase due to the exceptional pressure that many nurses are experiencing during the pandemic (Kinman et al 2020; NHS Confederation 2020; West et al 2020).

This training was established and is supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

This course prepares you to become a Professional Nurse Advocate, a role poised to support and lead the nursing workforce.

The role of a Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) and use of A-EQUIP model (advocating for education and quality improvement) is part of the solution to supporting many of these issues.

The A-EQUIP model and the professional nurse advocate role aims to:

During this 10-week course, you'll gain the skills and knowledge to facilitate restorative supervision for colleagues and teams within nursing services and beyond. You will be able to lead and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response to service demands and changing patient requirements.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

Female nurse walking down a corridor with older lady
Nurse wearing gloves
2 nurses in ICU

Course content

This course will cover:

  1. The role of the supervisor/Professional Nurse Advocate within the context of national and local governance policies
  2. The role supervision plays in supporting nurses to consider their practice in relation to the Code and the requirements for revalidation
  3. The educational principles which facilitate effective supervision
  4. Supervision frameworks and models which can be used for understanding and managing the supervisory relationship
  5. Skills which underpin the setting up and development of a successful supervisory relationship, including setting ground rules, negotiating, and working in partnership
  6. A range of supervisory approaches and methods including facilitation, coaching, motivational interviewing, reflection, debriefing and managing challenging conversations
  7. Approaches to evidence-based practice and quality improvement to ensure people experience safe, compassionate, person-centred care including the concept of advocacy. Flows of compassion and self-compassion
  8. Ethical issues in clinical supervision which may affect the supervisory process for example, conflict of interest and maintaining professional boundaries
  9. Techniques and processes to evaluate the clinical supervision process, including eliciting and utilising feedback
  10. The need for on-going development of supervisory skills and for further reflection and updating of knowledge

Who this course is for

This module is aimed at NMC-registered nurses and nursing associates in any field of practice who would like to develop into Professional Nurse Advocates.

Course team

Course Leader - Vicky Cockerill

This course is led by Vicky Cockerill. Vicky is a registered learning disability and mental health nurse, and an accredited cognitive behavioural psychotherapist. She has worked at the University of Derby since 2015 following an extensive career in clinical practice, encompassing secure mental health services and CAHMS. Vicky's research interests are in self-compassion and the mental health and wellbeing of nurses and student nurses.

How you will learn

This module is delivered online and so you will undertake self-paced study via our virtual learning environment. You will engage with your tutors and fellow students via online discussion boards and scheduled webinars. Find out more about studying online.

This module takes place over 10 weeks and you will complete academic assignments as part of your work, and these contribute to the assessment. Overall, including work, study, and learning at your own pace, you'll spend about 20 hours per week on the course.

Fees and funding

This course is fully funded by NHS England. To request a funded place on the course please contact who will provide approval for an application to progress.

Course requirements

To undertake this course, you must:

You must discuss your participation with senior nurses in your organisation. Candidates are normally identified by NHS England. Once chosen, you will be asked to apply to the University of Derby via the online application portal.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

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