Short course

Professional Nurse Advocate Certificate of Credit

Online course details

UK/EU fee

£1,050 (2024/25)

Course level

Level 7

Course credits

20 credits

Next course date

27 January 2025


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.

Students undertaking this course will study online as self-paced study, predominantly by engaging with the online materials and activities provided in the virtual learning environment. There will be weekly online lectures delivered by the course tutor and PNA’s working in practice (which will be recorded and so can be watched later should any students not be able to attend the scheduled time slot). Students will also take part in weekly activities and engage with their tutor and peers through the online discussions.

Overall, including work, study, and self-paced learning, students will spend about 6 hours per week on the course with additional time required to complete the assignment towards the end of the 10 weeks of study.

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

Programme Leader - Melanie Gasston-Hales

Melanie is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health. She is a Registered Nurse in Mental Health and hold a Lecturer/Practice Educator qualification recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Prior to joining the University of Derby, she worked clinically and in higher education in London. Her clinical experience is predominantly acute mental health care in hospital and within the community. In higher education, she has worked as a practice educator and taught pre- and post-registration nurses.

How you will learn

This module is delivered online and so you will undertake self-paced study via our virtual learning environment. This means that predominantly you will study the online learning material rather than attend a series of scheduled lectures. This provides the flexibility to manage your studies around your existing work and home commitments.

You will engage with your tutors and fellow students via online discussion boards and there will be scheduled online lectures each Thursday throughout the module. All online lectures will be recorded so that, if you are not able to attend, you will be able to catch up later.

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.

Find out more about studying online.

Student support

Our student Wellbeing Service offers a range of support, advice and guidance for our students.

If you have an existing report in relation to specific learning needs from an educational psychologist, please indicate this in your application and you are then eligible for a support plan from the University.

Due to the length of this programme, students are not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) or for a support assessment to be undertaken by the University.

However, you will be eligible for support towards additional equipment via the Access to Work scheme. Please note that the process to secure this can take 12 weeks and so we recommend that you apply for this before you apply for the course.

Fees and funding

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

UK/EU fee: £1,050

About your fees

Prices are correct for the year of entry shown. These are subject to annual increase in subsequent academic years.

Course requirements

To undertake this course, you must:

You must discuss your participation with senior nurses in your organisation.

If you are currently studying a programme with us, you will not be able to study PNA as a second course as it is not possible to be enrolled onto two courses at the same time.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

How to apply

Apply directly to the University.

Apply now

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

Contact us

If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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