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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences Postgraduate study

Vikki Crickmore MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced [Nurse] Practitioner), 2017

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The non-medical prescribing module has made such a difference to my practice - I had to really work hard at learning such a new level of biology. It means I can assess, diagnose and treat a patient in one episode.

Why did you want to study an MSc Advanced Nurse Practitioner course?

Having worked in Critical care for 12 years I recognised the increasing challenges of patient care within a ward setting and have identified steps that could be taken to begin to prevent the deterioration of patients in a critical care setting. To maximise my opportunity to make a difference in my role and advise on the management of patient care I felt I needed additional training to develop the skills and knowledge to function in advanced practice and with it the added responsibility of non-medical prescribing .

What made you choose to study your MSc at Southampton?

I have completed all my studies at Southampton, from my initial training and then my BSc degree . I knew the faculty and enjoy working with them. I am sure that Southampton is by far the best place to study in the Southern region and to be honest I had never really considered studying anywhere else.

What is it like studying here part time?

With working full time while completing my studies it’s a challenge to meet the deadlines but there are always people to help and provide advice. The tutors have been open to flexibility and always understood your dilemmas which helped massively.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

My knowledge had grown massively but so has my ability to provide evidence based care and my confidence to challenge what is not acceptable or the right choice. I can see how I think so differently now in comparison to pre-MSc and that I wasn’t expecting. My leadership skills have grown massively as a result of my MSc and this has enabled me to have confidence in my approach and be consistent in what I do. My confidence to work academically has grown as shown by my achieving a first for my MSc studies following my 2:1 for my BSc studies. I think a lot of this is down to the tutors bringing out the best in me.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

Consolidating what I have learnt and the order in which I did the modules was perfect to transition from nurse to ANP . In particular the non-medical prescribing module and the Transitions to Advanced Practice module stand out for me.

The non-medical prescribing module has made such a difference to my practice and was a significant development for me. I had to really work hard at learning such a new level of biology in order to pass the module and I was not used to this. It means I can assess, diagnose and treat a patient in one episode.

The Transition to Advanced Practice was a really interesting module because it developed me from a leadership point of view and made me realise the different level of seniority I was moving towards. It gave me the confidence to be more autonomous and as a decision maker.

How did your course at Southampton prepare you for your future career?

By learning what Advanced Practice is and introducing me to the concepts and understanding the national picture. The challenge of the future of healthcare and what the demands are going to be and how we as a profession can stand strong to address these. As we push the boundaries further we need to ensure that we have the academic training to back it up.

Tell us about your current role and the next steps in your Nursing career?

I am currently an Advanced Nurse practitioner and Nursing Sister at St Marys Hospital IOW . In my role I manage a team of Advanced Nurse practitioners. My course has given me the management experience to develop into a leader demonstrating my skills in practice whilst managing my team. Through my role I have the opportunity to develop the critical care skills of those around in the medical workforce which I am passionate about. I am motivated to make sure critical care is delivered the best it can be because it is the most vulnerable time of a patient’s life. Through my MSc I am in a good position to take this forward and develop others in the skills needed to ensure we have a sustainable workforce for the future.

I absolutely love my profession and feel very proud. I would advocate anyone with an interest in nursing to pursue it because there are so many options of career pathways and despite all the negative media this is a really exciting time for our profession. It is such a rewarding job, to come to work and make a difference to people at the most vulnerable time in their life for them and their families.

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