Rural and Isolated Practice (Scheduled Medicines) Registered Nurse course
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) released a public consultation paper on a proposal to discontinue the Registration Standard for Endorsement for scheduled medicines (rural and isolated practice) which closed on 22 February 2016. The outcome of the consultation is not available yet, and it is not known how or if this will impact on the endorsement. Please check the NMBA website for the most up to date information on this.
Our current accredited RIPRN course has been aligned with the Immunisation Program delivered by Cunningham Centre. This means that anyone who enrols in the RIPRN course after March 2014 may also achieve Queensland Immunisation Authorisation (and will therefore also receive an Immunisation Program certificate).
If you were enrolled in a RIPRN course prior to March 2014, you will have completed an immunisation component, but will not have concurrently obtained this qualification. Please contact our Immunisation Program coordinators for information if you wish to see how you can gain this qualification.
By completing the Cunningham Centre's Immunisation Program, you are eligible to be an authorised (or accredited) immunisation nurse in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. This may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to check each state and territory for nurse immuniser accreditation requirements, and the conditions and circumstances of practice in that jurisdiction.
The accrediting authority for this course is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).
The Rural and Isolated Practice (Scheduled Medicines) Registered Nurse (RIPRN) course will prepare you to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia for endorsement with scheduled medicines (rural and isolated practice). The endorsement qualifies you to obtain and initiate the administration and supply of certain schedule 2, 3, 4 and 8 medicines for nursing practice in defined rural and isolated practice areas. This is a nationally recognised endorsement; however the authority for your practice once endorsed is governed by each state and territory's medicines and poisons legislation.
The course has been aligned with the Immunisation Program offered by the Cunningham Centre, and it is anticipated graduates will receive Queensland Immunisation Authorisation concurrently at completion of the course.
The RIPRN course aims to equip you with the advanced decision making and diagnostic skills required when practicing in the generalist expanded practice role of initiating patient care (including use of medicines) in rural and remote primary care.
You will explore the legal framework supporting your practice, accountability within your individual scope of practice, and the unique context of nursing and health care needs in rural and remote nursing practice. You will investigate advanced pharmacological concepts related to practice in rural and remote primary care, including immunisation across the lifespan. Through work based learning, you will build on your history and physical examination skills, clinical decision making and diagnostic skills, to effectively plan management of patient care (including initiation of medicines) within a collaborative practice framework.
The learning outcomes of the RIPRN course are:
- interpret and apply knowledge of legislation and professional practice standards to fulfil the role of a scheduled medicines RN (rural and isolated practice)
- develop and maintain contemporary knowledge and skills pertaining to the administration and supply of medication therapy within the scope of practice of a scheduled medicines RN (rural and isolated practice)
- use multiple approaches to clinical assessment and decision making appropriate to practice context in a rural/isolated practice setting
- manage care of individuals through implementation of Health Management Protocols (HMP)
- engage in collaborative practice to achieve optimal, culturally relevant client outcomes
- apply contemporary knowledge and skills of vaccination processes to clinical practice.
The course has been developed at post graduate level, and credit is offered through numerous tertiary institutions/universities. It is recommended that you apply directly to the appropriate faculty if requesting credit transfer or recognition of prior learning (RPL).
The Cunningham Centre has a collaborative arrangement with James Cook University, and graduates of the RIPRN course may be offered six credit points of Advanced Standing for the Graduate Certificate in Nursing - Rural and Remote Major. For more information please see JCU Subject Handbook.
This course is open to Registered Nurses working in rural and remote areas in areas of primary/ambulatory care (e.g. a primary health care centre, or if working in a larger rural hospital, outpatients/emergency). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses are encouraged to apply.
Consideration will be given if you work in an urban setting however written confirmation of rural or isolated practice clinical placement (e.g. short term employment contract) for approximately eight weeks must be provided on application. The amount of time and timing of clinical placement is to be negotiated with the course coordinator.
Participants must meet the following criteria:
- current licence to practice as an RN in Australia
- current basic life support competency (adult, child and infant)
- concurrent employment in a rural hospital or an isolated practice setting in an area of primary/ambulatory care (e.g. a primary health care centre, or if working in larger rural hospital, outpatients/emergency).
You will also be required to have access to a computer and reliable internet connection.
You may seek to reduce the course workload by receiving credit for relevant skills and knowledge you already possess. The RPL application process identifies evidence of your existing knowledge and skills and measures these against the learning objectives/outcomes of this course. You are welcome to contact the course coordinator to discuss more.
|Module one||Professional practice||20%||60|
|Module two||Pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and safe medication practice||20%||60|
|Module three||Clinical assessment and practice||45%||135|
|Module four||Immunisation practice||15%||45|
|Total 300 hours|
It is anticipated that it will take you 20-36 weeks of approximately 10-15 hours study/activities per week to complete the course.
The course is offered via distance education. The following strategies will be utilised to facilitate flexible learning: study guides and readings, workbooks, webinar tutorials, reflective practice journal and clinical practice time.
Each module has assessment activities, which include workbooks, case studies and clinical assessments. Please see more detail below.
Module 1 | Professional practice
- Short answer workbook
Module two | Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safe medication practice
- Short answer workbook
- Medication calculation examination (You must achieve a result of 100% to pass)
Module three | Clinical assessment and practice
- Case studies x 3
- Clinical assessment - adult and child history and physical examination
Module four | Immunisation practice
- Short answer workbook
- Four hours supervised clinical practice in childhood immunisation
- Clinical assessment
A pass (50%) must be achieved in each component unless otherwise stated. If you fail to achieve a pass in any of the course assessments you will be invited to resubmit once for reassessment after appropriate support. Only two attempts (or one re-submission) are permitted in each component of the assessment schedule unless otherwise specified. If resubmission is required, the resubmission will attract a mark of 50% only (with the exception of the examination).
Prices as at 1 January 2017
|Pricing tier||Full course||RPL for module 4|
|Tier 1||Payment by Queensland Health work unit||$2,350||$2,000|
|Tier 2||Payment by self-funded Queensland Health employee||$2,350||$2,000|
|Tier 3||Payment by external participant or private organisation||$2,650||$2,170|
Please refer to our frequently asked questions page for more detail on our pricing model and payment options.
You will be provided with a hard copy of the Primary Clinical Care Manual at the commencement of the course. Other resources will be available electronically and sent via post on enrolment. Access to a computer and the internet are essential.
You will be required to have access to current*:
- Australian Medicines Handbook
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook.
* These are essential resources for practice as an endorsed scheduled medicines RN (rural and isolated practice).
Purchase of text books is not required, however, the following texts are recommended for further reading:
- Bryant, B. & Knights, K. (2011). Pharmacology for health professionals (3rd ed.). New South Wales, Australia; Mosby, Elsevier.
- Bullock, S. & Manias, E. (2011). Fundamentals of pharmacology (6th ed.). Australia. Pearson: Education Australia.
- Jarvis, C., Forbes. H. & Watt. E. (2012). Jarvis's physical examination and health assessment (Australian and New Zealand ed.). Australia: Saunders, Elsevier.
- Tally, N. & O'Connor, S. (2014). Clinical examination; a systematic guide to physical diagnosis (7th ed.). Australia: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier.
The RIPRN course is offered several times during the year.
Applications for 2017 cohorts are now closed due to an increased demand and limited places for this course.
If you would like us to contact you when 2018 dates are available, please register your details here.
Malvin Mutyanda | Associate Nurse Unit Manager
It's good to have that knowledge to empower me to practise my profession with a different view now compared to what I have done for years. The modules are well designed to take you slowly through the information so much that you recall quite a lot at the end. It's been a beautiful journey.
Karin Neilson | Registered Nurse
As a mature student graduating into the world of nursing in 2012, I had looked forward to being eligible to apply for enrolment in the Rural and Isolated Practice (Scheduled Medicines) Registered Nurse course, and I have not been disappointed!
I work in a very busy rural hospital and my personal goals in enrolling to undertake this postgraduate study was to extend my skills, increase my knowledge, confidence and scope. I aim to be the best I can be in my profession, helping to deliver safe, quality health care to the community in which I live and work.
Over the past 12 months, Cunningham Centre has helped me achieve these goals. The resources are up to date, have great integrity and have become most valuable tools in my daily practice. Sue and Sandyl have been accessible, and provided great contact, feedback and support specific to my personal needs and challenges.
I look forward to undertaking further courses offered by the Cunningham Centre.
Nicole Ramsamy | Nurse Practitioner
I was introduced to the Primary Clinical Care Manual in the late 1990's when working in a remote community of Cape York. I was so interested in the manual and found that the clinical pathway was so easy to use and provided me with clear instructions. This prompted me to want to become a RIPRN nurse.
Undertaking this course had given me confidence in my clinical skills, assessment and documentation, understanding the registered nurse's scope of practice, health management protocols and drug therapy protocols, which are all significant when working in rural and remote communities. This endorsement allowed me to further enhance my clinical skills by undertaking other workshops and courses specifically targeted for remote area nurses.
When working in a remote or rural setting I have found that the clients have confidence with the RIPRNs whom have the endorsement and that they can be seen for certain conditions and supplied adequate management plans according to the pathway without having to wait and see the doctor.
I would encourage RNs to undertake the Rural and Isolated Practice (Scheduled Medicines) RN course leading to endorsement as it has certainly been of great value in providing care to people working in remote communities when you have no doctors on site or unavailable by phone. It is also great for the clients who tend not to want to wait in primary health care centres or rural hospitals.
Since completing the RIPRN endorsement, I have continued my studies receiving qualifications in Immunisation, Women's Health, Midwifery and eventually becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
Robyn Taylor | Clinical Nurse Consultant
The course has been so worthwhile and being able to supply drugs is a brilliant adjunct to nursing. I was incredibly well supported throughout the course. The content was relevant and it was an enjoyable learning experience.
Nursing Education and Training
t. 07 4699 8100