Rural and Isolated Practice (Scheduled Medicines) Registered Nurse course
Progressive payment plan now available for RIPRN - click here to find out more
The Cunningham Centre is pleased to announce that the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has gained accreditation of the RIPRN course to 31 December 2022 for registered nurses working in Queensland and Victoria.
Queensland Health is committed to supporting the development of nurses in rural and remote practice, and successful completion of this course will still lead to NMBA endorsement to supply and administer scheduled medicines.
New scholarship opportunity for health professionals working in the primary health sector and providing services to Modified Monash Model (MMM)3 - 7. Read more under 'Scholarships'
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 Course delivered by Cunningham Centre since 2014. The new Cunningham Centre Immunisation course is currently being reviewed by Health Services Education Australia (HESA). We expect to know the outcome early in 2022. If the course is approved for national accreditation, the following outcomes are possible:
Please see the Cunningham Centre Immunisation Course if you are interested in seeking national authorisation.
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 Cunningham Centre Immunisation Course (Pending HESA approval), and it is anticipated graduates will receive 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).
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.
Participants must meet the following criteria:
- current registration with AHPRA as a registered nurse in Australia
- 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||25%||120|
|Module two||Immunisation practice||27%||130||Module three||Pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and safe medication practice||15%||70|
|Module four||Clinical assessment and practice||33%||160|
|Total 480 hours|
It is anticipated that it will take you 52 weeks of approximately 11-12 hours study/activities per week to complete the course.
The course is offered externally. 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 one | Professional practice
- Short answer written assessment
- Online quiz
Module two | Immunisation practice
- Short answer written assessment
- Three online quizzes
Module three | Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safe medication practice
- Short answer written assessment
- Online quiz
- Medication calculation examination (You must achieve a result of 100% to pass)
Module four | Clinical assessment and practice
- Case studies x 3
- Clinical assessment - adult and child history and physical examination
A pass (50%) must be achieved in each component unless otherwise stated in the study guide. 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 medication calculation examination).
|Prices as at 8 November 2021|
|Tier 1||Payment by Queensland Health work unit||$2,600|
|Tier 2||Payment by self-funded Queensland Health employee||$2,600|
|Tier 3||Payment by external participant or private organisation||$3,630|
Progressive payment plan now available for RIPRN!
You are now able to pay for the RIPRN course module by module - see the table below for the costs of each module.
Please note: You will receive an invoice prior to commencement of each module. You will not have access to the module until the invoice is paid. The dates for the commencement of each module are available on the payment form. The progressive payment option includes an administration fee of $120.00.
|Progressive payment plan|
|Tier 1||Module 1||$500|
|Tier 2||Module 1||$500|
|Tier 3||Module 1||$720|
Payment forms will be provided as part of the offer process but are also available below:
Please refer to our fees and payments 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 posted on enrolment and payment of the course. Other resources will be available electronically. Access to a computer and the internet are essential.
You will be required to have access to current*:
- Australian Medicines Handbook
- Australian Immunisation Handbook.
* These are essential resources for practice as an endorsed scheduled medicines RN (rural and isolated practice).
Applicants may be eligible for funding through various scholarships available from the Australian College of Nursing.
Health Workforce Queensland are offering scholarships for health professionals working in the primary health care sector and providing services to MMM3 - 7 to participate in activities such as this. Queensland Health applicants may be eligible if they also work in non-Queensland Health facilities.
To find out more about this opportunity and to apply, please go to the Health Workforce Queensland website: https://www.healthworkforce.com.au/scholarship-program/. Please allow approximately two weeks for an application to be processed from date of submission.
This funding opportunity is also available in other states within Australia. If you are a remote or rural health professional outside Queensland, visit the website for your relevant Rural Workforce Agency: NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, WA, NT.
|Cohort||Start date||End date||Applications close|
|2||7 Mar 2022||6 Mar 2023||17 Jan 2022|
|3||4 Apr 2022||3 Apr 2023||21 Feb 2022 - apply now|
|4||9 May 2022||5 May 2023||28 Mar 2022 - apply now|
|5||6 Jun 2022||2 Jun 2023||26 Apr 2022 - apply now|
Entry into the RIPRN course is by application and a selection process.
All applications will be assessed the week following the application close date, and applicants will be advised of a potential commencement date at this time (please make a note of this date). Priority is given to registered nurses already working in rural or remote areas.
No payment is required until a position is offered and accepted by the applicant.
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.
Kate Coman and Michelle Mutzelburg
Nursing Education and Training
t. 07 4699 8100