Curriculum Goal
This unique, researched-based programme aims to prepare a specialist ophthalmic nurse practitioner equipped with the knowledge, skills and professional values to meet the health care needs of the population with specific reference to eye health. The UCT specialist nurse’s practice will reflect an understanding of the implications of the socio-political, cultural, and economic developments within the context of health care needs of our country, whilst conforming to national and international standards of nursing practice.

Philosophy of Learning
The programme is outcomes-based and is designed to meet the needs of adult learners by: 

  • Creating a supportive and stimulating learning environment;
  • Increasing the learner’s self-directedness and independence;
  • Assisting learners to assume increasing personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

Curriculum Objectives
On completion of the programme, the ophthalmic nurse practitioner will be able to:

  • Function as a transformational leader in ophthalmic nursing practice settings;
  • Effectively apply the generic principles of management within ophthalmic nursing practice;
  • Use advanced technologies effectively in the area of specialisation;
  • Utilise research findings in practice, and participate meaningfully in research projects.

The ophthalmic nurse practitioner should be able to demonstrate the following personal, professional and academic characteristics:
Attitudes necessary for the achievement of high standards of practice should include:

  1. intellectual curiosity, initiative and a willingness to assume responsibility for the acquisition of knowledge, the development of skills for self-education, and the continued development of clinical skills and critical analysis of information for the life-long learning demanded by a career in the health field;
  2. effective communication across professional boundaries and a willingness to collaborate and share specialist knowledge, skills and values at all times; 
  3. the awareness of one’s own limitations and the need to seek help where necessary;
  4. willingness to be self-critical and to develop the capacity for self-evaluation and participation in the peer review process;
  5. traits such as integrity, empathy, caring, compassion, patience, gentleness, culture and gender sensitivity, acceptance of diversity, respect for patients’ rights, personal honesty, open communication with and responsiveness to people of all ages, families and communities;
  6. commitment to ethical practice;
  7. willingness to adapt to change and tolerate uncertainty. 

The following core knowledge:

  1. Biosciences foundational to ophthalmic nursing practice: – this module enables learners to explore the links between the biosciences and ophthalmic nursing practice. Main concepts include relevant anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology and optics;
  2. Ophthalmic nursing in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings:- this module is aimed at the acquisition of knowledge (terms, concepts, principles), skills and attitudes related to ophthalmic nursing practice in primary care settings.  The intention is the development of clear understanding of the reasons for every action and the progressive development of professional and skilful practice.