This list isn't going to be exhaustive since it is from memory...
For diagnostic theory: Eight Principle, Yin / Yang, 5 Element, Zang Fu, Six Channel, Wei / Qi / Ying / Xue, and Three Jiaos. Clinically, 95% of the time we use Zang Fu diagnosis. After the theory, there are 8 classes of acupuncture therapeutics.
For point location, styles, and functions: all of the channel points, about 40 extra points, several different styles of auricular acupuncture, Five Element acupuncture, several microsystems including hand / foot acupuncture, and scalp acupuncture.
For techniques: five quarters of needling practice, cupping and moxa.
Clinically, we were required to see 400 patients as a primary intern. As a primary, we were responsible for the patient intake, diagnosis, treatment plan, treatment, and evaluation (all of which was under loose observation). We also had 4 quarters of observation shifts but there was no minimum patient number.
We had the opportunity to perform these shifts at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health (www.bastyrcenter.org)
, which is an integrated CAM clinic, or at other various clinical sites, including a HIV/AIDS shift at Harborview Medical Center. There was also the opportunity to study 5 weeks in China at either Chengdu or Shanghai. I went to Chengdu and it was great.
For herbs, most students do both acupuncture and herbs together, and some finish acupuncture then start the herbs. I believe that being an acupuncturist is a prerequisite for the Chinese herbal certificate, but I may be wrong. But in terms of the curriculum, it is all of the theory and diagnosis mentioned earlier plus three quarters of the individual herbs, two quarters of formulas, three herbal therapeutics classes, and eight clinic shifts (each one is four hours once a week for 11 weeks).
After all of that, we sit for the NCCAOM. But after all of my training, the licensing test was insultingly simple.
Acupuncture is deceptively simple in appearance, but with herbs there is no illusion; they are very difficult to learn. But comparing the two, I think herbs are more effective overall in terms of what I can treat, how quickly I can treat it, and how effective the treatments are. But acupuncture is great because it has virtually a zero side-effect profile...well, if you know what you are doing.
I looked at the curriculum of your program in England. If you are unable to practice in your state with your current training, you could probably have at least part of a master's degree program waived or credited with you previous coursework. In addition, you would probably get most of your basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochem) waived if you took them as part of your nursing degree. The nurses that were in my program went part-time for the first year (all the basic sciences were already done), and then switched to full time school, part-time work for the next two years. If you already have some of the acupuncture classes out of the way, you might be able to keep working full time.