Nurse independent prescribing is a prescribing pathway which enables specially trained and qualified nurses to prescribe selected medicines from a formulary within their scope of practice The ability for nurses to independently prescribe was first introduced in 2006 following a Department of Health consultation paper which proposed the idea.
Nurse independent prescribing is an invaluable tool in healthcare which can improve patient access, safety and convenience. Nurses are well placed to assess a patient’s conditions and manage the majority of their care, and independent prescribing furthers their ability to do so. With independent prescribing, nurses are able to issue the necessary medications for their patients on the spot, saving them time and money.
The five best examples of independent nurse prescribing are as follows:
1. Women’s Health: Nurses can now independently prescribe medication for problems such as PCOS, endometriosis and other reproductive health conditions. This allows them to provide more comprehensive care and can help with early diagnosis and intervention.
2. Mental Health: Patients with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder may benefit greatly from nurse-prescribed medication. Nurses can provide tailored advice and support, which can be beneficial for patients who are not suitable for medication prescribed by a doctor.
3. Chronic illnesses: Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma can be managed and monitored more effectively when nurses are allowed to independently prescribe. Nurses can make timely adjustments to the patient’s medication, and are also able to provide reliable advice and support.
4. Pain Management: Patients suffering from chronic pain can benefit greatly from nurse-prescribed medications. Nurses can help manage and minimize their pain, as well as provide physical and emotional support.
5. Antibiotics: Nursing teams can prescribe antibiotics for common infections and diseases in a safe and effective manner. This allows them to treat patients more quickly and efficiently, rather than having to refer them to a doctor or wait for a prescription to be issued.