Editorials

Developing nurse prescribing in the UK

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39285.788808.3B (Published 16 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:316
  1. Anthony J Avery, professor of primary health care,
  2. Veronica James, professor of nursing studies
  1. University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH
  1. tony.avery{at}nottingham.ac.uk

    Prescribing should be integrated into education for advanced nursing practice

    The United Kingdom has seen a recent major expansion in the scope of nurse prescribing, reflecting government policy1 and the international trend towards advanced nursing practice.2 In the 1990s it became possible for community based nurses to prescribe independently from a limited formulary, thereby facilitating their traditional roles such as wound management and bowel care. From 2000, further changes in legislation radically altered the professional restrictions on prescribing, and since May 2006 independent nurse prescribers in England have been able to “prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition within their competence.”3 Each stage of the development of nurse prescribing in the UK has had its advocates and detractors, but this recent initiative has proved the most controversial, fuelling debate about the adequacy of training of nurse prescribers and risks to patient safety.4

    The training for independent nurse prescribers consists of a …

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