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Nurses could start prescribing sooner under proposed rule changes

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The NMC is consulting on the changes The NMC is consulting on the changes

Nurses and midwives could begin prescribing much earlier in their careers if plans from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) go ahead.

In its latest consultation, the NMC is seeking views on whether it should withdraw standards for medicines management and introduce rules which would allow patients to forego waiting to see a medical prescriber for the medication.

Proposals for the new rules would enable nurses and midwives to build on their training and gain prescribing experience as soon as they qualify, rather than waiting at least two years as current rule dictate.

READ MORE: NHS targets 'low value' prescriptions for cuts

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said: ‘Patients and the public often believe that the majority of nurses and midwives are already able to prescribe and many do not want to wait to see a medical prescriber.

‘That’s why we are seeking views on proposals which would see nurses and midwives equipped with the skills and attributes to make them ‘prescribing ready’ at the point of qualification.’

In addition to prescribing proposals the NMC has also outlined plans which would see its withdrawal of standards for medicines management, instead signposting to other organisations who can produce up to date guidance on safe and effective medicines management practice.

READ MORE: Investigation launched into online primary care services giving 17-second prescriptions

‘In looking at prescribing we also had to consider whether we are best placed to set the standards in this area,’ Ms Smith said. ‘Prescribing is a skill which crosses professional boundaries and the standards set by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society can apply across all proscribing professions. That’s why we think they are best placed to set the standards in this important area.’

The NMC is also proposing that other healthcare professionals, not just to doctors, are able to support trainee nurse and midwife prescribers, in line with the direction of travel of other healthcare regulators. Consultation will run until 14 September.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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The newly qualified staffs should have adequate experience in managing patients and their conditions and thus develop their decicion making and critical thinking and decision making skills before they should get involve in prescribing medication.Let them handle the medications first before they start prescribe it.
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I think it would serve well to open eyes to the prospect of of prescribing whilst training... perhaps a lecture and a work or seminar. But I do also think two years post qualification is an important foundation before prescribing.
I'm about as sure as one can be,without having my full student placement exposures, that I wish to work towards a Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice, specialising in Emergency and Urgent care. Yes, they may be cons to needing to wait to start my Masters, but those couple of years are an opportunity to ensure I don't head down the wrong path &, vitally, consolidate the basics of patient care.
If someone has the title of 'advanced' I expect a good amount of experience weight behind that title.

Its what you do with that wait till you can start looking a becoming a prescriber that counts.
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I think nurses should not be reliant on employer or medical presribers to gain a prescribing qualification. Both, in my experience, has been the biggest setback and block against me doing this module. This is because GPs often do not hold the view nurses should prescribe, and even if GPs employing practice nurses do not think forward enough to support their nurse employees to prescribe, those backward thinking employers should not have a stranglehold on those nurses professional development.

Throughout my return to nursing from 1995 to the present, I have mostly self funded and done in my leave days off, modules to enhance my skills, but could never achieve the prescribing because my employer has not supported it. This has prevented me attaining the level of nursing I am capable of and prevented me applying to move to a suitable role. Its too late now I am 63 but I wish training for GPs in managing primary care more effectively was also on the agenda.
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Not all newly qualified nurses are ready to take on this additional pharmaceutical role. However I believe nurses should have this training earlier on in their careers to equipped them with the prescribing knowledge alongside managing illnesses and diseases particularly more so in acute illnesses where early intervention medication is required
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I disagree if nurses are taught as part of their course they will take it in their stride. We should be breaking down barriers not building them up
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As a Nurse Prescriber, I also feel, adequate practical nursing experience would be paramount before the perplexities of prescribing is performed safely.
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I agree with Mrs Fix, I don't think we need to add more pressure on newly qualified nurses, after all nursing is practice ,therefore let newly qualified nurses have the necessary experience with less pressure before we bombard them with extras .
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Think they should learn how to nurse properly first before the complexities of prescribing.
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I have been prevented from taking on nurse prescribing for 15 years because both GPs have not felt it is a nurses role and in primary care, a nurses professional development is only within the parameters of what a medical doctor deems it should be. After seeking advice and support from RCN and discussion with NMC I have always frustratingly been told it is my employer who decides. Whilst I agree my employ can choose within their view of what patients need, the role of their nurse, this limitation has blocked me from advancement to furnish my CV with potential to move jobs, serve patients better, and my own potential and motivation.
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I don't think that it is safe to propose that. A nurse needs to have adequate experience before she can prescribe safely. At present, a newly graduate nurse needs a few months of mentoring in the practical area. It is hard for the nurse to add the prescribing duty.
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