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Nurse prescribers opting for supplementary option

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The number of nurses in the UK using supplementary prescribing has increased, according to research

Despite gaining independent access to the full formulary in 2006, new findings from a survey of 1,400 nurses found that 44% are still using supplementary prescribing. The findings were presented last week at an RCN prescribing conference in London.

Initial findings from the study, revealed by NT last year, put the figure at 40%.

The research, conducted by RCN joint prescribing lead Molly Courtenay, also found that independent prescribing by nurses was been hampered or prevented by a number of factors.

These include restrictions due to local arrangements for example waiting for prescription pads or budgets, and the inability to generate prescriptions by computer.

Additionally, 15% of those questioned reported problems with lack of clinical expertise, lack of peer support and objections by medical staff or pharmacists.

The research concludes that there is still an ongoing need for supplementary prescribing.

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