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Nurses remain wary of independent prescribing

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Many nurses continue to use supplementary prescribing, despite gaining independent access to the full formulary last year, research shows.

It had been thought that opening up the formulary might have reduced the need for supplementary prescribing. But initial findings from a study of 1,400 independent nurse prescribers, undertaken at the end of 2006, found that more than 40% were still using it.

This compares to a similar survey in 2005, which found 35% of 868 qualified nurse prescribers were supplementary prescribing. Both pieces of research were conducted by RCN joint prescribing lead Molly Courtenay.

‘I think people are using [supplementary prescribing] to develop their skills,’ she told NT. ‘Where people have patients with complex conditions, they’re not happy to prescribe alone, but they’re happy to do it using a clinical management plan.’

As of March this year, there were 9,273 independent nurse prescribers in England.

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