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What barriers are there to becoming a nurse prescriber?

  • Comments (5)

Blanchflower J et al (2013) Breaking through the barriers to nurse prescribing. Nursing Times; 109: 31/32, 12-13

“A legislation amendment in 2012 has increased the role of independent nurse prescribers. However, both internal and external barriers still remain that prevent nurses from undertaking nurse prescribing training. This article discusses these barriers and offers suggestions for overcoming them and encouraging more nurses to undertake the training.”

This article examines the literature on nurse prescribing and suggests that internal factors, such as a lack of confidence and motivation, can influence nurses’ decisions not to undertake nurse prescribing training. More worryingly, it notes that conflict between professions and the attitudes of employers are also highly influential and studies have found that these factors are the reasons why some nurses do not undertake the training.

  • Are you a nurse prescriber? Did you come up against any barriers when undertaking the training?
  • What would put you off becoming a nurse prescriber?
  • Does conflict between professions prevent nurses from furthering their career?
  • Is your employer open to nurses undertaking further training?
  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    I have been chafing at the bit to prescribe for 10 years but my GP employer said it was not what nurses should be doing. When I wanted to study in my own time, all advice channels stated it was up to my employer. There are barriers from every direction when a nurse wants to progress to be a marketable nurse but is at the mercy of a backward employer that still holds the upper hand. I think it is ridiculous that anyone in the medical profession should have power to decide what the nursing profession is doing. If a plumber runs a building business he does not tell his electrician how to do the wiring?

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  • Anonymous

    I echo the above person’s comments – I too have been pushing to go and get my nurse prescribers qualification for the last 5-6 years and I have met a ‘brick wall’ with the GPs that employ me.
    A large part of the Practice Nurse Job spanning back 20 year or more has been the development of the role and then the qualification coming along later. I have worked this way and studied for qualifications at a later date.
    I must not be alone in that I have the confidence of the GPs who employ me, these GP are used to me seeing ‘walk-in’ patients or ‘same-day’ patients.
    I examine these patients, diagnose and then create a prescription (if needed) and then duly go and wait outside one of the GP’s rooms usually having to wait for their patient to leave so that I can ‘pop in and get the prescription signed’.
    As long as I do this the GPs see no need for me to go and get my qualification. However, this does not stop me from feeling very let down and wondering if the GPs actually have any faith in me at all.
    There is a big commitment needed if you get on this course – there has to be a named GP who will mentor and supervise you at work. The GPs who employ me don’t have the time or the commitment to do this.
    Meanwhile all us nurses who practice this way are in ‘no man’s land’ – we are doing a job we do not hold a qualification for.
    We are only human, heaven forbid if we were to make a mistake as we would have no defence if we did.
    It is very stressful doing this part of the job and always a worry that something may go wrong or get missed – that would be very difficult to live with.

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  • Anonymous

    I am a band 7 part time specialist nurse working single handed in the community and have wanted to train to be a nurse prescriber for some years now but struggle to see how I can undertake the study hours in my part time hours with no cover.

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  • Anonymous

    Similar to those above, when appointed as a team we were told we'd be expected to undertake nurse prescribing course. However, managers then discovered the number of hours supervised prescribing would be needed as well as the theoretical course & said they couldn't afford to put us through it. They were then proposing introducing 2 levels into the team, but it was to be done artificially on date appointed rather than any interview/competence assessment.

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  • Keep pushing for it-I have been presciribing since 2004 and was lucky to access it quite easliy-have been teaching it since 2006 or so and it is fantastic-do a time analysis of why it is a time saver and also consider doing a powerpoint presentation on how it will improve care-happy to help you here.

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