Independent extended supplementary nurse prescribers, their prescribing practice and confidence to educate and assess prescribing students.Nurse Educ Today. 2007 Oct; 27(7):739-47.NE
No other country in the world has such extended prescribing rights for nurses as the United Kingdom. Concerns surround the move of nursing towards a medical model of care, and the level of medical practice support required by trainee prescribers.
To provide an overview of the nurses adopting the role of independent extended supplementary prescriber, their prescribing practice and confidence to educate and assess prescribing students.
A convenience sample of 1187 independent extended supplementary nurse prescribers were sent a questionnaire. Eight hundred and sixty eight completed questionnaires were returned.
The majority (82%) of nurses worked in primary care. Eighty seven percent used independent extended prescribing and 35% supplementary prescribing. Most were qualified to degree level or higher and had over 10 years nursing experience. Seventy four percent felt confident to act as a mentor during the prescribing programme. More highly qualified nurses and those who had undertaken, or had access to continuing professional development, were statistically more likely to feel confident to adopt this role.
Appropriately qualified nurse prescribers might be best placed to support trainee prescribers. Exploration of the low uptake of supplementary prescribing and access to continuing professional development is required.