Expert advice

Medicines management: As a community nurse, should I become an independent nurse prescriber?

For community nurses whose prescribing powers are limited, undertaking the independent nurse prescribing course can future-proof your qualification, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths. 
Prescribing-NOC.jpg

For community nurses whose prescribing powers are limited, undertaking the independent nurse prescribing course can future-proof your qualification, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths

The community nurse formulary for v100 and v150 prescribers is currently being reviewed by Cardiff University and the British National Formulary (BNF).

They are undertaking research into the clinical requirements of district nurses, health visitors and school nurses who prescribe using this formulary, to see what medicines they are prescribing and if any areas for expansion can be identified.

However, any changes to the formulary need approval from the health minister and the Commission for Human Medicines, who advise ministers on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal products. This makes it difficult to add medicines onto

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For community nurses whose prescribing powers are limited, undertaking the independent nurse prescribing course can future-proof your qualification, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths


Taking the v300, an independent and supplementary prescribing qualification, will increase
the number of medicines a nurse can prescribe. Picture: Neil O’Connor

The community nurse formulary for v100 and v150 prescribers is currently being reviewed by Cardiff University and the British National Formulary (BNF).

They are undertaking research into the clinical requirements of district nurses, health visitors and school nurses who prescribe using this formulary, to see what medicines they are prescribing and if any areas for expansion can be identified. 

However, any changes to the formulary need approval from the health minister and the Commission for Human Medicines, who advise ministers on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal products. This makes it difficult to add medicines onto this formulary, and the last changes were made well over a decade ago. 

Develop skills 

To increase their prescribing powers, some community practitioners have decided to undertake the independent and supplementary prescribing qualification (v300). This enables them to prescribe from the entire BNF formulary, provided it is within their competency to do so and is in line with employer policies. 

The NHS is going through a period of significant change, and the shift in focus from hospital-based to community care will have a huge impact on nurses working in the community. 

What you decide to do will depend on your clinical requirements as a practitioner. If you think you will move into an advanced practice role, for example, or are contemplating moving clinical areas, I would suggest undertaking the v300 qualification. 

As legislation and changes to the community nurses’ formulary will take time, the v300 qualification is a way of future-proofing your prescribing qualification. This will enable you to develop your skills and competencies within your clinical field, and improve patient care as the number of medicines you are able to prescribe is increased. 


About the author

 

 

 

Matt Griffiths is visiting professor of prescribing and medicines management at Birmingham City University 

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