Expert advice

Medicines management: Are there plans to allow nurse prescribers to mentor trainees?

There are more than 70,000 nurse prescribers in the UK, many of whom have years of experience which should be shared with trainee prescribers, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths. 
Nurse_writing_prescription_tile_SPL.jpg

There are more than 70,000 nurse prescribers in the UK, many of whom have years of experience which should be shared with trainee prescribers, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths

In November 2016, the General Pharmaceutical Council launched a consultation on whether pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) should be able to mentor trainee PIPs.

This discussion should be expanded to our own and other professional groups, as we could all gain so much from each other.

At present, V100 and V150 (district nurse, health visitor and school nurse prescribers) are not required to have a doctor as a designated prescribing medical practitioner (DPMP) to mentor them through the course and sign off their competencies.

...

There are more than 70,000 nurse prescribers in the UK, many of whom have years of experience which should be shared with trainee prescribers, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths


Prescribing students could benefit from the experience of
nurse prescribers.     Picture: Science Photo Library

In November 2016, the General Pharmaceutical Council launched a consultation on whether pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) should be able to mentor trainee PIPs. 

This discussion should be expanded to our own and other professional groups, as we could all gain so much from each other. 

At present, V100 and V150 (district nurse, health visitor and school nurse prescribers) are not required to have a doctor as a designated prescribing medical practitioner (DPMP) to mentor them through the course and sign off their competencies. 

Using experience 

But nurse independent and supplementary prescribers (V300) do need a DPMP to mentor them and sign off their competencies. This was one of the requirements in order for nurse prescribing to extend beyond the old limited formulary, and its continuation was stipulated by the Commission for Human Medicines when the formulary was opened up to include the entire British National Formulary. 

DPMPs have been a valuable resource for nurse prescribers, and there is no reason why medical staff should not take on this role where it is beneficial to students and staff alike.

But nurse independent and supplementary prescribers (NISPs) have been around for 14 years, and we need to consider the benefits of using the most appropriately qualified and experienced health professionals to meet the needs of prescribing students. 

 ‘Buddy’ prescribers

There should be nothing stopping experienced nurse prescribers from mentoring other nurse, pharmacist or allied health profession prescribers, and vice versa. Even without these changes being formalised, colleagues from other professions can be used as ‘buddy’ prescribers during the clinical component of the prescribing course.

We need to debate the pros and cons of formalising such relationships for the benefit of our own development and the health service as a whole. 

The General Pharmaceutical Council consultation closes on 1 February. 


About the author 

Matt Griffiths

 

 

 

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

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs