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Readers panel: should newly qualified nurses be allowed to prescribe?

Under draft education plans from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, newly qualified nurses in the UK will be given limited prescribing powers. Nursing Standard readers have their say. 
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Under draft education plans from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, newly qualified nurses in the UK will be given limited prescribing powers. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Beverley Ramdeen is a senior nursing lecturer in Hertfordshire

Nurses as prescribers is a welcome move, but this should not be an expectation of graduating nurses. Newly qualified nurses should spend their preceptorship period adjusting to the transition from student to staff nurse, getting to grips with the art of delegation, making critical decisions and completing the various competencies. Not all graduating nurses will be in a clinical environment that requires them to prescribe, and we also need to consider what message this sends out to the existing workforce who are not prescribers.

Rachel Kent is

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Under draft education plans from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, newly qualified nurses in the UK will be given limited prescribing powers. Nursing Standard readers have their say


Newly qualified nurses could soon be able to prescribe certain medicines. Picture: Alamy

Beverley Ramdeen is a senior nursing lecturer in Hertfordshire 

Nurses as prescribers is a welcome move, but this should not be an expectation of graduating nurses. Newly qualified nurses should spend their preceptorship period adjusting to the transition from student to staff nurse, getting to grips with the art of delegation, making critical decisions and completing the various competencies. Not all graduating nurses will be in a clinical environment that requires them to prescribe, and we also need to consider what message this sends out to the existing workforce who are not prescribers.

 

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London 

I would love to have had the opportunity to be a nurse prescriber on graduating. Competency could have been assessed during our preceptorship period and limited prescribing powers for over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol and nicotine replacement therapy, would have been useful. My concern is that not all nursing students would be able to take on this additional responsibility at this stage in their careers. Could the potential to prescribe be what separates future nursing students from nursing associate students? 

 

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London 
@drew_london 

The first year of qualification is when many of us learn how to be nurses. Is it also the right time to be learning how to prescribe? How will the NMC ensure that nursing students receive the right education and practical experience to safely prescribe when qualified? And where are the nurse prescribers who will mentor them? This feels like the NMC hurriedly trying to draw a difference between registered nurses and nursing associates, without a true understanding of the realities of modern nursing.

 

Duncan Hamilton is a nursing student in Surrey 
@nurseAdvance 

There are benefits and risks with newly qualified nurses prescribing. One reservation is that the depth and breadth of bio-sciences teaching on pre-registration nursing courses can vary significantly between institutions, and the NMC tends to be reactive rather than proactive with quality assurance. Without tightening and enforcing a curriculum that supports safe prescribing, could employers choose to teach and test competencies locally anyway? If that happens, the benefits start to fade while the risks remain. But as these are only draft plans, perhaps it is too early to judge. 


Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

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