Mental health nurses on prescribing in Ireland
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Mental health nurses on prescribing in Ireland

Michelle Devane Clinical nurse specialist in liaison psychiatry, North Lee Mental Health Services, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
Patricia Leahy-Warren Senior lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork

Although in its infancy in Ireland, nurse prescribing has helped patients. Here, Michelle Devane and Patricia Leahy-Warren discuss conflicting views and practical concerns

The study described here gauged perceptions of nurse prescribing among non-prescriber mental health nurses in Ireland. The findings suggest that nurse prescribing is perceived to enhance care and offer better delivery of services. Furthermore, mental health nurses indicated that obtaining prescriptive authority would simply legalise what nurses are already doing in everyday practice. However, fears of litigation and of diminishing the therapeutic relationship, coupled with the fact that nurses are not paid appropriately for this role, were seen as obstacles to its introduction. Conflicting views emerged between nurses working in inpatient and community settings, with community nurses voicing concerns that nurse prescribing may be abused in hospitals.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 3, 14-22. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.3.14.s16


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 14 September 2014

Accepted: 31 March 2015

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