Nurse prescribing: the experiences of psychiatric nurses in the United States
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Nurse prescribing: the experiences of psychiatric nurses in the United States

Peter Nolan Professor of mental health nursing, School of Health, Staffordshire University
Neil Carr Director of nursing and operational management, South Staffordshire Healthcare Trust
Maureen Doran Psychiatric nursing clinical specialist/associate clinical professor, University of Colorado, Health Sciences Centre

Aim This study sought to elicit the views of psychiatric nurses in the United States on various aspects of nurse prescribing, with the aim of informing UK nurses about future problems and possible solutions.

Method A survey design with an opportunistic sample of psychiatric nurse clinical specialists was used. The questionnaire consisted of 14 items seeking to elicit information on demographic data, current involvement in medication management, perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of nurse prescribing, awareness of research about nurse prescribing, accountability and autonomy, and the prescribers’ relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Of the 80 questionnaires distributed, 51 (43 completed by female nurses and eight by male nurses) were returned–a response rate of 64 per cent.

Results The results highlight the many advantages of nurse prescribing, which centre on improving the quality of care for patients; concerns relating to the relationship between nurse prescribers and non-prescribers; and the relationship between nurse prescribers and medical supervisors.

Conclusion Nurse prescribing has advantages for nurses and patients, including enhanced career development opportunities and better quality of patient care. However, though nurses may feel ready for this development, some members of the public may take longer to accept it.

Nursing Standard. 18, 26,33-38. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.03.18.26.33.c3564

Correspondence

peter.nolan@staffs.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review