Nurse prescribing: developing confidence, autonomy and collaboration

Nurse prescribing: developing confidence, autonomy and collaboration

Rachael Elizabeth Summers Nurse Practitioner, Hunter New England Local Health District, Aged and Extended Care, Armidale Community Health Centre, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Leah East Associate Professor in Nursing, School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the benefits of nurse prescribing for patients, clinicians and healthcare systems

  • To identify techniques that can improve the confidence of aspiring and novice nurse prescribers

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Nurse prescribing has been introduced in many countries with benefits for patients, prescribing clinicians and healthcare systems. However, nurse prescribing is not without challenges and the role of nurse prescriber has been debated. Some nurses may be reluctant to take on the role because they are concerned about making prescribing errors, acquiring sufficient knowledge and skills, or having to give up some of their other nursing roles. This article discusses the fundamental requirements for nurses to become effective and safe prescribers, a process underpinned by developing confidence, autonomy and collaboration – in particular with prescribing mentors. This article is written from the combined perspectives of the Australian and UK contexts.

Primary Health Care. 31, 3, 35-42. doi: 10.7748/phc.2021.e1723

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Summers RE, East L (2021) Nurse prescribing: developing confidence, autonomy and collaboration. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2021.e1723

Published online: 21 April 2021

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Bi-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
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now