GPs remain concerned about nurse prescribing

GPs are still expressing concerns about the role of nurse prescribing in primary care, 10 years after the scheme was launched.

GPs at the RCGP Conference cited concerns such as nurses prescribing from the full formulary without sufficient knowledge or training, as well as how their competence to prescribe was assessed and by whom.

One GP commented that some of her colleagues felt they were ‘losing control’ because they were not always aware of changes to medication regimens that had been made by nurse prescribers.

However, Professor Molly Courtenay, professor of clinical practice (prescribing and medicines management) at Surrey University, said nurses were ‘scared’ to prescribe outside their areas of competence and risk losing their registration.

Professor Courtenay said most nurses who went on to train as prescribers had at least five years of experience in practice.

‘You are only going to get the ones at the top who are going on to prescribe.’

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