Professional Practice Issue
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is authorized to diagnose patients and prescribe medications. As prescribers, NPs are expected to provide the prescription of medication in close collaboration with physicians. The role of nurses, in this case, is to control the appropriateness of the prescribed treatment measure and continuously monitor how it affects a patient. The subscription authority allows prescribing controlled drugs and substances (CDS) as well (Buckley, Cashin, Stuart, Browne, & Dunn, 2013). To perform this part of their scope of practice, nurses should meet all the criteria and standards, depending on a certain state. The mentioned measure is essential to ensure patient safety and high quality of health care delivery.
The practice of medication prescription requires a Nurse Practitioner to acquire a range of competencies. For example, critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making should be integrated into the process of selecting and prescribing adequate treatment. A nurse should understand a patient’s background, context, and the existing needs to provide him or her with the most effective treatment option. A nurse prescribing medication should understand that his or her practice involves diverse patients and settings (Buckley et al., 2013). At this point, both federal and local standards should be followed. The prescription practice is based on knowledge, skills, and values a nurse develops as a Nurse Practitioner. Another compulsory requirement concerns the fact that these nurses should have a significant clinical practice before starting to work as a prescriber.
The competencies of a Nurse Practitioner as a prescriber are based on five principles developed by the World Health Organization (WHO): accessibility, health promotion, intersectional collaboration, public participation, and appropriate technology. The mentioned components reflect those of an advanced nurse. For example, the diagnosis of acute and chronic diseases and their treatment management may be noted. As a rule, NPs communicate with their colleagues from different departments and units, who are also engaged in the care of a certain patient (Gielen, Dekker, Francke, Mistiaen, & Kroezen, 2014). A prescriber also remembers that the paramount goal is to improve a patient’s health outcomes and promote his or her health by increasing patient awareness of the disease and drugs to be used. Therefore, it is significant to consider both non-pharmacological and pharmacological methods of care.
In general, the process of drug prescription consists of several stages to create a care plan. First of all, a nurse evaluates a patient comprehensively, taking into account his or her health condition, social status, and any other details. Second, a prescriber incorporates evidence-based strategies to identify the potential impact, risks, and misuse occurrence. After that, implementing strategies to mitigate risks, a nurse prescribes the adequate medication and evaluates a patient’s reaction. Continuous monitoring and follow-ups are critical to revealing the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment. At the same time, a nurse establishes collaboration with the interprofessional team of specialists, thus developing a common understanding of the care plan.
It seems important to note that NPs prescribing medication is not authorized to delegate this procedure or sell drugs for personal benefit. They have to comply with legal regulations and ethical duty. NPs should not advertise any medication unless it is required by the specific requirements. Thus, a nurse working as a prescriber is expected to develop and implement the treatment plan and prescribe medication based on the mentioned legal framework, patient assessment, and interprofessional collaboration.
Buckley, T., Cashin, A., Stuart, M., Browne, G., & Dunn, S. V. (2013). Nurse practitioner prescribing practices: The most frequently prescribed medications. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(13), 2053-2063.
Gielen, S. C., Dekker, J., Francke, A. L., Mistiaen, P., & Kroezen, M. (2014). The effects of nurse prescribing: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(7), 1048-1061.