Significant achievement as Registered Nurse prescribing is rolled out in community health

Recently, the Associate Health Minister Hon Jenny Salesa launched the Registered Nurse Prescribing in Community Health Programme.

This is a significant achievement for nursing capability, particularly for those working in primary care and community settings. This prescribing capability supports the New Zealand Health Strategy - enabling registered nurses to fully use their skills and training to provide the right care at the earliest opportunity. The Council has focused nurse prescribing to complement the roles of other health professionals and target areas where people have challenges accessing healthcare and medicines.

Above: AH+ is proud to acknowledge network nurse, Sushma Sharma from Bishop Medical Centre who was one of the 56 Community Nurse Prescriber graduates from the trail run in 2017.

The Council, in partnership with Counties Manukau Health and Family Planning New Zealand, completed a trial and evaluation of a workplace-based education programme to prepare registered nurses prescribing in community settings such as primary health care, schools, public health and sexual health.

Nurses completed a work-based education programme and supervision before applying to prescribe from a small list of common medicines rather than use standing orders or ask a doctor to sign the prescription. Fifty-six nurses participated in the trial. These nurses were from Family Planning clinics around the country, as well as practice nurses, school nurses and public health nurses in Counties Manukau. All nurses were authorised to prescribe by November 2017.

Their prescribing practice was evaluated for a minimum of three months and the evaluation concluded that: