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Nurse prescribers 'improve care'

9th January 2007

14032006_PillPackets1s.jpgNurse prescribers believe they are improving patient care, and furthering the nursing profession, according to a new survey.

The poll of nurse independent prescribers carried out by the Nursing Standard and Primary Health Care, found all of the 43 questioned agreed they had improved patient care.

More than half worked in general practice or the community, a third in hospital, and the remainder in minor injury clinics, palliative care or the armed services.

Four out of five agreed their extended powers had enhanced their professional standing and increased their influence on doctors.

The nurses prescribed seven or more times a week on average, taking in a wide range of drugs from insulins to vaccines. The most common medications were antibiotics, analgesics and wound care treatments.

One in four said they prescribed controlled drugs, including diamorphine.

Almost 30 supplementary nurse prescribers were also polled, revealing similar levels of prescribing. Most commonly prescribed medicines were dressings, wound and skin care treatments, urinary catheters and analgesics. Just four of the 28 questioned prescribe controlled drugs.

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