Consultation on registered nurse prescribing

05 July 2013

Consultation on registered nurse prescribing

The Nursing Council consulted on two proposals to extend registered nurse prescribing in March and April of this year.

Nurse prescribing is designed to improve patient access to health care and medicines and to meet the demand of growing numbers of New Zealanders with chronic health conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

The Council wants to develop a framework for registered nurse prescribing which meets the Council’s statutory responsibility to protect public safety, fits with relevant legislation and has the support of a broad section of the health sector.

The proposals in this consultation have been developed with the support of the Office of the Chief Nurse in the Ministry of Health and following discussion with professional and relevant sector groups. In short, they cover.

  1. Community nurse prescribing to enable nurses in community and outpatient settings to prescribe medicines for minor ailments and illnesses.
  2. Specialist nurse prescribing, to enable nurses working in a collaborative multi-disciplinary team in specialty services or in general practice, to be able to prescribe for common conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension.

The details of the proposals and the associated qualifications, standards and competencies, as well as the lists of medicines nurses may prescribe, are contained in the 

Final Consultation Document Two proposals registered nurse prescribing 27 Feb 2013 (PDF, 703 KB)

Following analysis of the consultation, the Council will develop a formal proposal and in line with an invitation from the Minister of Health make application to Health Workforce New Zealand to extend prescribing rights for suitably qualified registered nurses. A further update on the consultation and the progress of this work will be made in August/September.

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