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New Zealand Doctors OK Nurse prescribing - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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New Zealand Doctors OK Nurse prescribing by Idowu Olabode : August 24, 2016, 11:38:00 AM
Nurse prescribing was given a hearty thumbs up by delegates quizzed at this year’s RNZCGP conference in Auckland at the end of last month.

As of 20 September, registered nurses who meet particular training, work and experience conditions, will be able to prescribe within general practice.

New Zealand Doctor asked a handful of delegates what they thought of the change and how it could affect their practice.

“Bring it on,” was Wanaka GP Lucy O’Hagan’s response, a statement echoed by fellow delegates.

Better career pathways needed
Nurses need better career pathways to increase their scope of practice, Dr O’Hagan says, and she welcomes more options for increased independent practice for nurses.

Palmerston North GP Peter Nelson says a nurse practitioner in training already takes on some prescribing responsibilities at his practice, although he still has final sign-off.

He calls the move a “double-edged sword” because, while it frees up more time for him, nurses take on the quick and easy appointments, which once gave him some catch-up time between more complicated patients.

Prescribing under standing orders
Green Cross clinical director Jonathan Simon says, with workforce shortages, nurses in many Green Cross practices have stepped in to prescribe under standing orders.

“When there is a workforce problem, and there is pressure of demand, then nurse prescribing is a significant solution rather than a problem,” he says.

Auckland GP John Wellingham says he is comfortable with the nurse practitioner in training at his practice being enrolled to prescribe.

He would be cautious about handing things over to registered nurses without understanding the accreditation they have, but says responsibility does need to be passed on.

“If we continue to own everything in general practice, we are not going to cope either as individuals, or a society, or as a health system, so we have got to do something different, and this is an opportunity we have to explore in as safe a process as we can.”

Source : NZdoctor

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