14 September 2001 News Update
NURSE PRESCRIBING UNDERWAY
Cabinet this week approved the first set of regulations for nurse prescribing.
Health minister Annette King said she welcomed the development which would be a very important tool for nurse practitioners in the future.
The regulations will come into force in October. They allow advanced nurses practicing in aged care and child family health, who meet the Nursing council's competency requirements, to prescribe a specified list of prescription and controlled medicines. In addition, these nurses will be able to prescribe a specified list of general sale, pharmacy only and restricted medicines.
A review of nurse prescribing will be undertaken over a three-year period, once prescribing begins, which is likely to be mid-2002. The costs and benefits will be assessed with Pharmac monitoring the impact on the pharmaceutical budget.
A New Prescribers Advisory Committee has been established to advise the minister on further prescribing proposals. Proposals are currently being developed for nurse prescribing in sexual and reproductive health, mental heath, occupation health and palliative care.
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