Doctors receptive to nurse prescribing
In general, nurses, nurse specialists, and doctors hold neutral to positive views on nurse prescribing, with nurse specialists being the most positive. These findings were published in an article in the International Journal of Nursing Studies by researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG).
There has already been a great deal of research conducted on the views of nurses, nurse specialists, and doctors with regard to prescribing medicine. However, such research has generally been done on a small scale, and has often been limited to the United Kingdom. For this study, the researchers conducted a large-scale survey study among national panels of nurses, nurse specialists, and doctors to see how these three professional groups view nurse prescribing in the Netherlands.
This study has shown that, in general, nurses, nurse specialists, and doctors hold neutral to positive views on nurse prescribing, with nurse specialists being the most positive. NIVEL researcher Marieke Kroezen: “There are surprisingly few differences between nurses and doctors in how they view prescriptive authority. Registered nurses and doctors are equally positive about the benefits of nurse prescribing for nurses’ daily practice and the nursing profession. Moreover, both groups do not differ a lot in their views on the consequences of nurse prescribing for the quality of care and patient safety.”
In the workplace, many of the problems between doctors and nurses or nurse specialists have to do with professional boundaries. Because of this, these kinds of professional conflicts are considered to be one of the greatest obstacles to the introduction of task reallocation in the health care sector. Marieke Kroezen: “Now it has been shown that all professional groups concerned hold neutral to positive views on nurse prescribing, this won’t be a major issue when it comes to the implementation of nurse prescribing in the Netherlands.”
The research was carried out among the members of the NIVEL Panel of Nurses & Carers, the member panel of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), and the members of V&VN Nurse Specialists (a professional organisation for nurse specialists in the Netherlands).