Nurse Prescribing Challenges Undergraduate Essay

940 words - 4 pages

This paper sets out to critically discuss the potential and challenges of nurse proscribing in contemporary mental health nursing practice. This will involve discussing the advantages and potential difficulties of nurse proscribing in the mental health setting as well as the effects it would have upon nursing practice and on the mental health setting. This paper will draw upon secondary research to inform all arguments made throughout.
There is great potential for nurse proscribing in the mental health setting as research suggests that it is linked with significant improvements in the quality of care for depressed patients (Kendrick, 2000). It has also been positively linked to improved job satisfaction and autonomy for nurses and improved patient outcomes (McBrien, 2015). Jorm (2000) suggests that patients adhere to treatment plans if they respect the person who is prescribing, feel understood and are given sufficient information which puts mental health nurses in ideal positions to provide such integrated care. In addition through the incorporation of prescriptive authority into a caring therapeutic relationship between a nurse and client the widely held view that medication deals only with symptoms rather than causes can be dispelled (Fischer et al, 1999). Nolan et al (2001) in their quantitative study of 73 mental health nurses in the UK found that the majority of mental health nurses thought that nurse proscribing in the mental health setting would improve clients access to medication, improve compliance, prevent relapse and prove cost-effective. Jones et al (2007) in a qualitative study in England of twelve psychiatrists, twelve mental health nurses with prescribing authority and twelve patients found that all groups had a positive reaction to nurse proscribing. It was viewed as evidence-based, person-centred and with an additional focus on physical health (Jones et al, 2007). In a general HSE video produced in 2012 it was claimed that the introduction of nurse prescribers had significantly reduced waiting times in the minor injuries department in Waterford Regional Hospital (2012). Reduced waiting times can also be demonstrated in mental health settings as nurses can provide more effective and efficient care in a timely manner without needing to have to wait for prescriptions to be filled out. Furthermore nurse proscribing was also linked to improved client satisfaction (2012). A further advantage too is that comprehensive practice standards and guidelines for nurses with proscriptive authority have been published which promotes high quality service delivery (Nurse and Midwifery Board of Ireland, 2010). This then can provide greater confidence to mental health nurses that a framework has been developed to support them in their advanced nursing practice.
There are certainly a number of challenges to proscribing within the mental health setting both in an in-patient setting and in the community setting which if not addressed could result...

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