In the current settings that this writer work as a hospice Register Nurse and Long-term care facility nurse, this writer personally have not directly contributed to any policy development but have encounter policy issues in the long-term care setting that needs changing in order to promote better health.
One of the issue is in the long-term care setting that this writer encounter when working on the weekends. Most of the patients are follow by Nurse Practitioners who are in practice with primary MD. On the weekend very often the patients at the facility runs out of refills of their pain medications, at that time because Nurse practitioner are not allow to write scripts for control substances, the facility nurse have to call the primary MD to request the script for the refill of the pain medication. When the primary MD is call it is the answering service that takes the call and relay the ...view middle of the document...
The Nurse Practitioners that cares for the patient in this writer work setting is well trained and the treatment they provide to the patient is outstanding. They make themselves available whenever they have to be called regarding patient issues. Also their response time to patient issues are much faster than the MD’s. At times this writer finds that the care the patient receive from the Nurse Practitioner is much better than the care from the primary MD.
According to Florida Board of nursing (2013) “Florida law does not allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances. All prescriptions for controlled substances must be written and signed by a licensed physician”. This a policy that this writer believes must change and change very quickly to give Nurse Practitioner prescriptive authority. Changes in this policy to allow Nurse practitioner to prescribe control substances will give Nurse Practitioner the autonomy to provide better care to patient, especially pain management, which in turn will results in better health outcome which is actually a win, win situation. Gizycki (2013) writes;
Independent prescribing (also called prescriptive authority) is the ability of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to prescribe, without limitation, legend (prescription) and controlled drugs, devices, adjunct health/medical services, durable medical goods, and other equipment and supplies. Independent prescribing does not require collaboration with a physician and is a key element of scope of practice for APRNs, as well as being part of the APRN Consensus Model, which seeks to achieve uniformity of state regulation of APRN practice.
This writer believes the policy not allowing Nurse Practitioner to prescribe control substance is a policy issue that needs to be addressed not only in this writer community or workplace but throughout the state of Florida. To change this policy it will definitely take a nursing movement, APRN making their voice and opinion heard. At this time this writer does not have a map out strategy for changing this policy since it is at a national level, but will continue to seek ways to change it.