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Nurse–patient relationships: the context of nurse prescribing


Karen A. Luker The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, The University of Manchester, Coupland III, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, England.


Nurse prescribing was initiated in the United Kingdom in October 1994 in eight demonstration sites. The evaluation of this extension to the community nurses’ role explored both economic and qualitative benefits to patients, carers, nurses and other health care professionals. In this paper the impact of nurse prescribing on patients is explored. Benefits experienced by patients are described along with the difficulties encountered. The patients’ views regarding nurses as prescribers are also explored.

 Data were collected by means of interviews with patients/carers, the focus of which was to evaluate changes associated with nurse prescribing. Patients raised a number of issues associated with their relationship with nurses. Patients valued nurses for both their accessibility and approachability, which led them to discuss health issues which would not otherwise have been brought to the attention of the general practitioner. The arguments which support the incorporation of these qualities into an expanded nursing role are presented.