• nurse prescribing;
  • patient centred care;
  • qualitative research

Background.  Nurse prescribing has advanced rapidly over the previous decade and is clearly on the agenda for the future. Previous research considers nurse prescribing from the patient's perspective, the medical professions’ stance and the legal and ethical implications. However, there is a paucity of literature that explores the experiences of nurse prescribers’ within their current role. These experiences need investigating to ensure nurse prescribing is able to advance in ways that provide benefit to nurses and thus provides the impetus for the study.

Aim.  To explore and review nurse prescribers’ experiences of prescribing.

Design methods.  A purposeful sample of seven nurse prescribers currently prescribing within a West Midlands Community Trust underwent minimally structured interviews in this qualitative study. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings.  Four themes were generated from analysis of the interviews, ‘patient centred care’, ‘benefits of nurse prescribing’, ‘support and role satisfaction’ and finally ‘prescribing difficulties’.

Conclusions.  Nurse prescribers’ perceive prescribing as a predominantly positive experience, frequently asserting the advantages that prescribing saves the patient and nurse time, is more convenient for the patient and increases the nurses’ autonomy and role satisfaction. However, negative experiences of restrictions to practice as a result of nurse prescribers’ formulary limitations and duplication of documentation were also described.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurse prescribing is a rapidly evolving area of practice with the potential to advance nursing roles. This research aims to provide an insight into the experiences of current nurse prescribers that may then be disseminated and applied to future practice.