Aim. To explore stakeholder views on the impact of nurse prescribing on dermatology services.
Background. Nurse led care enhances the services that dermatology patients receive. Research indicates that care delivered by nurse prescribers can improve efficiency and access to medicines. There is no evidence exploring the impact of nurse prescribing on the configuration of dermatology services.
Design. Case study.
Method. A collective case study of 10 practice settings across England where nurses prescribed medicines for dermatology patients. A thematic analysis of semi-structured interview data collected during 2006 and 2007. Participants were qualified nurse prescribers, administrative staff, doctors and non-nurse prescribers.
Findings. Nurse prescribing was reported to support and facilitate the modernisation of dermatology services. It enabled nurses to make effective use of their knowledge and skills, overcome delays in treatment and provide faster access to medicines. However several organisational issues restricted the success of the initiative.
Conclusion. Nurse prescribing is successfully being used to support and deliver a range of services to dermatology patients. Stakeholders reported that both patients and staff had benefited by the adoption of this role by nurses. However issues over support and access to CPD and capacity of the workforce were identified as potential barriers which could affect the contribution of nurse prescribing to dermatology patients.
Relevance to clinical practice.
- • Nurse prescribing contributes to the services provided to dermatology patients;
- • Nurse supplementary prescribing contributes to the ability of dermatology nurse specialists to work in teams and prescribe complex medicines;
- • Provision of adequate support and strategic planning are essential if the impact of nurse prescribing is to be fully realised;