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Relationships in nurse prescribing in district nursing practice in England: A preliminary investigation

Authors

  • Rick Fisher RGN DNT BA(Hons) MSc

    Corresponding author
    1. Lecturer in Community Health, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Isleworth, Middlesex, United Kingdom
      Rick Fisher, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Borough Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 5 DU, United Kingdom. Email: rick.fisher@brunel.ac.uk
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Rick Fisher, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Borough Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 5 DU, United Kingdom. Email: rick.fisher@brunel.ac.uk

Abstract

Nurse prescribing is a significant change in the working lives of district nurses in the United Kingdom. It has been achieved as the result of a 13-year sociopolitical struggle, eventually culminating in an Act of Parliament, which enabled selected nurses to prescribe from a limited formulary. This research attempts to discover the nature of its impact on the relationships between prescribers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, patients and carers. Using a qualitative approach, guided interviews were carried out with nurses, doctors, pharmacists, patients and carers. Initial findings indicate that far from producing an independent prescribing workforce, some prescribers are reverting to their preprescribing behaviour. For these prescribers, there is a suggestion that old hierarchies are being reinforced, which might be detrimental to nurse prescribing.

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