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British Association of Critical Care Nurses position statement on prescribing in critical care


K Bray, Professional Advisor, BACCN, BACCN Administration c/o Benchmark Communications, 14 Blandford Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4H2, UK,


Background: Nurses in the UK are now one group of non-medical staff who can prescribe. This practice is evolving for critical care nursing staff who care for critically ill patients during their stay in hospital through ward and outpatient follow-up after admission to critical care.

Aim: The purposes of this paper were to present existing information regarding prescribing to support nurses in critical care currently prescribing and to inform those who are intending to prescribe.

Methods: To develop the position statement, a search of the literature was conducted using key databases. To ascertain the current level and type of prescribing in critical care, a short questionnaire was sent by email to British Association of Critical Care Nursing members, and the results of this are presented in Appendix A.

Outcomes/Results: Evidence was found in relation to the history, context in critical care, educational requirements and issues of consent related to non-medical prescribing.

Conclusions: The position statement is based upon evidence from the literature, National Health Service policy and the Nursing and Midwifery Council regulations. It takes account of the critical care patient pathway before, during and after an admission to critical care.