Hemingway, Steve and Harris, Neil (2006) The Development of mental health nurses as prescribers: quantifying the emergence. Mental Health Nursing, 26 (6). pp. 14-16. ISSN 2043-7501

Background prescribing by mental
health nurses (MHN) is a reality and very much
part of future care provision. However, there is
little information which show the areas where
nurses are developing as prescribers. The aim
of this study was to get an impression of the
characteristics of the emerging MHN
prescribing population.
A convenience sample of 46 MHNs who had
completed or were undertaking the extended/
supplementary prescribing course were asked
to completed a questionnaire. The survey
provided useful data across a range of
variables, which indicate the demographic
profile of nurse prescribers and develop an
understanding of how this resource is being
utilised within clinical practice. Cross
tabulations display how demographic aspects
played a part in MHNs developing as
The results also show the emergence is
mainly in the community and clinic settings.
Age and experience seem to play a major role
as to whether the MHN develops as a nonmedical
prescriber. Experiential competence
grounded by training seems to be the way
ahead when planning for the new service in
mental health care.

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