A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has been endorsed as a nurse practitioner by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Nurse practitioners have completed a master’s degree level and are the most senior clinical nurses in our health care system.
All Australian Nurse Practitioners are authorised to prescribe medicines and are eligible to access the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. However, at present nurse practitioners working in Victoria must apply to the NMBA for a notation on their registration to prescribe medicine from a certain category. As nurse practitioners expand their scope of practice over time, they may need to apply to the NMBA multiple times to be able to prescribe medicines from additional categories. This results in many nurse practitioners having more than one notation on their registration.
The complex and time-consuming nature of the process has meant that most of the lists have had no amendments since 2010, this has restricted Victorian nurse practitioners from working to their full scope of practice. Removing the need for notations on their registrations would allow nurse practitioners to manage the full breadth of medical conditions they are qualified and educationally prepared to manage.
The proposed change is to approve a general authorisation for nurse practitioners to prescribe any Schedule 2, 3, 4 or 8 poison (medications) in accordance with their scope of practice. If sufficient evidence is received throughout this consultation questioning the safety of this proposal, alternative options will be considered.
Before completing the survey, participants were invited to read the consultation paper included below.
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