Purpose: To recount "pearls of wisdom" concerning prescriptive privileges of the psychiatric nursing pioneers.
Methods: A thematic analysis of documented "stories" from 32 psychiatric APNs concerning acquisition of and having prescriptive privileges.
Findings: A thematic analysis of psychiatric APN stories revealed five major themes related to prescriptive authority: acquisition of knowledge, professional and patient relationships, legislative logistics, balance within the role, and management of anxiety and the sense of responsibility.
Conclusions: Prescriptive authority offers broad opportunities for advanced practice psychiatric nurses. Educational programs include competencies and skills for prescribing, but another learning tool is the use of collective practical knowledge and wisdom offered by psychiatric nurses who are pioneers in the prescribing arena.