Provision of continued professional development for non-medical prescribers within a South of England Strategic Health Authority: a report on a training needs analysis

J Nurs Manag. 2009 Jul;17(5):603-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2008.00892.x.


Aims: This paper reports on a Training Needs Analysis for Non-Medical Prescribers commissioned by a south of England Strategic Health Authority.

Background: The aim of the TNA was to inform future policy, educational provision and practice development and provide nurse managers with significant information on the perceived Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs of the non-medical prescribers.

Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 270 non-medical prescribers using an in-depth questionnaire, and telephone interviews with a purposive sample of 11 key stakeholders.

Results: The findings report: * The qualifications that non-medical prescribers possess. * The level of confidence described by the non-medical prescribers in their role. * What non-medical prescribers identify as their present and future CPD requirements in relation to prescribing. * What education and training provision non-medical prescribers have attended in relation to their prescribing role since qualifying.

Conclusions: The findings suggest, first that short courses that were specific to the non-medical prescribers role were considered to be the most popular and useful. However, courses needed to be advertised well in advance. Second, training gaps were identified.

Implications for nursing management: Pharmacology and prescribing are rapidly changing and require regular CPD in order to keep up to date with the latest developments. Non-medical prescribing is a comparatively new innovation to the NHS, therefore those who are not medically qualified need mentorship from experienced prescribers, as well as the encouragement from nurse managers to be confident prescribers themselves and enhance patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Drug Prescriptions / nursing*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Employment / organization & administration
  • England
  • Faculty, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nurse Administrators / education
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology
  • Nurse Clinicians / education
  • Nurse Clinicians / organization & administration
  • Nurse Clinicians / psychology
  • Nurse Practitioners / education
  • Nurse Practitioners / organization & administration
  • Nurse Practitioners / psychology
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration
  • Pharmacists / psychology
  • Professional Autonomy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Efficacy
  • State Medicine / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires