Effective consulting and history-taking skills for prescribing practice

Br J Nurs. 2009;18(17):1056-61. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2009.18.17.44160.


There is increasing emphasis on the need for nurses to develop history-taking and consultation skills for prescribing and advanced clinical practice roles. This article discusses both theoretical and practical aspects that could facilitate the development of these skills using safe and structured approaches. It explores some of the origins of consultation theory, and the challenge that nurses face in integrating new consultation skills with existing nursing assessment practice. This article outlines practical generic approaches to history taking in the clinical consultation and considers the main areas that need to be covered to support safe prescribing decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing*
  • United Kingdom