Statement Issued – April 2006:


The AAPE sees non medical prescribing as a clinical activity that ranges from the use of limited extended skills beyond those of initial nurse registration through to the use of autonomous, complex, and advanced diagnostic clinical skills.

The AAPE observes that prescribing skills can only be developed by appropriate and formal clinical education programmes, these ranging from simple introductory studies for extending clinical skill, through to prolonged, extensive, wide ranging, and in-depth programmes of clinical and theoretical education.

The AAPE has noted the introduction and expansion of non medical prescribing legislation.

The AAPE notes and observes professional and regulatory guidance on non medical prescribing.

The AAPE notes the following points in regard of non medical prescribing:

  • Patient safety is the paramount concern for any non medical prescribing initiative.
  • The prescriber’s scope of practice should guide the prescribers activity.
  • Prescribers, irrespective of their professional or clinical background, should achieve the same standards of practice and work to the same competencies.
  • The AAPE views the ANP domains as an appropriate national standard for full precriptive authority.
  • Prescribers are accountable for their practice.
  • Employers are accountable to ensure safe levels of education and appropriate clinical / mentorship support for prescribers.
  • Full funding to support the initial and ongoing education of prescribers should be made available by employers or related government agency.
  • Prescribers require formal theoretical and clinical education.
  • Programmes of education for prescribers should be tailored, be appropriately detailed, be led by higher education institutions, and be professionally regulated and acknowledged.
  • Prescribers must be thoroughly, and regularly, clinically assessed, and theoretically assessed, and these assessments must be based on a rigorous and standardised competency framework.
  • Prescribers should have appropriate, and continuing, clinical mentorship and clinical supervision.
  • Prescribers skills include:
    • Diagnostic skills
    • Consultation skills
    • Clinical decision making skills
    • Knowledge of prescribing legislation and related law
    • Physical examination skills
    • In-depth pathophysiology and pharmacology

The AAPE notes its concerns at the time of this statement regarding:

  • The known educational inconsistencies for non medical prescribers in the four countries of the UK.
  • The limited educational time currently proposed by the Department of Health and the NMC as adequate to prepare full prescriptive authority for non medical prescribers in the four countries of the UK.