Date of Award

8-2011

Document type

Thesis

Degree Name

Masters theses/dissertations - taught courses

First Supervisor

Dr. Zena Moore

Funder/Sponsor

The Meath Foundation

Keywords

prescriptive authority, nurse, nurse prescribing, emergency department, accident and emergency

Abstract

Aim

This study set out to explore Irish emergency nurses’ attitudes towards nurse prescribing and also to elicit their attitudes towards potential barriers to nurse prescribing.

Method

A quantitative descriptive survey was used to answer the research question, a questionnaire was administered to a systematic random sample of Emergency Department nurses. This consisted of a 31 item Likert-type attitudinal scale, previously developed for a similar study.

Background

Traditionally, the prescription of medications fell strictly within the realm of medicine. However, as nursing practice evolves, roles are beginning to change. Nurse prescribing is an expansion of the traditional nursing role, expanding the primary functions of nurses’ and midwives. When nurse prescribing commenced in Ireland it was initially a specialist nurse who undertook training, this is now beginning to change with staff nurses’ actively participating in prescribing training. The Emergency Department is the fastest growing area in nurse prescribing. Therefore, the writer feels that it is timely to specifically ascertain emergency nurses’ views on nurse prescribing. Identifying emergency nurses’ attitudes towards nurse prescribing, as well as the perceived barriers to role expansion, will inform practice and enable service planning to further develop this role within the Emergency Department.

Findings

The findings indicate that overall emergency nurses’ attitudes were positive towards nurse prescribing as a future role expansion. However, in order to successfully implement nurse prescribing the barriers identified need to be addressed in practice.

Conclusion

There is overall support from emergency nurses’ towards nurse prescribing as a future role expansion. Nevertheless, barriers exist in practice and methods to overcome these must be developed. Greater awareness and education is essential to securing support for this role development.

Creative Commons License


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File Size

4.8MB

Comments

Submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of Master in Science in Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin.