Notice Type
General Section
Notice Title

Medicines (Designated Prescriber: Nurses Practising in Aged Care) Notice 2002

Pursuant to the Medicines Amendment Act 1999 and the Medicines (Designated Prescriber: Nurses Practising in Aged Care and Child Family Health) Regulations 2001,
the Nursing Council of New Zealand gives the following notice.
N o t i c e
1. Title and commencement-This notice is the Medicines (Designated Prescriber: Nurses Practising in Aged Care) Notice 2002 and comes into force on 18 November 2002.
2. The purpose-The Schedule to this notice sets out
the requirements that the Nursing Council of New Zealand ("nursing council") has determined must be met by
nurses who wish to prescribe prescription medicines. These requirements are imposed under Regulations 6, 7 and 8 of the Medicines (Designated Prescriber: Nurses Practising in Aged Care and Child Family Health) Regulations 2001.
A Requirements for commencing prescribing (Regulation 6)
The nursing council requirements for training that
nurse prescribers must undertake before commencing prescribing for the first time1 are as follows:
(i) The completion of an approved clinical masters programme which includes demonstration of the competencies, to the satisfaction of the nursing council, for advanced nursing practice and prescribing applied within the defined scope of practice of aged care. The programme must include relevant theory, research and concurrent practice.
The nurse practitioner seeking to prescribe is required to complete as part of their masters programme the following-
Assessment process:
? Advanced nursing practice skills and judgements;
? advanced health/clinical assessment;
? differential diagnosis;
? bioscience including epidemiology, microbiology and pathophysiology;
? laboratory/diagnostic tests and interpretation; and
? collaborative decision making.
Prescribing process:
? Interventions/appliances/treatments/medicines choice.
? Prescribing variation.
? Clinical pharmacology of authorised medicines/
vaccinations including:
- pharmacodynamics
- pharmacokinetics
- individualising doses
- antibiotic resistance
- adverse drug reactions and interventions.
Monitoring process:
? Legal/ethical issues including:
- responsibilities
- documentation
- regulatory framework
- auditing, ethics of drug trials.
? Critical appraisal of clinical trials including:
- relevant research methodologies.
Appropriate multi-disciplinary input will be required (refer to Nursing Council's Standards for Advanced Nursing Practice Programmes Leading to Nurse Prescribing).
(ii) As an alternative to the satisfactory completion of
an approved New Zealand masters programme, an applicant must have an equivalent overseas qualification which meets the requirements specified in paragraph (i) above.
B Ongoing training required (Regulation 7)
Nurses authorised to prescribe within the scope of practice of aged care, must either undertake:
(i) a minimum of 80 hours a year of professional development aggregated over a five-year period; or
(ii) a minimum of 400 hours ongoing nursing practice aggregated over a five-year period within the aged care scope of practice.
C Competency assessment (Regulation 8)
The nursing council will monitor the ongoing competence of nurse prescribers through its policies for competence-based practising certificates for registered nurses.
All nurse practitioners must undertake an assessment every five years to determine their continuing competency as a nurse practitioner and nurse prescriber.
As part of this assessment, all nurses authorised to prescribe within the scope of practice of aged care must provide the nursing council with evidence that they have completed the ongoing training required by paragraph B above.
Key to Annotations
1 When it is satisfied that an applicant has met the requirements to be entitled to prescribe, the nursing council will approve registration for nurse prescribing and enter the additional qualification on the register. The practising certificate will indicate nurse prescriber registration, and the relevant scope(s) of practice.
Dated at Wellington this 5th day of November 2002.
MARION CLARK, Registrar, Nursing Council of
New Zealand.