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Should  nurses  be  allowed  to  prescribe  antibiotics  without  the  need  to  run  it  past  a  doctor?

Should registered nurses prescribe antibiotics drugs


Doctors need a helping hand. Their work is demanding and important. There is nothing more important than helping and healing another human being. This is why doctors are revered and respected by many. Their profession is taxing and demanding. However, nurses have the hard task and privilege of carrying out their instructions to perform the required treatment for the patients. They also get the chance to learn a lot from their superiors and get the opportunity to get better at their own practice.

Benefits of Allowing a Nurse to Prescribe Antibiotics

In that case, the nurse who worked for a selected period of time under a doctor’s watchful eye with good experience and merit should be allowed to prescribe antibiotics without seeking the doctor’s permission first. Of course, this should be done under advisor ship. If the doctors have confidence in the nurse’s skills and knowledge, then he or she should be allowed to do this. More than that, other nurses with similar experience and merit should be able to do the same at the appropriate time.

This will definitely ease the burden of doctors when they are short staffed attending to several patients at a time. The nurses can lend a helping hand by attending to patients as well and then, prescribing drugs after making a diagnosis. For nurses, this will also allow them to attend to heir work and patients faster without having to wait for a doctor’s approval first. This can delay patient treatment, and as a result prolong their suffering from illness.

That said, doctors should be accountable for the nurses whom they approve off to prescribe medication to patients. Their show of confidence should come as a result of years of experience together, paying careful attention to diagnosis and treatment. However, nurses are already well versed in medicine having pursued sciences before graduating from nursing school. This can be a point for the nurses to also further their education to cement a solid foundation in their capabilities. Instead of being viewed as a risky move.

The debate goes both ways, some medical practitioners view nurses being given the permission to prescribe drugs as a cheap alternative. Only acceptable if a country has a shortage. While others say that it cuts patients waiting time and is effective in administering treatment faster for ailing patients. Nevertheless, some doctors are not convinced. Citing that it takes doctors five years of study and practice before they are able to make a precise diagnosis. Let alone a nurse, without medical training in drug prescription.

However, there is an answer to this critique, whereby nurses are required to take a postgraduate training course and then given the rights to do so as described previously. It instills confidence in all parties involved, doctors’ nurses and the patients themselves. Knowing someone has gotten the right qualifications to treat, give advice and procure treatment for your specific illness gives great comfort to the ailing.

There are some nurses who also desire the powers of prescribing drugs to patients. For these independent nurses, they have to undergo more education to be able to acquire this right. In the UK this includes a 26-day theory course and 12 days of mentored practice. Including five assignments. The scope of drugs they are allowed to prescribe from is less than those of the hospital nurses. As for another group who identify as ‘community practitioner nurse prescribers’, their list of medication is limited as they undergo even less training.


With the good comes the bad, although nurse prescription poses great benefits, practitioners are still voicing concerns due to high prescription rates for long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Calling the whole issue premature due to its lack of extensive evaluation. However, in developing nations, this is a plus for healthcare facilities. Seeing a nurse for an illness and filling a prescription of the same cuts costs and saves on precious time.