An Evaluation of the Expansion of Nurse Prescribing in Scotland

Nurse prescribers in Scotland can now prescribe a range of controlled drugs for specific medical conditions. This research project which is summarised below provides an evaluation of the extension of nurse prescribing following the introduction of new legislation in 2001.


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Evaluation of Programmes of Preparation for the Extension of Independent Nurse Prescribing in Scotland

We would like to invite you to take part in this research study. Before you decide whether to participate, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what your participation would involve. Please take time to read the following information and let us know if you have any questions that have not been answered here.

What is the purpose of the project?

Although the recent expansion of nurse prescribing in Scotland is the subject of much discussion, there has been little detailed evaluation of its practice and effects to date. This project will evaluate the programmes of preparation for nurse prescribing ('courses') currently provided by seven institutions of higher education in Scotland. Future developments in education and training for nurse prescribing might benefit from a fuller understanding of the issues surrounding the existing courses and those others involved in or affected by them.

Why have I been chosen?

We would like to conduct short interviews with individuals who are associated with (or affected by) nurse prescribing education and training within their NHS role. As an NHS stakeholder, you have been chosen because it is thought that you may be able to contribute a perspective on this topic, based on your experience and opinions.

Do I have to take part?

Your decision to participate in this project is entirely voluntary and will not affect you or your work in any way. This sheet will hopefully answer any questions that you might have and the attached interview schedule will give you some insight into the issues/topics that we would like to cover. You are also welcome to contact us should you have any queries about participating that have not been addressed by this information.

What will I have to do if I agree to take part?

If you agree to take part, we ask that you reply to this invitation via e-mail or letter, stating that you give consent to being contacted and interviewed. We require this consent from you in writing and will keep a copy of it in our confidential records as part of the research protocol. The research fellow will then contact you in due course to arrange a suitable time for you to take part in one semi-structured interview.

By agreement with you, this will be carried out either by the telephone or in your office. If you agree, the interview will be tape-recorded. The duration of the interview will be agreed with you in advance.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

Your participation might help to advance others' understanding about nurse prescribing education issues from an NHS perspective. You might also find it valuable to have the opportunity to contribute your opinions and information to this evaluation.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

This part of the study is solely designed to obtain information from you about your views of nurse prescribing education and we do not envisage any disadvantages or risks associated with taking part in the research.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Your tape recorded and transcribed responses to the interview questions will be handled confidentially at all times and will be viewed or listened to only by the researchers on the project. Although the general findings of the interviews will be published as part of an overall report to the Scottish Executive, individual sources of information will not be identifiable. If we wish to use any direct quotes relating to something you have told us, you will be consulted first and the quote only used with your approval. We also aim to ensure your anonymity in the research by replacing names with code numbers.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The data obtained from this study will be analysed and the main findings will be written up as a general report. This report will be submitted to the Scottish Executive in 2007 and may also eventually be published within academic and nursing journals that will be available to you. All data will be stored securely and will be destroyed after a suitable period of time.

Who is funding and organising the research?

The project is being funded by the Scottish Executive Department of Health and the evaluation of the courses in nurse prescribing is being carried out by the University of Stirling's Institute of Education.

Who has reviewed the study?

The study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by Fife & Forth Valley Research Ethics Committee and the University of Stirling's Nursing and Midwifery and Institute of Education Departmental Research Ethics Committees.

Contact for Further Information

If you have any further questions about the study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Lesley Doyle, Research Fellow, Institute of Education, University of Stirling on 01786 466132 or e-mail

Thank you for taking the time to consider our request for your participation in this research.

Dr Lesley Doyle

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