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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National Evaluation of Nurse Prescribing in Scotland

Information sheet - Nurse Prescribing Activity; Questionnaire

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 evaluation of its practice and effects to date. The purpose of this project is, therefore, to identify any benefits and challenges of nurse prescribing in Scotland so that the impact on nurse prescribers, patients, healthcare staff and health services can be assessed. In turn, this evaluation will provide evidence to inform recommendations for the future of Nurse Prescribing in Scotland.

Why should I take part?

The results of this evaluation will be returned to the Scottish Executive where they will be used to influence future developments in nurse prescribing. Your participation at this stage of the project will therefore help to contribute important information about nurse prescribing in practice, even if you are not actively prescribing at present.

Why have I been chosen?

The Lead Nurse Prescriber for your NHS Board was given this questionnaire to distribute to Nurse Prescribers within their area. You have therefore received a project pack because you fall into this category.

What is the information to be used for?

By completing the enclosed questionnaire, your information will enable us to build a picture of local variations in nurse prescribing activity across different prescribing roles and healthcare settings. The findings will also inform our next project stage of selecting healthcare settings to conduct more in-depth case study research. Case studies will take the form of interviews and, as you will read below, we are also looking for nurse prescribers who would be interested in taking part in this next research stage.

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

Your participation at this stage of the study would involve you filling in the enclosed nurse prescribing activity questionnaire, which we estimate should only take around ten minutes of your time. If you fill this in, we ask that you return it to us in the large prepaid envelope provided. Returning a completed questionnaire means that you give consent for us to use the information within this project.

Additionally, we would like you to read the blue invitation form, which indicates to us whether you would be interested in participating in a case study for the final stage of the project. If you decide that you would like to be considered for a case study, please complete and return this form in the smaller prepaid envelope provided.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Your decision about whether to take part in this project is voluntary and is only known by the research team. All data that we receive from you is stored confidentially and is only viewed by the research team. To ensure your confidentiality, if you fill in your contact details on the blue reply form, please return it in the separate (small) envelope.

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. If you have further concerns or queries that have not been addressed within this information however, you are welcome to contact us - details below.

Are there any disadvantages to taking part?

This part of the study is solely designed to obtain information from you about your nurse prescribing activities and we do not envisage any disadvantages or risks associated with taking part in the research. The only inconvenience may be the time taken to fill in the information, however we do not expect this to take any longer than fifteen minutes.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

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. 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 commissioned by the Scottish Executive Department of Health and is being organised by the University of Stirling's Department of Nursing and Midwifery. An evaluation of nurse prescribing education and training is also 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 ethical opinion by the NHSCOREC system. In addition, the research approach has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery and Institute of Education Departmental Research Ethics committees.

Contact details

If you have any further questions about the study at this time, please contact;

Fiona Turner, Research Fellow, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Stirling on 01786 466280 or e-mail Should you wish to speak to someone who knows about the study but is independent of the research team, please contact; Jen Shearer, Research Services Manager, Research Office, University of Stirling on 01786 466692 or e-mail

If you would like to take part, please remember to return your questionnaire and blue reply form in the separate envelopes. The cut-off date for return is 14th July 2006, however we would appreciate your information as soon as possible.

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

Andrew Watterson signature
Professor Andrew Watterson
Professor in Health Effectiveness

Fiona Turner
Research Fellow

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