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.




3. Data on prescriber type were not available for 8% of nurses.

4. This is the time between the first and last weeks of teaching.

5. The nominal group technique was used for the group meetings with course members. This technique allows the group to share and discuss all the issues to be evaluated, with each group member participating equally in evaluation. The evaluation works with each participant "nominating" his or her priority issues, and then ranking them on a scale of, say, 1 to 10. The rankings allocated by each participant to each issue are added together to give a final ranking for that issue.

6. As the original data would now be out of date, it is not reported here, except where it illustrates general issues of course design.

7. Salaries in the NHS at the time of the research were based on national pay scale and were divided into appropriate Grades. A newly qualified nurse starts on a D-Grade. A more experienced nurse, with several years' post-graduate experience would be on an E-Grade. An F-grade nurse or G-grade nurse carries out a more leading or supervisory role, for example a ward sister or charge nurse.

8. In this report, although the official term is 'programme', the provision in each centre is described as a 'course'.

9. In university jargon, the nurse prescribing course is described as a module.

10. This is the time between the first and last weeks of teaching - for more details, see Chapter 4.

11. In this report, 'contact day' means a day when all the members enrolled on a course attended the university site for a scheduled classroom-based meeting. The remainder of the 26 days' study could of course involve tutorial contact at a distance, and provision was also sometimes made for virtual web-based discussion between students.

12. There was only one focus group comment that criticised lack of face-to-face contact. This was categorised by the focus group concerned as a 'support' issue and was counted as such in the analysis reported in this chapter. It received an importance-rating of 1, about 2% of the importance allocated to the most important criticism of the course (lack of time).

13. Some lecturers were professionally qualified in pharmacy but for convenience the term pharmacology is used throughout the report.

14. Figures give the overall importance-rating for each theme

15. Each theme is prefixed by a letter code for convenience of reference. Alphabetical order indicates descending order of importance

16. An omnibus survey is a regular (e.g. monthly) survey of the general public run by a research company. Each round of the survey covers a variety of topics commissioned by different clients.

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