Scope of this guidance and the effect of devolution
This guidance sets out the administrative and procedural steps needed to enable nurses and midwives to act as independent nurse prescribers, and provides information and advice on good practice. [N.B. where the term 'nurse' is used throughout the remainder of this document it includes midwives and specialist community public health nurses.] 1
The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical Services) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2006 set out the definition of 'independent nurse prescriber' as - a person who is registered in the Nursing and Midwifery Register, and against whose name in that register is recorded an annotation signifying that he or she is qualified to order drugs, medicines and appliances as a community practitioner nurse prescriber, a nurse independent prescriber or a nurse independent/supplementary prescriber.
This guidance sets out the steps to promote safe and effective prescribing by independent nurse prescribers in Scotland. Medicines legislation permits the introduction of independent prescribing for nurses in the UK, but it is for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to decide whether and how it is implemented for the NHS in their countries.