Non-medical prescribers and CPD: a training needs analysis

This article describes a training needs analysis of the provision of continuing professional development (CPD) for non-medical prescribers within a Strategic Health Authority. Short courses, of one or two days, specific to the role of non-medical prescriber were considered popular and useful in, but they need to be advertised at least six weeks in advance, with relevant information provided to allow informed choice. Confidence emerged as a key issue for respondents and being able to prescribe tended to improve job satisfaction.

The training needs analysis made a number of recommendations, including a review of pharmacology within nursing curricula. The non-medical prescribers identified the following training gaps: eczema and skin updates, diabetes, hypertension, infections and antibiotics, legal issues about prescribing, prescribing updates, interpreting statistics particularly to understand data from pharmaceutical companies, basic pharmacology updates and clinical skills training related to scope of practice.

A total of 270 returned postal questionnaires from non-medical prescribers were analysed (response rate was 23%) and telephone interview conducted with 11 key stakeholders including clinical managers.

Green A et al. Provision of continued professional development for non-medical prescribers within a South of England Strategic Health Authority: a report on a training needs analysis. J Nursing Management 2009; 17: 603-614.