Table 1

Countries with identified legislation for Prescribing by Nurses

Country

Legal Framework for Non-medical prescribing (NMP)


Australia

The Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and Nurses Act 1993 (Vic) amended with Nurse Amendment Act 2000*.


Botswana

The Drugs and Related Substances Act 1992 grants legal authority to RGN to prescribe specific drugs from Botswana National Drug Formulary***.


Canada

The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Regulations (Section 27, 2002), approved by government, enabled NPs to prescribe from a restricted list of medications known as the Authorized Practices Schedule*.


Kenya

Public Health Act Cap 242 of the laws of Kenya allows nurses to diagnose and treat minor illnesses in settings without doctors *.


New Zealand

A 2001 regulation under the Medicines Act 1981 enables nurse practitioners to become designated prescribers within their defined area of practice (e.g., primary health)*.


Namibia

Under Nursing Act (8) 2004 in Namibia Nurse Prescribers are allowed to prescribe up to Schedule 4 medicines once they have concluded a primary care training course from the Department of Health***.


Republic of Ireland

Introduced in 2007. The Irish Medicines Board (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (No. 3 of 2006) and its associated regulations and the Nurses Rules 2007 [3].


South Africa

The Section 38A of the Nursing Act, 1978 give rights to nurses to prescribe certain classes of medicine. The 38A section of Nursing Act no longer exists and Act 101 of the Medicines and Related Control Act 1965 amended in 1997 allows to nurses to become an authorised prescriber*.


Sweden

Introduced in 1994. District Nurses may prescribe from a National Board of Health and Welfare *.


Uganda

National Drug Policy and Authority Statute 1993 was amended in 2004, which allows nurses to prescribe***.


United Kingdom (UK)

The Medicinal Products: Prescription by Nurses etc Act 1992, The Health and Social Care Act 2001**.


United States of America (USA)

Nurse Prescribing (NP) introduced in 1969. Fifty States allow some form of NMP. However, there is no uniformity in law, language and regulations among States*.


In addition we are aware that NPM legislation exists in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Swaziland, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Lesotho and Ethiopia****, but were unable to identify the specific legislative documents.


*International Council of Nursing 2009 [4] ** Department of Health *** Personal communication **** Internet search

Bhanbhro et al. BMC Health Services Research 2011 11:330   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-330

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