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Nurse prescribers face quality checks

Nurse prescribers face having their prescribing status revoked if they fail three-yearly checks, amid continuing concerns about ongoing education

A senior adviser to the Royal College of Nursing has revealed in a speech that the college is preparing standards likely to require re-registering as a prescriber, with renewal contingent on proof of adequate continuing professional development.

This follows studies showing many nurse prescribers currently have poor access to CPD, with one suggesting 40% have done none since qualifying.

Professor Matt Griffiths, joint national prescribing and medicines management adviser at the Royal College of Nursing, said: 'Nursing and Midwifery Council registration at the moment is renewed every three years, and standards are being developed by the NMC which will probably bring in the same thing, that you have to re-register as a prescriber.'

He added nursing and prescribing licences would be separate so it would be possible for nurses to lose a prescribing licence – because of having 'overstepped the mark' – but keep practising as nurses.

Professor Griffiths also said he had some concerns about continuing professional development and called for 'bold statements' on the importance of this for new prescribers.The speech by Professor Griffiths was published in the latest issue of the Medico-Legal Journal.

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