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Much attention is paid to the issue of prescribing drugs that can be done by physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare workers in the United States. It is necessary to admit that prior to January 1, 2017, physician assistants, as well as nurse practitioners (NPs), were not allowed to prescribe any substances in the state of Florida (Florida Board of Nursing, 2016). Nowadays, NPs have already gained enough prescribing authority in almost every state of America and in Florida, in particular.
Florida State laws that aim at regulating the duties and responsibilities of NPs remain to be one of the strictest in America. Regarding the outcomes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when many Americans got an opportunity to ask for health care coverage and expand their primary care workforce, the quality of prescribing and care was re-evaluated (Jiao, Murimi, Stafford, Mojtabai, & Alexander, 2018). For example, the work of NPs has to be supervised by physicians. If the necessity to prescribe drugs is evident, nurses have access to controlled substances prescription only. In addition, NPs can perform acts regarding medical and nursing diagnoses, treatments, and operations, evaluate patients, manage treatments, and communicate with patients and their families.
There is the Florida Nurse Practice Act in Florida Statutes the goal of which is to ensure that all nurses meet the minimum of requirements that promote safe practice and effective help. According to the Statute, nurses may be categorized in regard to the scope of their duties. Florida laws that regulate the process of prescribing drugs are discussed in sections 456, 464, and 668 of the Florida Statutes. The ACA should also be used to identify the expectations and demands of patients. The role of these two laws in integral for a drug prescription, as well as for the entire nursing practice and the quality of services that can be offered to people, is impressive and cannot be neglected.
Modern students and NPs pay much attention to the conditions under which they have to receive their education. According to the Florida Board of Nursing, NPs have to complete 24 hours of continuing education during each working period. These hours also include 2 hours in order to discuss the ways of how to prevent possible medical errors and 2 hours in order to evaluate the peculiarities of domestic violence. NPs have to record each education hour and make sure to meet the standards of nursing practice defined by their hospitals or other facilities where they have to work.
Importance of Knowledge
There are several reasons for why NPs have to learn laws and other legal aspects concerning prescribing medications. First, Hudspeth (2016) identifies opioid misuse, overdose, and divergence as serious public health problems in the world. Therefore, as soon as NPs take a wrong step, they contribute to the growth of this public concern. Second, all nurses who neglect the rules or fail to meet the standards may be prohibited from nursing practice. Therefore, it is important for nurses, as well as other participants in a healthcare process, to be aware of the current state laws in the state.
In general, medication prescription is a serious issue in nursing practice that cannot be neglected. People may contribute to this topic discussion in many different ways. Their awareness of the laws, the choice of continuing education hours, and experience exchange are helpful steps in improving modern nursing practice today.
Florida Board of Nursing. (2016). Important legislative update regarding HB 423. Web.
Hudspeth, R. S. (2016). Safe opioid prescribing for adults by nurse practitioners: Part 1. Patient history and assessment standards and techniques. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(3), 141-148.
Jiao, S., Murimi, I. B., Stafford, R. S., Mojtabai, R., & Alexander, G. C. (2018). Quality of prescribing by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the United States. Pharmacotherapy, 38(4), 417-427. Web.