Latest News 5 July 2019 | Some Counties Manukau nurses working in the community now have the authority to issue over the counter prescriptions under a programme launched today.
The Registered Nurse Prescribing in Community Health programme is a Nursing Council of New Zealand initiative and was first trialled in Counties Manukau in 2017. The programme has been successfully evaluated and has the approval of the council and the Ministry of Health.
It was developed for registered nurses who work in community health to gain the right credentials that will enable them to prescribe medication to treat various minor conditions for those who are normally well.
So far, 33 nurses have successfully completed the programme, including 18 who work in primary care, six secondary school nurses, six Mana Kidz nurses and three public health nurses.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for registered nurses who are already working within our community, to further enhance their skill base. They are important contributors and this is reflected by the opportunities they get with this programme,” says CM Health Deputy Chief Nurse, Karyn Sangster
“We have worked in partnership with the Nursing Council of New Zealand and the Family Planning Association to trial and evaluate the six month programme.
“It uses a work-based learning approach to prepare registered nurses working in a community setting to prescribe over the counter medicines and treat minor health concerns.”
The nurses can prescribe and treat minor skin infections and sore throats to prevent rheumatic fever, and provide contraception and sexual health treatments if they have completed the family planning courses. All nurses use Auckland Regional Health Pathways to guide their assessments and interventions
CM Health has met the requirements set by the Nursing Council to deliver the re-certification programme and approve the nurses’ competence to practice as well as re-assess every three years.
“This will make a significant difference for our community as they won’t necessarily need to go and see a doctor for a prescription and is part of our effort to deliver for the needs of our community,” says Ms Sangster.