What’s in a name? The complex conundrum of prescribing nomenclature and its link with practice

Claire Pryor*, Sally Gilborson, Phill Morgan, Stuart Maddock

*Corresponding author for this work

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Health professionals who can legally prescribe medication and medical devices, but who are not doctors or dentists, come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, and some Health and Care Professions Council registrants. The professionals are often grouped together and defined as ‘non-medical prescribers’. This may or may not be a useful collective term as, depending on professional registration, these professionals may be afforded differing prescribing rights, which may include a combination of independent/supplementary prescribing, independent prescribing (only), supplementary prescribing (only), or community nurse practitioner prescribing activity. This article explores the confusing nomenclature around prescribing, and the impact the names and terms used in practice have on professions. The naming and identification of role should be facilitative, to allow others to understand the legal context of prescribing activity, boundaries, and role expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379–384
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Prescribing Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2023

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