News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Nurse Prescribing Regulations Take Effect

Media Release

11 October 2001

Nurse Prescribing Regulations Take Effect

Efforts to recruit and retain nurses in the New Zealand health sector were enhanced today, with the introduction of new regulations for nurse prescribing.

From today, Nurse Practitioners practising in aged care and child family health, who meet the Nursing Council's competency and training requirements, can prescribe a specific list of prescription and controlled medicines. In addition, these nurses will be able to prescribe a specified list of general sale, pharmacy only and restricted medicines.

Acting Chief Advisor Nursing, Pamela Lee said the introduction of nurse prescribing in aged care and child family health creates new career options for our nurses and will help attract and retain nurses already working in the sector.

"Provision of nurse prescribing also has the potential to improve access to services, improve patient education and reduce secondary illnesses and hospital admissions for children and older people.

"Education and competency requirements for nurse prescribing are substantive and specify that the nurse must have Master's level education that covers all prescribing processes and advanced nursing practice."

Many overseas nurses already have a Masters level qualification in prescribing, however in New Zealand it has only recently become available.

A post-implementation review of nurse prescribing in aged care and child family health will be undertaken over a three year period. The costs and benefits will be assessed with PHARMAC monitoring the impact on the pharmaceutical budget.

A New Prescribers Advisory Committee has also been set up to advise the Minister of Health on further prescribing proposals. Proposals are currently being developed for nurse prescribing in sexual and reproductive health, mental health, occupational health and palliative care.

For more information contact: Selina Gentry, Media Advisor, ph: 04-496-2483 or 025-277 5411

Background The Medicines Act 1981 was amended in 1999 to enable the making of regulations to allow nurses, and other registered health professionals (eg, optometrists, pharmacists) to prescribe a specified list of medicines.

Two expert working groups comprising medical practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists were established to develop proposals to extend prescribing rights to nurses in aged care and child family health. The working groups' proposals were circulated in a consultation document to the public and the health sector. Submissions on the consultation document were analysed and proposals presented to Cabinet in April 2000. Following Cabinet approval to the making of the regulations to allow nurse prescribing in aged care and child family health, further work was undertaken on the details of the regulations, to ensure that robust quality and safety requirements were placed on nurse prescribers.

The Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group, for example, was consulted on the proposed antibiotics on the lists for nurse prescribing in aged care and child family health, and education providers and the Nursing Council were consulted on the proposed regulatory framework for the competency and education requirements for nurse prescribers. Considerable time and effort has therefore gone into the drafting of the regulations.

Nurse prescribing will form part of the Nursing Council's framework for nurse practitioners.

A New Prescribers Advisory Committee has also been established to advise the Minister of Health on further prescribing proposals. Proposals are currently being developed by the sector for nurse prescribing in sexual and reproductive health, mental health, occupational health, and palliative care. Proposals are also in train for pharmacists, optometrists, and podiatrists. The Committee will scrutinise all future prescribing proposals and advise the Minister as to whether the proposals should proceed to Cabinet for the making of further regulations.

Selina Gentry Media Liaison Communications Corporate & Information Directorate Ministry of Health DDI: 04 496 2483

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland