Implementing nurse prescribing: A case study in diabetes

Karen Stenner, Nicola Carey, Molly Courtenay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Aim.: This paper is a report of a study exploring the views of nurses and team members on the implementation of nurse prescribing in diabetes services. Background.: Nurse prescribing is adopted as a means of improving service efficiency, particularly where demand outstretches resources. Although factors that support nurse prescribing have been identified, it is not known how these function within specific contexts. This is important as its uptake and use varies according to mode of prescribing and area of practice. Method.: A case study was undertaken in nine practice settings across England where nurses prescribed medicines for patients with diabetes. Thematic analysis was conducted on qualitative data from 31 semi-structured interviews undertaken between 2007 and 2008. Participants were qualified nurse prescribers, administrative staff, physicians and non-nurse prescribers. Findings.: Nurses prescribed more often following the expansion of nurse independent prescribing rights in 2006. Initial implementation problems had been resolved and few current problems were reported. As nurses' roles were well-established, no major alterations to service provision were required to implement nurse prescribing. Access to formal and informal resources for support and training were available. Participants were accepting and supportive of this initiative to improve the efficiency of diabetes services. Conclusion.: The main factors that promoted implementation of nurse prescribing in this setting were the ability to prescribe independently, acceptance of the prescribing role, good working relationships between doctors and nurses, and sound organizational and interpersonal support. The history of established nursing roles in diabetes care, and increasing service demand, meant that these diabetes services were primed to assimilate nurse prescribing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-531
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Diabetes
  • Inter-personal relationships
  • Non-medical prescribing
  • Nurse prescribing


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