Research Output

Non-medical prescribing assessment – An evaluation of a nationally agreed multi method approach

  In the United Kingdom, legislation permits nurses and allied health professionals to prescribe for patients within their care. Preparation for this role includes learning, teaching and assessment that is embedded in practice, supervised by a designated medical practitioner (DMP) and evidenced in a reflective learning in practice portfolio.
Aim: the objectives were to explore; (1) which assessment in the practice portfolio was ranked most valuable in terms of achieving safe, effective prescribing practice and, (2) whether a practice based assessment (SDEP) was an acceptable alternative to an Observed Simulated Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Methods: online surveys were conducted and follow up semi structured telephone interviews were conducted across 5 universities in Scotland with students, DMPs and line managers.
Results: students ranked the learning log most valuable and DMPs and line managers ranked the SDEP most valuable. Survey and follow up interviews suggested that the portfolio provided the opportunity to develop prescribing skills and knowledge relevant to their specific clinical speciality. There was agreement amongst all participants that clinical assessment in the practice portfolio effectively enable nonmedical prescribing students to evidence prescribing competence.
Summary: the novel use of the SDEP and reflective summary offers a viable alternative to an OSCE and was viewed as one of the most valued components of the assessment strategy.

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  • Date:

    20 October 2015

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  • Library of Congress:

    RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    615 Pharmacology and therapeutics

  • Funders:

    Scottish Government


Paterson, R. E., Redman, S. G., Unwin, R., McElhinney, E., Macphee, M., & Downer, F. (2016). Non-medical prescribing assessment – An evaluation of a nationally agreed multi method approach. Nurse Education in Practice, 16(1), 280-286.



Non-medical prescribing; practice assessment; portfolio; interprofessional; work based learning;

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