Research Output
The views of non-medical prescribing students and medical mentors on interprofessional competency assessment – A qualitative exploration
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the least restrictive countries in terms of scope of prescribing practice for non-medical prescribers and is a rapidly expanding group of professionals. In the United Kingdom nurse prescribers are assessed in practice by Designated Medical Practitioners (DMP) (doctors) which is a unique approach. In light of proposals to permit nurses to assess each other the benefits and challenges associated with current approach to interprofessional assessment warranted further exploration.
The aim was to explore interprofessional competency assessment with nurse non-medical prescribing students and their DMPs.
A descriptive qualitative research design was undertaken using semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
The study was completed in a Scottish University that provides non-medical prescribing education to nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
Participants and methods
Students (n = 6) participated in two focus groups at the start and end of their supervised learning and assessment in practice. DMPs (n = 6) participated in semi structured telephone interviews on completion of supervision. Utilising Clark's theory of interprofessional education, a thematic analysis was conducted.
Professional identity influenced interpretation of prescribing competence with regards assessment and scope of practice. Students and DMPs learned with, from and about each other, and provided a platform for two-way learning and mutual professional respect. The interprofessional learning experience developed relationships and provided ratification for the prescribing role post qualification.
Further exploration with key stakeholders and service users is recommended, prior to any changes to the designated professional group assigned to assessing non-medical prescribing competence.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 March 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Afseth, J. D., & Paterson, R. E. (2017). The views of non-medical prescribing students and medical mentors on interprofessional competency assessment – A qualitative exploration. Nurse Education Today, 52, 103-108.



Nursing, Non-medical prescribing, Designated medical practitioners, Interprofessional education, Competencies

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