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Registered nurse prescribing in community health

Who can become a registered nurse prescriber in community health?

Registered nurses will only be able to apply for this prescribing authority if they are part of an approved programme. Approved programmes:

  • Auckland Metro region
  • Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa (Formerly Family Planning)
  • Midlands Collaborative
  • MidCentral 
  • Hawkes Bay 
  • Te Waipounamu (Formerly South Island Alliance)
  • Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District with the Wairarapa District.

Registered nurses practising in community health settings must complete a work-based education programme and then they can apply to the Council for prescribing authority for a limited number of medicines for minor ailments and illnesses in normally healthy people without significant health problems.

Requirements for designated prescribers in community health

Registered nurses prescribing in community health will be prescribing for normally healthy people using decision support tools, current best practice information and with the support of colleagues. The Council has provided guidance on the boundaries of this prescribing authority below. 

Education preparation

  1. A minimum of three years’ clinical experience with at least one year in the area of prescribing practice.
  2. Completed a Nursing Council approved recertification programme for registered nurse prescribing in community health.
  3. Completed a period of supervised practice with a designated authorised prescriber (a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner) as part of the recertification programme.
  4. A limited list of medicines from which they can prescribe within their competence and area of practice, ongoing competence requirements for prescribing.

RN Prescribing in Community Health Recertification Audit Requirements

Every three years registered nurses prescribing in community health are required to provide evidence that they have maintained continuing competence, when they apply for their practising certificate. 
This evidence includes:

  • Professional Development – A minimum of 20 hours of prescribing related hours of professional development out of the 60 hours of required professional development every three years.
  • Prescribing Practice – A support letter from prescribing supervisor to confirm that the RN prescriber in community health has completed 40 days of prescribing practice every year and maintained prescribing competence.
Please note recertification evidence needs to be submitted through your approved recertification programme for registered nurse prescribing in community health.