Nurses finally able to prescribe

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THE government has approved a royal decree that regulates the prescription of drugs and position of nurses.

The new legislation, known as nurse prescribing, is a long-standing demand from health care professionals. According to estimates from the Nursing Council of Valencia, CECOVA, there will be about 100 drugs that may be prescribed by nurses. The Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Alfonso Alonso, said yesterday that nurses did not even have legal authorisation to be able to prescribe drugs readily available without prescription in the pharmacies, leaving them in almost a lawless situation with regard to the issue.

The new legislation assures full legal coverage and security for patients and nurses and reinforces the care that can be offered. The new law, which will authorise nurses to prescribe certain medicinal products, will come into affect once the implementation of clinical practice protocols, guidelines and care have been developed.

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This will be done jointly with the relevant regulatory bodies for nurses and doctors and will be validated by the department for health. The process will be continually monitored by the department, to ensure that the process delivers safe and effective treatments.

The inter-territorial council of pharmacy for the national health system will be responsible for deciding which drugs are to be included. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree as a Sanitary Technical Assistant, university diploma in Nursing or Nurse Specialists now have a maximum of five years to acquire the skills to enable them to authorise and dispense drugs and medical devices for human use, established by Royal Decree by the government health department.

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