2. Islamic University of Lebanon, Faculty of Nursing Sciences, Beirut, Lebanon.
3. Ministry of Public Health, Epidemiological Surveillance Unit, Beirut, Lebanon.
4. Lebanese University, Faculty of public Health, Beirut, Lebanon.
5. University Paris 13, Public Health, (LEPS), (EA 3412), UFR SMBH, F-93017, Bobigny, France.
6. AP HP, Nursing Sciences Research chair Paris, France.
Aim: To identify and describe the role of non-prescribing nurses in medical prescription, through a critical synthesis of all the studies published worldwide answering this question.
Background: Medical prescription is a prerogative of the physician. Yet, the final decision for prescribing is most often the conjunction of different factors and actors. What could be the role of non-prescribing nurses in medical prescription?
Design: A systematic literature review.
Methods: A literature search of the databases, the Ovid MEDLINE database, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), was done to identify studies that describe the nurse’s role in medical prescription up to May 2017. A quality assessment of relevant studies was performed.
Results: Four studies were included in this review. The overall methodological quality of the studies was intermediate (score: 8.5 of 12). Analyses of the included articles show the nurses have an essential role in the administration of medications and in the follow-up of the drug consequences. In addition, nurses tend to share the decision regarding prescribing with the doctors through an inter-professional collaborative approach. Nurses do not have sufficient knowledge about pharmacology and drug management.
Conclusions: Our systematic review emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration between nurses and other health professionals in acute care settings. The strong involvement of nurses could provide a dialogue to strengthen best practice. Improving the nurses’ knowledge and their skills are likely to enhance the optimization of treatment.
Relevance to Clinical Practice: The current literature suggests a refinement of pharmacological knowledge among nurses and effective nurse-doctor interactions to guide the best medical prescribing.
Keywords: Nurse, Physician, Medical prescription, Collaboration, Theoretical skills, Medication errors