Nurse practitioners: An insight into their integration into Australian community pharmacies
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Background: Nurse practitioners (NPs) are independent health professionals with prescribing rights, and have recently established primary care roles in pharmacies. Objective: To describe the roles of pharmacy-based NPs in Australia. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken onsite or by telephone, with 28 staff of all 9 Revive NP Clinics in Western Australia. Participants comprised NPs representing 6 practices and pharmacy staff of all 9 practices. Questions explored the NPs' scope of practice and staff collaboration. Data are descriptively reported. Results: The NPs undertook a range of services, including medication prescribing according to clinical guidelines, provision and ordering of diagnostic services, vaccine administration and provision of medical certificates. Community pharmacists reported to continue ensuring the safe and quality use of medicines and to counsel clients. Both pharmacists and NPs provided consumer medicine information leaflets. NPs are authorized to write prescriptions for Pharmacist-Only (S3) Medicines. Conclusions: NPs' primary healthcare roles appear to complement roles of community pharmacists. Potential exists for further collaboration and interdisciplinary care in health promotion and screening services. Clarification is needed with respect to prescribing and provision of Pharmacist-Only Medicines, and offering consumer medicines leaflets.
NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Volume 9, Issue 6, November–December 2013, Pages 975–980. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2012.09.001
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