Are Registered Nurse Prescribers allowed to prescribe MDA/controlled drugs?
Yes. Registered Nurse Prescribers can prescribe controlled drugs independently, but they are subject to abiding by Schedule 8 of the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations of 2007 for restrictions for MDA Schedule 2 and 3 drugs.
It should be noted that the Department of Health are currently reviewing the MDA Schedule 8 listing with a view for its expansion for RNPs. For further information visit this section of the Department of Health website.
Can my employer or anyone else such as a community pharmacist check the Register to check if my registration is active and my CPA is valid?
Yes. Anyone can check the Register of Nurses and Midwives. If your name is listed on the Nurse Prescribers Division of the Register an additional section will state the status of your CPA, whether it is valid or invalid.
How do I apply for admission to an education programme leading to prescriptive authority for nurses and midwives?
The following Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) been approved by NMBI to provide the education programme for prescriptive authority:
• The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,
• University College Cork,
• University College of Dublin
• University of Limerick
• National University of Ireland – Galway
• Dublin City University
• Trinity College
For further information on the course details you should visit the HEIs for more details of these programmes.
How do I register as a Nurse Prescriber?
Only those who have successfully completed an education programme for prescriptive authority approved by NMBI and are currently employed may apply for registration in the Nurse Prescribers Division.
To register with NMBI on the Nurse Prescribers Division of the Register of Nurses and Midwives, you must complete and submit an application form for this division. You are also required to have an approved Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA) on file with your health service employer. You need to log into the site to access the Prescribing/ CPA forms through the My Account section.
How often do I need to renew my registration as a nurse prescriber and my Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA)?
To maintain your registration with NMBI as a nurse prescriber you must pay your Annual Retention Fee (ARF). Failure to pay the ARF will result in your name being erased from the Register of Nurses under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011.
You will be in breach of NMBI regulatory framework for prescriptive authority if you prescribe medicines without having a valid CPA. Changes to your CPA are managed locally at Health Service Provider level; however you must notify NMBI if you:
Please log in to your online account to access the CPA termination and recommencement forms.
- Terminate your CPA
- Recommence prescribing following termination of your pervious CPA
I am a postgraduate student in an education programme which leads to prescriptive authority. Is it necessary for me to register as a student for NMBI's Candidate Register?
Yes, you must submit the Application Form (Post Graduate Candidate Register Form) for entry in the Candidate Register - Post-Graduate no later than 30 days after starting the prescribing education programme. This needs to be done in conjunction with your Higher Education Institution. If you have a change of name or address during the programme you must inform NMBI of this.
The form is available by logging on to the website through the My Account section.
What happens if my practice area changes again and in my new job I need to prescribe?
If you change the practice area within your current place of employment, for example, you move from working in the Accident and Emergency Department to working in an Orthopaedic Unit, you must inform NMBI within five working days and outline the reason for same (e.g. change of practice area).
In such a case, if the RNP wishes to continue prescribing, he or she will need to fulfil the CPA requirements again for the new practice area. This means an RNP will have to develop a new CPA with collaborating medical practitioners, and have it approved by the authorised individuals at their place of employment. The new CPA will also need to have Attachment B (Medication Listing) signed off by the organisation's Drugs and Therapeutic Committee. For more details, visit the CPA Criteria page.
What is the usual timeframe for NMBI to process my application for the Nurse Prescribers Division of the Register for registration?
Following successful completion of the education programme in an NMBI-approved education programme, the individual nurse or midwife seeking to be registered as a nurse prescriber must submit the following:
The applicant must also have an approved Collective Practice Agreement (CPA) on file with his/her employer as a requirement for registration. Learn more about CPAs.
Confirmation of registration is typically given by NMBI within 10 working days. Notice will also be sent to the Director of Nursing/Midwifery or authorised individual of the health service employer.
Why is it necessary for me as a registered nurse prescriber to inform NMBI if I leave or terminate my job?
This is set out in relevant medicines regulation, specifically Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 and the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulation 2007. These regulations set out that you are only authorised to prescribe if you are employed by a health service provider.
In addition to be accepted to the Nurse Prescriber's Division of the Register of Nurses and Midwives it is necessary to notify NMBI of any change in the name or address of the employer or the location of the place of employment.
The Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA) is specific to your current position as a Registered Nurse Prescriber. NMBI's requirements state that all CPAs are considered null and void on the termination or movement of employment for which the CPA is originally intended. You are required to complete and submit the Termination of CPA form, which you can access by logging onto the site through the My Account section.
If you decide to leave your current place of employment, you must inform NMBI in writing within five working days outlining the reason for same (e.g. change of employment).