Can A Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication? (Required Qualifications)

Can A Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication? (Required Qualifications)

Can a nurse practitioner prescribe medication? We all know that prescription of medicines is a very crucial part of the medical industry. It requires proper training and education to administer quality health care. What are the qualifications needed for a nurse practitioner to get licensed in prescribing medications? It’s a critical question that we have to find answers. On the other hand, you may visit to schedule a consultation for your medical needs.


Prescription of medicines

Generally speaking, a medical prescription is usually a written order that qualified health care personnel issues. The patients will show this prescription to the pharmacists or therapists to get the medications or device necessary for their treatment.

A prescription can come into five different types depending on the situation, as stated below:

  1. Simple prescription: Health care professionals write this prescription for a single medicinal substance only.
  2. Compound prescription: This prescription includes more than a single component and may need compounding by the pharmacist.
  3. E-prescriptions (electronic prescriptions): It is a way of generating prescription of medicines through an electronic device, such as a computer, tablet or laptop. They will transmit the prescribed medications to pharmacies using a software program.
  4. In-patient prescription: It usually takes place inside a hospital setting.nurse practitioner smiling beautifully
  5. Narcotic prescription: This type includes a narcotic substance or other habit forming drugs.

Prescription of medicines is not just a written medical order form. It contains the drugs or devices that the patient need for their treatment. For this reason, prescribed medications should be accurate and correct. The safety of the patient will be at stake in case an error occurs.


Importance of prescription

Patients solely depend on prescriptions to secure the medicines or devices they need for their health conditions. For this reason, writing prescriptions should be accurate. They should eliminate prescription errors. This action if for safety purposes for the patient.

Here are some recommendations to ensure giving an accurate prescription.

  1. Minimize verbal medical orders as much as possible. It would be best to have legible prescription documents.
  2. It would help to include a brief notation of the medicine’s purpose.
  3. They should ensure that they write all prescription orders using the metric system, except for the therapies that use standard units.
  4. They should keep in mind using metric weight or volume only for real liquid doses.
  5. It would be best to include the patient-reported age to determine the appropriate drug and dose.
  6. A prescription should include all the necessary details, such as drug name, exact metric weight or concentration, and dosage form.
  7. Always include the zero in decimal expressions in the prescription. On the other hand, they should not indicate a zero after a decimal.
  8. The prescribers should not use abbreviations, especially in drug names.

There are plenty of more guidelines that can help secure an error-free prescription. Each medical facility shall ensure that their staffs follow these guidelines and keep it in practice.


What is a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with sufficient and advanced training and education. To become a registered nurse, they have to get a master’s or doctoral degrees. Nurse practitioners have the license to manage people’s health conditions and prevent diseases.

The nurse practitioner can be a part of a specialty care team. Besides that, nurse practitioners get their license under the Nursing Board, while doctors get it through the Medical Board.

Here are the typical responsibilities that a nurse practitioner can do:

  1. They can diagnose and treat acute conditions.
  2. Nurse practitioners can provide an order for diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or lab works.
  3. They can manage the patient’s overall health care.
  4. In the absence of the physician, nurse practitioners can serve as a primary care provider.
  5. They can also be board-certified in some specialties such as family practice or women’s health.

On the other hand, we want to know the nurse practitioner’s eligibility to give a prescription. Are they allowed? Is it possible? We can consider a prescriptive authority a complicated issue for nurse practitioners and the medical field.

Prescribing medications differ in every state, as they have varying regulations. Let’s continue moving forward in this article.


Nurse practitioners’ eligibility to prescribe medication

How broad can it be for a health care professional to do their job? As for a nurse practitioner, is it okay for them to prescribe medications? Well, the answer would be yes only under a few limitations. Initially, the state licensure provided them with the permit to write the prescription.

Generally speaking, patients have ease of access when making appointments. Patients can get an appointment sooner with a nurse practitioner in comparison to seeing a doctor. However, when it comes to prescribing controlled substances, the nurse practitioner should have a DEA number.

DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Administration. It is the legal entity that provides an identifier or number to health care providers. Additionally, this number will serve as proof that they are allowed to write prescriptions for controlled substances.

Even though writing prescriptions do not technically need a DEA number, some insurance companies and pharmacies consider this. They use it as a way to identify medical providers. In effect, they can easily track them in their records, such as for insurance claims.


Nurse practitioners in prescribing controlled substances

Every state differs in their prescriptive authority and regulations. They have different standards to follow regarding allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances and drugs.

    1. A nurse practitioner should be competent in prescribing medications. They should at least have completed their educational and specific employee requirements. They must ensure to have these qualifications before they can start to prescribe controlled substances or drugs.
    2. The nurse practitioner is entirely responsible and accountable for the prescription they write. Physicians do not have the responsibility to oversight or countersign the nurse practitioner’s prescription of controlled substances.
    3. Furthermore, there are guidelines available to support the nurse practitioner in prescribing medicines and devices.
    4. Additionally, some states only allow prescribing of controlled substances under a bonafide provider-patient relationship.



Given these points, we can say that nurse practitioners can write prescriptions. However, they should do this with caution. As shown above, a prescription is essential and can affect the patient’s health conditions.

Share the Knowledge!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Checkbox GDPR is required


I agree

27 + = 34