RN Prescribing

Designated RN prescribing

Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) authorise two types of designated RN prescribing under the Medicines Act (1981).

1. Registered nurse prescribing in community health (RNPCH)

RNs working in the community must complete a work-based education programme (not post graduate level) before they can apply to the NCNZ for prescribing authority.

Once approved by NCNZ, RNs can prescribe medications from a limited formulary for minor ailments and illnesses in normally healthy people without significant health problems.

NCNZ provides guidelines on the scope of this prescribing role. More information and the medication formulary for RNs prescribing in community health can be found here at the NCNZ web site.

Wellsouth offers a NCNZ approved recertification programme. This is a six-month course, delivered online, requiring compulsory attendance in virtual tutorials. Successful completion of the programme is assessed via a portfolio (this is not a post graduate course). For more information regarding the perquisites for completing this course, including application details please see the Wellsouth website

2. Designated Registered Nurse prescribing in primary health and specialty teams

RNs working in primary health and specialty teams can complete a post graduate diploma (approved by NCNZ) and apply to the NCNZ for prescribing authority.

Once approved by NCNZ, these RNs have more extensive prescribing authority than community nurse prescribers. They can prescribe medications from a large formulary of prescription medicines enabling them to diagnose and prescribe for people with chronic conditions.

NCNZ provides guidelines on the prerequisite requirements and scope of this prescribing role. More information and the medication formulary for designated RNs prescribers in primary health and specialty teams can be found here at the NCNZ web site.  

The NCNZ provide a list of education providers who are accredited to deliver the post graduate diploma (RN prescribing).

For more information

Dr Kate Norris

Professional Nurse Advisor

Wellsouth

Kate.norris@wellsouth.org.nz