Australia’s former Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Dr Rosemary Bryant AO, has pledged to push for all nurses holding the power to prescribe following her appointment as a director to the Board of independent medicines information organisation NPS MedicineWise.
Dr Bryant joined the Board in October, replacing nursing researcher and long-serving member, Associate Professor Kay Price. She revealed her main motivation behind nominating to sit on the Board surrounds advocating for all nurses having prescribing rights.
“I’m very excited about the possibility of all nurses prescribing and NPS MedicineWise would have a role to play in that in assisting with education for nurses because if all nurses were to prescribe they would need to do some further education as Nurse Practitioners (NPs) do,” Dr Bryant explained.
“Primary healthcare particularly, a nurse being able to prescribe would be beneficial to patient care, patient ease of access, and access to the right drugs.”
Established in 1998, NPS MedicineWise is a not-for-profit, evidence based organisation that aims to lead innovation and improvement in the way health technologies, medicines and medical tests are prescribed and undertaken.
Dr Bryant brings a wealth of experience to the Board garnered from high-profile past roles including her time as the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, a position she held for seven years while leading policy development relating to the nursing and midwifery workforce, as well as a period as the Executive Director of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia.
Dr Bryant previously combined with NPS MedicineWise several years ago when helping to develop prescribing competencies for medical professionals.
Keeping a close eye on international trends, Dr Bryant said nurses in Spain and the UK currently possess the right to prescribe, however not all nurses choose to take up the option, with just 30% in the UK, for example, pursuing the path.
Dr Bryant said if nurses had prescribing rights they would be able to increase their scope and improve the continuum of care.
Dr Bryant said she is eager to begin her new role and promote nursing and midwifery.
“I have had not only a lot of experience in nursing and midwifery but I’ve had a lot of experience in health and with other professions and the policies around the practice of health professionals,” Dr Bryant said.
“It is really important in all areas or scenarios of health that the nursing voice is heard and that nurses bring a different perspective to the table from other health professionals.”
Dr Bryant added that one of the advantages of her new role as a director on the Board meant she would now also be able to relay the work of NPS MedicineWise of relevance to nurses so they remain up-to-date with important developments.
NPA MedicineWise Chair Peter Turner said Dr Bryant’s knowledge of the health system and strategic leadership would prove a valuable asset.
“Rosemary’s impeccable record and leadership credentials representing the nursing and midwifery professions on high-profile government committees make her a highly-valued addition to the Board.”
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