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Non-medical prescribing assessment – An evaluation of a nationally agreed multi method approach

Paterson, Ruth E.; Redman, Susan G.; Unwin, Rachel; McElhinney, Evelyn; Macphee, Michael; Downer, Frances


Susan G. Redman

Rachel Unwin

Evelyn McElhinney

Michael Macphee

Frances Downer


In the United Kingdom, legislation permits nurses and allied health professionals to prescribe for patients within their care. Preparation for this role includes learning, teaching and assessment that is embedded in practice, supervised by a designated medical practitioner (DMP) and evidenced in a reflective learning in practice portfolio.
Aim: the objectives were to explore; (1) which assessment in the practice portfolio was ranked most valuable in terms of achieving safe, effective prescribing practice and, (2) whether a practice based assessment (SDEP) was an acceptable alternative to an Observed Simulated Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Methods: online surveys were conducted and follow up semi structured telephone interviews were conducted across 5 universities in Scotland with students, DMPs and line managers.
Results: students ranked the learning log most valuable and DMPs and line managers ranked the SDEP most valuable. Survey and follow up interviews suggested that the portfolio provided the opportunity to develop prescribing skills and knowledge relevant to their specific clinical speciality. There was agreement amongst all participants that clinical assessment in the practice portfolio effectively enable nonmedical prescribing students to evidence prescribing competence.
Summary: the novel use of the SDEP and reflective summary offers a viable alternative to an OSCE and was viewed as one of the most valued components of the assessment strategy.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 9, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2015
Publication Date 2016-01
Deposit Date May 3, 2016
Print ISSN 1471-5953
Electronic ISSN 1873-5223
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 280-286
Keywords Non-medical prescribing; practice assessment; portfolio;
interprofessional; work based learning;
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