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The views of non-medical prescribing students and medical mentors on interprofessional competency assessment – A qualitative exploration

Afseth, Janyne D.; Paterson, Ruth E.


Janyne D. Afseth


The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the least restrictive countries in terms of scope of prescribing practice for non-medical prescribers and is a rapidly expanding group of professionals. In the United Kingdom nurse prescribers are assessed in practice by Designated Medical Practitioners (DMP) (doctors) which is a unique approach. In light of proposals to permit nurses to assess each other the benefits and challenges associated with current approach to interprofessional assessment warranted further exploration.
The aim was to explore interprofessional competency assessment with nurse non-medical prescribing students and their DMPs.
A descriptive qualitative research design was undertaken using semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
The study was completed in a Scottish University that provides non-medical prescribing education to nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
Participants and methods
Students (n?=?6) participated in two focus groups at the start and end of their supervised learning and assessment in practice. DMPs (n?=?6) participated in semi structured telephone interviews on completion of supervision. Utilising Clark's theory of interprofessional education, a thematic analysis was conducted.
Professional identity influenced interpretation of prescribing competence with regards assessment and scope of practice. Students and DMPs learned with, from and about each other, and provided a platform for two-way learning and mutual professional respect. The interprofessional learning experience developed relationships and provided ratification for the prescribing role post qualification.
Further exploration with key stakeholders and service users is recommended, prior to any changes to the designated professional group assigned to assessing non-medical prescribing competence.


Afseth, J. D., & Paterson, R. E. (2017). The views of non-medical prescribing students and medical mentors on interprofessional competency assessment – A qualitative exploration. Nurse Education Today, 52, 103-108.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2017
Publication Date 2017-05
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 26, 2017
Journal Nurse Education Today
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Pages 103-108
Keywords Nursing, Non-medical prescribing, Designated medical practitioners, Interprofessional education, Competencies
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