Journal of Professional Nursing

Learning to Become a Nurse Prescriber in New Zealand Using a Constructivist Approach: A narrative case study

Anecita Gigi Lim, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ
Michelle Honey, RN, PhD,  Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ
Nicola North, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Population Health, Auckland, NZ
John Shaw, BSc (Hons), PGDipClinPharm, PhD, Professor of Pharmacy, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ

Reference:  Lim, A.G., Honey, M., North, N., & Shaw, J. (2015). Learning to become a nurse prescriber in New Zealand using a constructivist approach: A narrative case study. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 31(3), 27-36. 


Prescribing is no longer the sole purview of the medical profession as a wider group of health practitioners in New Zealand, including nurses, may now prescribe.  Research on the educational preparation of nurses for a prescribing role is so far limited.  This study aims to understand the experiences of postgraduate nurses learning to become nurse practitioner prescribers when undertaking courses that employed a constructivist pedagogical approach.  Narrative inquiry, using multiple case analyses, was used to explore the perceptions, views and experiences of ten experienced prospective nurse prescribers.  Thematic analysis revealed two main themes: improved clinical practice, and enhanced professional relationships.  This study found a constructivist approach to learning facilitated prospective nurse prescribers to confidently draw on their clinical knowledge and experience while developing the knowledge and skills for prescribing.  Limitations of this study include the small sample size, and further research into the development of authorised and designated nurse prescribers in New Zealand is recommended. 

Nurse prescribing; constructivism; narrative case study; narrative inquiry; prescribing education

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