Becoming a prescriber

Find out more about the entry requirements for prescribing programmes

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The entry requirements for NMC-approved prescribing programmes have changed under our new standards for prescribing programmes.

Under our old standards, readiness for entry onto a prescribing programme was largely determined by how long someone had been on the register. For a V150 community prescriber programme, it was a minimum of 2 years; for a V300 independent, it was a minimum of 3 years.

However, basing entry requirements on the period of time someone had been on the register did not guarantee that they were suitable to complete further training in prescribing theory and practice.

Under the new standards, readiness for entry onto a prescribing programme is now determined by whether you can evidence the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the programme.

If you trained under the new nursing standards

Under the new Future Nurse proficiencies, newly qualified nurses will have a higher level of proficiency in skills such as assessment, diagnostics, care planning and management, pharmacology and leadership. These are all important skills for prescribers.

However, if you’ve qualified under the new standards, it shouldn’t be considered an automatic step to go straight onto a V100/150 community prescribing programme, or onto a V300 independent prescribing programme after a year.

You’ll need to prove to the approved education institution (AEI) delivering your chosen prescribing programme that you're capable of safe and effective practice at a level of proficiency appropriate to the programme  undertaken and your intended area of prescribing practice.

You'll also need to show that you have the necessary skills in clinical and health assessment, diagnostics, care management and the planning and evaluation of care.

Who decides if I’m ready to apply?

Your AEI will make this decision when you apply. Although the selection process is often a partnership between you, your employer (if you’re employed), the AEI and their practice placement partners.

If you’re employed, your employer should make sure you’re suitably experienced and ready to undertake the higher level of learning required for prescribing programmes before putting you forward.

What evidence will I need?

Your AEI will make clear the admission criteria and process, and may take the following into consideration when making their decision:

  • your previous learning - including formal post-registration training modules or ongoing training and CPD.
  • your revalidation portfolio or appraisal documents.
  • experience in the area of nursing care that you currently work in and intend to practise.

AEIs will also consider whether any prior learning and experience could lead to recognition of prior learning. This means you can complete the programme over a shorter period.

You’ll still have to undertake all practice learning parts of the programme and the numeracy and pharmacology assessments.