The State of New York grants prescriptive privileges to a number of professions including Dentistry, Medicine, Midwifery, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Optometry, Physician Assistants, and Podiatry. In New York State, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives have independent prescriptive privilege. The word “independent” means that although the newly licensed nurse practitioner in practice with less than 3,600 hours of actual practice (approximately two years) and/or midwife are required to enter into a “collaborative agreement” with one physician, there is no legal requirement for the expert NP to have a written practice agreement. In both instances, the prescription is written only under the nurse practitioner’s or midwife’s name, and only the nurse practitioner’s or midwife’s name needs to appear on the prescription. By contrast, the physician assistant is considered a “dependent” practitioner who works under the “supervision” of a licensed physician responsible for the actions of the physician assistant. In the case of physician assistants, the name of the supervising physician must appear on the prescription in addition to that of the physician assistant. No co-signature of a collaborating physician is required for medication prescription, including controlled substances, for nurse practitioners, midwives or physician assistants.
New York State requires that nurse practitioners and midwives meet specific educational and practice requirements. A core requirement is the completion of an educational program that is registered by the New York State Education Department and that is designed and conducted to prepare graduates to practice as nurse practitioners. This requirement includes course work in pharmacology that meets minimum New York State requirements. If the nurse practitioner completed education in a program not registered by the New York State Education Department, for example, if they went to school in another state, the nurse practitioner or midwife must verify that they have obtained certification as a nurse practitioner from a national certifying body that is acceptable to the New York State Education Department AND have completed not less than three (3) semester hours of coursework in pharmacology.
The content of the pharmacology coursework must include instruction in medication management of patients in the nurse practitioner’s specialty area of practice. An additional requirement is instruction in New York State and Federal laws and regulations relating to prescriptions and recordkeeping.
This course discusses the scope of prescriptive privilege practice for nurse practitioners and midwives, including how to write a prescription, New York State prescription law, types of prescriptions (written, oral, faxed), and how to obtain official New York State prescription pads. *Although the term nurse practitioner has been used throughout this course, application extends to nurse midwives as well.
This course has been approved by the New York State Department of Education for nurse practitioners and nurse midwives who otherwise meet educational, practice, licensure and certification requirements, to meet the additional pharmacology coursework requirement.
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