writing prescriptions

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    Can anyone tell me if the Illinois Nurse Practice Act now allows RN's (not APN's) to write prescriptions, sign the doctor's name and then slash it with his or her initials? I always thought this was outside our scope of practice, but apparently is being done state wide. I have e-mailed Illinois Department of Professional Regulation but so far have not received a response. I heard it took a long time to get information so I thought I would toss it out to the Illinois nurses.
  2. 10 Comments so far...

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    Well, I'm an RN who is completing an APN and I've never done the sign the doctors name thing except for telephone or verbal orders. I would certainly wait to hear back from IDPH before I participated in this practice.
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    Thanks for your reply. I do not participate in this practice, but I had a nurse tell me that she does. I even called a local pharmacy and was told that they accepted prescriptions written in this fashion. I've been an RN for 30 years and did not think that this was in the scope of our practice. I can't believe that a nurse or a doctor would want this kind liability in this day and age of lawsuits.
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    Lots of nurses on the floor do it at my hospital, we just cant do narcotics. Like if the doctor discharges on pepcid or something like that and it is a new prescription, we send them home with a script written by us with the dr name and our name. this is in our scope of practice, heck even medical assistants do it at the md office, so if they can do it I know we can.
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    Quote from Niya
    Lots of nurses on the floor do it at my hospital, we just cant do narcotics. Like if the doctor discharges on pepcid or something like that and it is a new prescription, we send them home with a script written by us with the dr name and our name. this is in our scope of practice, heck even medical assistants do it at the md office, so if they can do it I know we can.

    Please check with IDPR regarding this practice, as I am almost certain that it is NOT within the scope of an RN's practice in the State of IL. This is not the equivalent of taking a phone or verbal order from a doctor in the hospital setting and writing a med order in the chart to be sent to the in-house pharmacy, which is legal.

    I can't imagine a reliable pharmacy accepting such a script and dispensing medication based on it. If they actually take it from the patient, they must be calling the doctor's office to verify prior to filling it.

    As for the argument that it must be OK since medical assistants do it...that is no justification for you to do it, as it is comparing apples and oranges. Medical assistants practice as an "extention" of the physician, under the physician's license, and under the direct supervision of the physician in the same office. You are an independently licensed professional, and must follow the scope of practice of your own profession. You are not a "physician extender", do not practice under the physician's license or under the direct supervision of the physician, nor are you physically present in the same work setting.

    Continuing this practice could very well place your license in jeopardy.
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    I only do telephone orders, thank you. Never heard of the other practice.

    Suebird
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    Quote from Niya
    Lots of nurses on the floor do it at my hospital, we just cant do narcotics. Like if the doctor discharges on pepcid or something like that and it is a new prescription, we send them home with a script written by us with the dr name and our name. this is in our scope of practice, heck even medical assistants do it at the md office, so if they can do it I know we can.
    Definitely check with your BON on that. If a physician can write the discharge order, he or she can take the time to write the prescription for it. That is what they are getting padi to do.

    A medical assistant in a medical office is funtioning under the physician's license, you are functionin gin the hospital setting under your own RN license. And prescribing a medication is not permitted under your scope of practice. Just because everyone does it here will not hold up in a court of law. It can cost you your license if there ever is an issue.

    If a physician is standing in front of you and tells you to write something, that falls under "verbal order" but for you to assume, and that is what you would be doing, then it is out of the scope of practice for any RN.
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    I've been gone for a week for spring break and noticed all the replies. Here's is an update. I finally talked with Colleen Hurst who is a nurse investigator for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. She emphatically said that this practice is NOT within the scope of practice for an R.N. This came straight from the state. I went online to try and find some information and found her name and number. She was very pleasant but straightforward. I do not participate in this practice, but to those who do....just remember that you are in charge of your license, not the doctor who is asking you to do it.
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    Well, I have definitely seen the light, I was taught that this was acceptable when I worked on a tele floor years ago, I myself have not written one because I transferred to ICU and we just dont discharge to home with scripts, but I totally thought that it was ok to do. Wow... now I know...and by the way, what is a BON?
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    BON = Board of Nursing......

    Suebird


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