Should Nurses Be Allowed to Write Prescriptions?

Advanced practice nurses want to join the rest of the country and have the ability to sign a prescription. As it stands right now in the Peach State, doctors are the only ones who can write and sign a drug prescription.

Advanced practice registered nurses are demanding change saying doctors, nurses and patients would all benefit.

"This change is needed because it helps improve health care, it helps us improve our time management, it eliminates us having to call prescriptions into the drug store, which is time consuming," says Nurse Priscilla Greene.

Nurses say the current system requires they track a doctor down just to sign the prescription, a long process at times. If the change is made, patients could get their health care in a quicker manner.

"If we were actually allowed to sign a prescription, it would free up time for us, and time for the patient and time for the drug store," Priscilla adds.

Because advanced practice registered nurses receive even more training than standard nurses, many patients say they would feel comfortable with the change.

"If they're responsible enough to perform the exams, and have the knowledge and keep their certification, then yes, they should be able to sign prescriptions," says Paula Zakrzeski, who favors nurses writing drug prescriptions.

But powerful doctors lobbies are working the Georgia General Assembly to prevent the change, but many local advanced nurses and their patients are hoping the change is finally made this year.

Any change to allow nurses to write prescriptions must be approved by the Georgia Assembly, and then approved by Gov. Sonny Perdue.