Having the authority to prescribe medications as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse includes a host of regulatory, legal, ethical and socioeconomic considerations that may not be emphasized in nursing programs.  

That was the genesis of “The Advanced Registered Nurse as a Prescriber,” edited by Louise Kaplan, Associate Professor at the WSU College of Nursing-Vancouver, and Marie Annette Brown, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Now the two editors have come out with a second edition of the reference text, updated with chapters on global prescribing and on medical marijuana.  

“Most APRN programs have pharmacology courses where students learn about drugs and how to prescribe them, but they don’t learn about how to be a prescriber, which is a very different component of your practice,” Kaplan said. “We wanted to help APRNs consider the multitude of factors that influence the prescribing decision and process that’s more than what’s the drug and what’s the dose.”  

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The second edition of “The Advanced Registered Nurse as a Prescriber,” edited by Associate Professor Louise Kaplan, has been published.

Associate Professor Tracy Klein, who authored a chapter in the book on state and national regulation of prescribing, said those considerations might include what happens when a provider makes a decision on an appropriate prescription but the patient’s insurance doesn’t cover it.  

The book also addresses differences in state law on whether and how APRNs can prescribe medications, and strategies for managing difficult or complex patient interactions, authored by a psychiatric nurse practitioner.  

The new chapter on medical marijuana is written from a regulatory perspective to help providers understand the process of providing an authorization, qualifying conditions and restrictions.  

“Over two-thirds of states have legal medical marijuana,” Kaplan observed. “Even though APRNs are not authorized in all states to provide certifications, they’re still going to be asked questions.”  

The first edition of the book has been used as both a textbook and a reference, Kaplan said.  

“Because there’s very little about the prescribing role in pharmacology courses, many people graduate and say, ‘I need more of this information,’” she said. “We hope it will be widely used and applicable to all Advanced Practice nursing programs.