An exploration of why qualified mental health nurse prescribers do not prescribe

Helen Oldknow, Warren Gillibrand, Andrew Clifton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is an exploratory study of perceptions in mental health nurses who are qualified to prescribe yet choose not to do so. In-depth semi-structured face-to-face interviews, field notes and analysis of documents were used to investigate the perceptions of the non–prescribing nurse prescriber. A mapping exercise was conducted to identify potential participants. Interview data analysis was based on the principles of descriptive phenomenology and the research was theoretically framed within
concepts of power, structure/agency and culture. This study has contributed to understanding the views of non‑prescribing mental health nurse prescribers on why they
do not use their prescribing qualification. The findings from this study suggest that there are complex, interlocking factors: power and knowledge; culture; and structure and agency, which may enable or prevent mental health nurse prescribers from independently prescribing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2019


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