APRN Prescriptive Authority

Introduction

In 2012, the Department of Public Health produced guidelines for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) working in public health for implementing prescriptive authority. The guidelines, which are included in this toolkit, are based on the current statutes related to prescriptive authority for APRNs as well as the rules and regulations of the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the Georgia Board of Nursing and the Georgia Pharmacy Board.

This toolkit is to be used by APRNs in Public Health as well as the supervisors and/or District Nursing Directors to become familiar with all of the requirements for obtaining approval to exercise prescriptive authority in Georgia and the various steps and processes. The toolkit provides a preparation checklist, a template for APRNs in Public Health to use for the protocol agreement and other relevant information.

Purpose

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide a preparation checklist, resources and other relevant information for Prescriptive Authority APRNs in Public Health as well as the supervisors and/or District Nursing Directors. It offers guidance related to the requirements, steps, and processes for obtaining approval to exercise Prescriptive Authority in Georgia.

Benefits of Prescriptive Authority for APRNs in Public Health

1. Improve Access to Care

Georgia Department of Public Health’s mission is to prevent disease, injury, and disability, promote health and well-being, and prepare for and respond to disasters. In alignment with this mission, Georgia’s Public Health APRNs strive to improve the health and safety of Georgians by providing competent, caring, and compassionate nursing care.

There is currently a great need for Georgians to access primary and preventative healthcare. Public Health has always strived to improve access to care and medications, especially for the many Georgians living in medically underserved, rural, and urban areas. For the many Georgians who are treated by APRN’s in public health clinics throughout Georgia, the APRN’s ability to execute written and electronic orders help to increase accessibility to medications and quality health services.

APRN autonomy and prescriptive authority allows APRNs to fill gaps in preventative care and keep Georgians healthier. Increased APRN availability decreases the number of Georgians not receiving primary care; as well as those seeking treatment for otherwise preventable conditions in emergency rooms around the state, especially in rural counties where physician availability is often limited.

2. Strengthen Public Health Response to Disaster

By providing prescriptive authority to APRNs, during times of disaster, more providers are available to assess patients and order medications. This would be particularly helpful if Georgians are exposed to biological threats, such as anthrax and pandemic flu. APRNs could also provide healthcare services and order medications for those displaced during natural disasters. APRNs utilizing Prescriptive Authority will allow Public Health to respond more effectively during disasters and emergencies.

3. Improve Efficiency of Service

By utilizing APRNs with Prescriptive Authority, Public Health is able to provide efficient care for patients. For example, when a patient in Women’s Health services requests an oral contraceptive that is not part of the health department’s drug formulary, the APRN calls the order to a pharmacy. The process may require several phone calls to locate a pharmacy which can provide the medication at a reasonable, affordable price for the patient. Conversely, when an APRN has Prescriptive Authority, he/she can provide the patient with a written prescription for the oral contraceptive. The patient could then take it to an alternative pharmacy or shop for the best price. Greater efficiency in the ordering process will enable the APRN to provide healthcare services to more Georgians. 

Related File(s)

Carlson, K. (2017, March 2). NP Practice Authority Grows - March 2017 Update. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from:                  https://nurse.org/articles/nurse-practitioner-scope-of-practice-expands-mar17/ 

Download this pdf file.APRN Prescriptive Authority Guidelines 6/18

Page last updated 06/20/18