Publication Date



Aims and objectives

To explore which medications Australian nurse practitioners most frequently prescribe.


Although nurse practitioners in Australia have prescriptive authority, little is known about which specific medications nurse practitioners are prescribing and how frequently they do so.


Descriptive electronic survey.


A total of 209 nurse practitioners reported current prescribing practices. Medications reported were categorised according to the Australian Medicines Handbook major drug classifications and frequencies presented.


Seventy-eight per cent of respondents reported prescribing medications as part of their Nurse Practitioner practice. In total, participants reported prescribing 234 separate medications from most Australian Medicines Handbook major drug classifications. Medications from the classification anti-infective drugs were most frequently prescribed followed by medications from analgesic, psychotropic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, genitourinary and gastrointestinal classifications.


The majority of nurse practitioners in Australia prescribe medications in their clinical practice, although the proportion of nurse practitioners prescribing has not changed significantly in the past four years. The medications prescribed are comparable with those most frequently prescribed by all prescribers in Australia and highlight the diversity in scope of practice among nurse practitioners.

Document Type

Journal Article

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