Iran’s health policymakers’ views on barriers and facilitators of nurse prescribing in their context: A qualitative study

Azar Darvishpour, Soodabeh Joolaee, Mohammad Ali Cheraghi, Nasrin Mokhtari-Lakeh


Background: In most countries, one of the main reasons for developing more advanced roles for nurses is to improve access to care in the context of limited number of doctors. It is considered that the introduction of major policy initiatives, such as nurse prescribing, requires high-level discussion and policy development to ensure successful implementation. This study aimed to identify the barriers and facilitators of nurse prescribing based on policymakers’ views in Iran.

Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was based on conventional content analysis approach. A purposeful sample of 14 participants were recruited, including 6 members of the Nursing Board, 6 members of the Iranian Nursing Organization, and 2 senior employees of Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Data were gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Results: The four emerged categories as facilitators of nurse prescribing were labeled “positive views of health policymakers,” “human resources capabilities,” “non-medical prescribing experiences,” and “governmental and non-governmental organizational activities.” The four extracted categories as barriers of nurse prescribing were “socio-cultural factors,” “organizational factors,” “educational barriers,” and “human barriers.”

Conclusions: Barriers and facilitating factors should be considered in order to bring about organizational policy changes and improve perspectives. Nurse prescribing requires the efforts of involved managers and authorities for development and modernization. The results of this study can serve as a compressed resource for policymakers and managers to identify the effective issues on nurse prescribing and can help them to plan for the implementation of nurse prescribing.



Barriers; drug prescriptions; facilitators; Iran; nurse; nurse administrators; nurse prescribing; policymakers

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