April 26, 2022
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Advanced Pharmacology

Advanced pharmacology wk 1 assignment

Assignment: Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs

What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient? How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?

These are some of the questions you might consider when selecting a treatment plan for a patient.  

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As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives every day. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the treatment plans and administration/prescribing of drugs is in accordance with the regulations of the state in which you practice. Understanding how these regulations may affect the prescribing of certain drugs in different states may have a significant impact on your patient’s treatment plan. In this Assignment, you explore ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.

To Prepare

· Review the Resources for this module and consider the legal and ethical implications of prescribing prescription drugs, disclosure, and nondisclosure.

· Review the scenario assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment.

· Search specific laws and standards for prescribing prescription drugs and for addressing medication errors for your state or region, and reflect on these as you review the scenario assigned by your Instructor.

· Consider the ethical and legal implications of the scenario for all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.

· Think about two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your ethically and legally responsible decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose any medication errors.

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

As a nurse practitioner, you prescribe medications for your patients. You make an error when prescribing medication to a 5-year-old patient. Rather than dosing him appropriately, you prescribe a dose suitable for an adult.

· Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.

· Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.

· Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation. 

· Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.

Reminder: include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.


Ethical and Legal Implications

The prescribers are responsible for calculating children doses and writing it correctly and not depending on the Pharmacist to calculate doses (White, 2011). The provider usually holds the highest responsibility in the process as do the Pharmacist because they fill the medications and rectify errors. Prescribers have a major role in the use of medicine where in the process errors can occur. It is the prescribers’ obligation and duty to report the error to the patient’s family to inform them of the mistake and correct the problem of the dosage. As a prescriber it will be ethical and a legal responsibility regardless of a near miss if a patient is nearly harmed or potential for harm. Medication error is a process that involve different healthcare professionals such as the ordering provider. The family needs to be notified of the error. Pharmacists, with their knowledge and expertise of medicines are ideal educators for other health professionals and their educator role has been shown to be an effective prevention measure in range of patient populations (Arcangelo, 2017). Providers must keep an open, fair working association with their patients. It is our obligation to maintain genuineness with our patients paying little respect to the outcome (Ehsani, 2013). Disclosure of a mistake to the patient will improve the trust in the provider and try to repair or correct the issue. Medication error is a process that involve different healthcare professionals such as the ordering provider.


There are strategies that can eliminate medication errors while prescribing. Prescribers need to be aware of the laws in their state which their practicing to ensure liability for unintentional harm is governed by tort law known as professional negligence law which of duty must be compensable harm to the patient, caused damages (Edersheim, & Stern, 2009). The prescriber can have another professional colleague to double check the calculation of the medication to ensure the dosage is correct for the patient when ordering high alert drugs or pediatric dosage. As a prescriber you are responsible for every prescription you write and drug you administer. Medication error can be because of miscommunication between providers, nurses, pharmacist, and patients which communication barriers should be eliminated (Merry, & Anderson, 2011). Its good practice to have your patient read back instructions after educating them about the medication prescribed to ensure the patient understands and comprehends. Lastly, to avoid medication errors prescriptions should be written with double checking doses before discharging the patient.


Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Edersheim, J. G., & Stern, T. A. (2009). Liability Associated with prescribing medications. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 11(3), 115-119

Ehsani, R., Cheraghi, M. A., Nejati, A., Salari, A., Esmaeilooor, A. H., & Nejad, E. M. (2013). Medication errorw of nurses in the emergency department. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 6, 11. Retrieved from

Merry, A. F., & Anderson, B. J. (2011). Medication-errors new approaches to prevention. Pediatric Anesthesia, 21(7), 743-753

White, C. S. (2011). Advanced practice prescribing issues and strategies in preventing medication errors. Journal of Nursing Law, 14(3), 120-127. Retrieved from doi:10.1891/1073-7472.

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