Antimicrobial resistance and prescribing behaviour

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an urgent public health concern and threatens to reduce the effectiveness of antimicrobials in the treatment of infections (WHO, 2011). High consumption, increased frequency and imprudent use of antimicrobials is believed to accelerate resistance and research suggests that inappropriate prescribing is apparent in practice. With a growing number of nursing staff prescribing antimicrobials, and the significant health impact of inadequate decision making around this prescribing, the practice of nurse prescribers is of particular interest. Since around 80% of antimicrobial prescribing occurs in primary care, where nurse prescribers have a key role, and with a growing number of nursing staff potentially prescribing antimicrobials, the impact of their practice must have an influence on AMR. This article will discuss the problem of AMR and its link with nurse prescribing before offering suggestions for nurse prescribers to improve their own prescribing practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Prescribing
Issue number5
Early online date8 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • antibiotic prescribing
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • practice nurse prescribers
  • prescribing practice


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