Independent Prescribing Course

Non-Medical Prescribing course prepares you to prescribe medicines from the British National Formulary (BNF) in your area of competence, assisting you in extending your practice. You’ll learn to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively, as both an independent and supplementary prescriber.

Who should attend?

You’ll already be a registered nurse, midwife, pharmacist, physiotherapist, paramedic, chiropodist, podiatrist, dietician, diagnostic or therapeutic radiographer, and this course may interest you because there is a recognised need for you to prescribe within your clinical practice.

Entry requirements

  • Registered for 24 months with the GPhC (pharmacists). Additionally, pharmacist applicants must have at least 24 months experience in the specialist role in which they will prescribe and must take this module at level 7.
  • Registered for 12 months with the NMC (nurses/midwives).
  • Registered with the HCPC (allied health professionals – with appropriate experience; paramedics must be working in an advanced practice, non-ambulance setting and must take this module at level 7.

University of Plymouth
Independent Prescribing Course
Address: Plymouth Devon PL4 8AA United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1752 600600

Independent Prescribing Course: Empowering Optometrists for Enhanced Vision Care


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Independent Prescribing Course, a program designed to empower optometrists with the knowledge and skills necessary for independent prescribing. In this article, we will explore how the Independent Prescribing Course enables optometrists to take a proactive role in vision care by directly prescribing medications when appropriate, expanding their scope of practice, and optimizing patient outcomes.

Section 1: The Role of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists

Independent prescribing allows optometrists to play a more active role in managing vision-related conditions by directly prescribing medications. By completing the Independent Prescribing Course, optometrists gain the legal authority to independently assess patients, diagnose vision-related conditions, and prescribe medications, enabling them to provide comprehensive and specialized care in their optometry practice.

Section 2: Overview of the Independent Prescribing Course

The Independent Prescribing Course is a specialized program tailored specifically to the needs of optometrists. It focuses on equipping optometrists with the necessary clinical knowledge, assessment skills, and prescribing competencies to manage a wide range of vision-related conditions and optimize patient care.

Section 3: Pharmacology and Medications in Optometry Practice

The Independent Prescribing Course places a strong emphasis on pharmacology and medications in optometry practice. Optometrists gain in-depth knowledge of medications commonly used in the management of vision-related conditions, including their mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses, potential side effects, and considerations for safe administration. This knowledge allows them to make informed prescribing decisions, monitor patient responses, and optimize medication therapy as part of their comprehensive treatment plans.

Section 4: Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in Optometry

The Independent Prescribing Course equips optometrists with advanced clinical assessment and diagnostic skills specific to optometry. They learn to perform comprehensive eye examinations, interpret diagnostic tests, and make accurate diagnoses related to vision conditions. These skills enable them to develop individualized treatment plans and prescribe medications when appropriate, contributing to improved patient outcomes.

Section 5: Integration of Medication Management in Vision Care

The Independent Prescribing Course provides optometrists with specialized training in integrating medication management into vision care. They learn how to incorporate medication therapy into their treatment plans, ensuring a comprehensive approach to patient care. By prescribing medications as part of their treatment strategy, optometrists can effectively manage conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, and ocular infections, optimizing visual health.

Section 6: Collaborative Practice and Interprofessional Collaboration

Optometrists who complete the Independent Prescribing Course actively engage in collaborative practice and interprofessional collaboration. They work alongside ophthalmologists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to ensure coordinated and patient-centered vision care. This collaboration enhances patient outcomes, promotes interdisciplinary communication, and fosters a team-based approach to vision health management.

Section 7: Advantages of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists

Becoming an Independent Prescribing Practitioner as an optometrist offers several advantages:

1. Expanded Scope of Practice: Independent Prescribing Practitioners in optometry can provide a broader range of interventions, including medication management, alongside their existing vision care services.

2. Comprehensive Vision Care: Optometrists with independent prescribing authority can address both the optometric and pharmacological aspects of patient management, ensuring a holistic approach to vision health.

3. Enhanced Treatment Outcomes: By integrating medication therapy into their practice, optometrists can effectively manage vision-related conditions, optimizing visual health and improving patient outcomes.

4. Professional Growth and Leadership Opportunities: Completing the Independent Prescribing Course opens doors to professional growth, specialization, and leadership roles within the field of optometry. It allows optometrists to contribute to advancing vision care practices and play an active role in shaping healthcare



The Independent Prescribing Course empowers optometrists to enhance their optometry practice and optimize patient care through independent prescribing and medication management. By completing this program, optometrists can expand their roles, integrate medication therapy into their treatments, and provide comprehensive vision care that promotes the well-being of their patients.

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