Annie Reynolds


Factors Influencing Controlled Substance Prescribing Behaviors Following Changes in Prescriptive Authority

Purpose: This evidence-based policy project examined factors influencing controlled substance prescribing behaviors among Florida’s APRNs and the impact prescribing controlled substances has had on their practice following legislative changes in 2017.

Methods: 1,850 Florida actively licensed APRNs completed an online survey assessing prescribing behaviors, preparation to prescribe, and perceptions on the prescribing effects on practice.

Results: Two years post-legislative change, 59.1.% of respondents prescribed controlled substances in their practice and reported improved ability to meet patient’s needs (62.3%). Around half of respondents felt very or extremely prepared to prescribe (51.3%) and comfortable doing so (45.8%). Feelings of comfort and preparedness were higher among APRNs who completed more continuing education hours (comfort: t=.324, p<.001; preparedness: t=.302, p<.001) and who rated their graduate education more highly (comfort: t=.282 p<.001; preparedness t=.320, p<.001). APRNs who did not prescribe most commonly cited a lack of desire to prescribe (33.9%), the presence of a physician on site who does the prescribing (30.3%, and site limitations (30.3%).

Discussion: A majority of Florida APRNs are reporting impactful changes through the utilization of their prescriptive authority for scheduled II-IV substances, having proactively increased their education and feelings of preparedness. Despite barriers persisting in practice, the prescribing utilization is encouraging and provides hope that as more APRNs embrace this transition, they will serve as leaders through the next Florida legislative segue to full practice authority.

Conclusions: Two years after Florida’s legislature expansion, APRNs are meeting or exceeding the educational requirements to prescribe controlled substances in their practice and are able to provide comprehensive care to their patients.

Major Professor: Alicia Craig-Rodriguez, DNP, MBA, APRN, FNP-BC







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