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Signing prescriptions with “as per…”-

I am an RN working in a family physician’s office. The other day, Dr. Smith asked me to write a new prescription for a client on her behalf because she was busy with another client. She instructed me to write the prescription and sign my name followed by, “as per Dr. Smith.” Can I do this?    

No, you should not sign the prescription regardless of  the physician’s request. Even if you write “as per Dr. Smith,” signing your name would mean you authorized the prescription. RNs and RPNs do not have the authority to do this.

Since Dr. Smith was physically present in the office to instruct you, the safest practice would be for her to personally write and sign the prescription. Then, it is your accountability to follow up as required (for example, give the prescription to the client or fax it to the client’s pharmacy through a secure fax line).

For more information about nurses’ accountabilities see the Scope of Practice standard.





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Page last reviewed July 01, 2023