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How to Become a Non-Medical Prescriber (NMP)

Non-medical prescribing was introduced over three decades ago, now, in 1992, and it’s estimated that there are now more than 90,000 NMPs registered throughout the UK.

NMPs have to undergo specific training to enable them to prescribe medications legally. However, there are many benefits in doing so (both for professionals and patients alike). 

So, if you’re a nurse, pharmacist, paramedic, optometrist, or any other number of healthcare professionals, and you fancy adding another string to your bow, then read on!

Why Were NMPs Introduced?

Put simply, so that patients could more easily access the medication they required, to take off some of the workloads from the medical professionals that were already able to prescribe, and to promote a more flexible healthcare workforce overall. 

It makes sense when you think about it; provided they’re trained and qualified (which all NMPs are), why wouldn’t you want a larger workforce able to prescribe much-needed medications?

Non-Medical Prescribing Courses (V100, V150, V200 and V300)

No, those terms don’t refer to the latest hot-rod engine sizes – although, to be frank, we’d love to see what a V300 engine could do around the Nürburgring… They’re the classification codes for non-medical prescriber courses. NMP courses fall into two categories: community and independent. 

V100 and V150 courses are undertaken by professionals who want to become community NMPs, whilst V200 and V300 courses help professionals become independent NMPs, also known as independent prescribers or IPs. We know, we know, there are a lot of terms and acronyms to juggle but stick with us. We promise it makes sense!

Independent Prescribers (IPs)

To become an IP, professionals must undertake a V200 or V300 course. These courses typically last between 26 and 38 days (of which multiple are usually supervised in practice).

Whether you take a V300 or V150 course used to depend on a professional’s time on the register. Now, however, it’s based on proving to the approved education institution (AEI) that you have the appropriate skills and experience required for the course in question. 

Community Practitioner Nurse Practitioners (CPNPs)

To become a CPNP, you must take a V100 or V150 course, which typically comprises 6-10 days of structured learning, as well as a similar number of days in supervised practice. Students on the V100 or V150 course must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 

How are these Courses Funded?

Funding for these courses varies, with some courses being supported by Health Education England (HEE), others by the employer themselves, and then of course there’s the option of candidates funding their courses directly. 

Full List of NMPs

The following are all healthcare professionals that can become either IPs or CPNPs:

  • Nurses (Can prescribe controlled drugs)
  • Pharmacists (Can prescribe controlled drugs)
  • Physiotherapists (Can prescribe certain controlled drugs)
  • Therapeutic radiographers (Cannot prescribe controlled drugs)
  • Podiatrists (Can prescribe certain controlled drugs)
  • Paramedics (Cannot prescribe controlled drugs)
  • Chiropodists (Can prescribe certain controlled drugs)
  • Optometrists (Cannot prescribe controlled drugs)  
  • Community practitioners (previously known as Health Visitors and District Nurses) 

Requirements to Become an NMP

To become an NMP, healthcare professionals must enrol in an accredited course provided by an HEI (Higher Education Institution). These courses ensure that NMPs work within the correct framework and prescribe the appropriate medications safely. Other requirements to become a non-medical prescriber include:

  • Evidence of ongoing training or CPD  
  • Appraisal documents  
  • Proof of your experience within the field 

What are the Benefits of Becoming an NMP?

The benefits of becoming an NMP are many and varied. Non-medical prescribers can more immediately help patients by prescribing drugs directly; knowing that you’re cutting down on waiting times and providing a more efficient service that gets patients what they need, more quickly, is a gratifying feeling. 

There may also be monetary benefits, too. If you compare the median salary for a Registered Nurse with that of an NMP, the difference is pretty striking; according to, the median salary for an RN is £34,916, whilst the median wage for an NMP is almost £10,000 higher than that, coming in at £44,666. That’s a pretty big financial incentive to take your NMP qualification. 

Becoming an NMP can be thought of as one of the best examples of upskilling there is. At its best, it’s a fully funded course that requires only a little additional academic study. And at its worst, if you need to fund the course yourself, it’s still a relatively minor shorter-term investment in return for significant economic gains down the line. 

Final Thoughts

Becoming an NMP is an excellent option for a variety of healthcare professionals out there who want to enhance and improve their patients’ experience whilst at the same time also earning a bit of extra money – quite a bit extra, in fact! Get in touch today if you want to find out more about any of the NMP roles we have on offer.

Carry on reading