Nurse Practitioners - Prescribing and Practice Conference

An Essential Update


Nurse Practitioners continue to increase in numbers because their unique and adaptive roles make them vital to the Australian healthcare system. Nurse Practitioners are the innovators, evolving to meet the needs of consumers and patients. Broad access education to inform current and future professional practice, as well as prescribing, is essential. Attend this conference and learn about key updates influencing prescribing and practice, including:

  • How to ensure your prescribing practices are grounded in risk management
  • What to do when multiple medicines are no longer necessary
  • Changes in the pharmacological management of type 2 diabetes and atrial fibrillation
  • Safe deprescribing of medicines used for mental health and addiction
  • Prescribing strategies to avoid opioid misuse
  • The pharmacological profile of cannabis
  • Breakout rooms, essential networking opportunities, and much, much more…

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Nurse Practitioners – Prescribing and Practice Conference - Sydney 2019
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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One

Associate Professor Timothy Ward

Acknowledgment of Country, Welcome and Introduction to Conference

Dr Jenny Gowan

Golden Rules for the Quality Use of Medicines

This essential opening session commences the conference by providing a practical yet extensively evidenced-approach to the quality use of medicines. Ensure your practices are safe and up-to-date. Topics include:

  • How to ensure your prescribing practices are grounded in risk management
  • Avoidance and early detection of adverse effects
  • What to do when high-risk combinations of medicines exist

Stretch Break

Dr Jenny Gowan

Deprescribing – A Practical Guide to Tackling Polypharmacy

Deprescribing is a simple approach to reducing the risk of adverse events associated with polypharmacy. However, the act of deprescribing is not always straightforward. This session revisits how to address unnecessary and inappropriate medicine use. It includes:

  • What to do when multiple medicines are no longer necessary
  • How to prevent prescribing cascades
  • Significant barriers to deprescribing and tips on how to overcome them
  • Implementing a monitoring regime following deprescribing
  • Key literature, tools, and resources to support deprescribing and more…
11:00 Morning Tea

Professor Peter Carroll

Type 2 Diabetes – Pharmacological Treatment Update

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes requires all Nurse Practitioners to prevent complications, manage emergencies, and improve self-management. As such, this important session revises the current evidence for this major disease state – type 2 diabetes – and its current pharmacological treatment. It includes:

  • Type II diabetes - pathophysiology and causes
  • Pharmacological treatment update - what’s new, what’s recommended, what’s not?
  • Holistic prescribing - cardiovascular and renal protection in type II diabetes and more …
Professor Peter Carroll

Atrial Fibrillation – A Therapeutic Approach

According to the recently released Australian clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation (National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2018) atrial fibrillation (AF) is on the rise. Key changes in the management of AF, including the following, will be discussed:

  • Rate vs rhythm control
  • What are the key pharmacology and prescribing considerations most relevant to AF?
  • How is stroke prophylaxis achieved?
1:30 Lunch and Networking


BREAKOUT ROOMS (select one from the three below)

Elaine Ford

Breakout Room One – Mental Health

Mental Health Medicines – Focus on Deprescribing

Monitoring a person after prescribing a medicine is essential. Taking the next step of deprescribing takes preparation. This session will use case scenarios and create discussion to consider:

  • Key criteria to identify patients who may benefit from deprescribing
  • How to weigh up risks and benefits
  • Strategies for safe and effective deprescribing, as well as minimisation of unwanted effects, including withdrawal and discontinuation syndromes
  • Communicating with the interprofessional team
Gwen Higgins

Breakout Room Two – Older Adults

Reducing Anticholinergic Burden in Older Adults - Focus on Deprescribing

Many medicines have some anticholinergic effects and can cause a range of adverse effects in older people. These include cognitive effects, constipation, dry mouth and dry eyes, urinary retention and tachycardia. Evidence suggests exposing people with dementia or other cognitive impairment to anticholinergics contributes to their cognitive deficit and can increase their risk of falls. This session will explore:

  • Which medicines have anticholinergic effects?
  • What conditions are they prescribed for?
  • Who is at risk of increased anticholinergic burden?
  • How can I avoid and/or deprescribe anticholinergics especially in older adults with dementia?
Dr Kathy Tori

Breakout Room Three – Professional Issues

How to Develop Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Nurse Practitioners are at the peak of the nursing profession, often juggling multiple roles, with descriptions that may include clinical, managerial, academic, research, and even entrepreneurial activities. In this challenging environment, it is likely that you could fall behind in maintaining an accurate record of your achievements. Attend this workshop to hear:

  • Key information to include or exclude
  • When to update your CV
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Lesley Salem

The Ins and Outs of Prescribing in Impaired Renal Function

All prescribers benefit from revising the key pharmacology and prescribing considerations required in the presence of renal impairment. From mild renal impairment through to chronic renal failure that requires renal replacement therapy, this session discusses:

  • What are the key pharmacological concepts related to renal function?
  • Is there new evidence related to medications that can cause renal failure?
  • What is the best-practice for mounting and adjusting doses?
  • What psychosocial considerations are vital?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Associate Professor Timothy Wand

Announcements and Welcome to Day Two of Conference

Professor Sallie-Anne Pearson

Prescriber Behaviour – Latest Trends

New insights, including big data, are revealing key influences on prescriber behaviour. This session looks at research into prescriber behaviour and how it impacts patient outcomes. It includes:

  • What does post-market surveillance of medicine use tell us about trends in prescriber behaviour?
  • How can ‘big data’ support the evaluation of pharmaceutical policy interventions?
Matt Lutze

What’s in Your Toolkit? Medicines in an Emergency

Not every Nurse Practitioner works in an emergency department, but any patient can collapse! Refresh your knowledge on first line medicines used during a medical emergency. It includes a brief refresher on conducting a rapid assessment and ongoing monitoring considerations. Topics include:

  • Medicines, indications, and doses for:
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Acute asthma
    • Cardiac arrest
    • Severe bradycardia or asystole
    • Acute psychosis
    • Severe hypoglycaemia
    • Opioid overdose
10:30 Morning Tea

Dr Margaret Jordan

Avoiding Opioid Misuse - Strategies to Support Safe Prescribing

The intentional or unintentional misuse of pharmaceutical opioids in Australia has led to harm, dependence and addiction. In this session, we will explore the following topics:

  • Opioids of concern and worrying trends
  • Strategies to reduce risk of harm
  • Individual factors to consider when prescribing
Facilitated by: Associate Professor Timothy Wand

Presenters: Sinead Sheils, Amy Bowen and James McVeigh

Showcasing Nurse Practitioner Roles

NP role showcases are essential to developing an understanding of your colleagues’ roles, and for the potential future expansions to your scope of practice. They also broaden your learning experience in relation to assessment and referral of complex patients. Each showcase in this session covers:

  • A brief overview of the role and scope of practice
  • Two case examples
  • Future directions, service gaps, and NP opportunities
12:45 Lunch and Networking


BREAKOUT ROOMS (select one from the three below)

Stephen Ling

Breakout Room One – Addiction

Practical Approaches to Prescribing in People with Addictions

Addiction is often associated with a multitude of complex acute and chronic problems, either as a by-product of a person’s dependence or as a contributing factor. Balancing a professional, unbiased approach while managing the potential for misuse and compliance issues is essential when approaching the medication management of a person with an addiction. This session considers:

  • How to take a balanced approach to risk management
  • Practical approaches to preventing accidental or intentional misuse
  • Professional considerations when prescribing in patients with an addiction
James McVeigh

Breakout Room Two – Diagnostics

Shining a Light on Diagnostics

By popular demand, this brief overview of diagnostics will draw on a range of cardiac-focused case studies, relevant to general and specialist scopes, in order to discuss:

  • Key strategies for judicious use of diagnostics
  • Access to diagnostics for NPs – what can you access under the Medicare Benefits Schedule?
Dr Treasure McGuire

Breakout Room Three – Paediatrics

A Systematic Approach to Quality Use of Antibiotics in Children

This session will practically present four important considerations that all Nurse Practitioners must be aware of to promote safe, appropriate, and effective use of one of our most precious resources – antibiotics in children. It will draw on common paediatric clinical scenarios to highlight the importance of understanding your role in:

  • Observing for an infection
  • Considerations when determining a likely pathogen (e.g. correlation with M/C/S results)
  • Selecting a therapy (or an alternate therapy)
  • Monitoring and assessing a child's response (intended or unintended)

Session Concludes


BREAKOUT ROOMS (select one from the three below)

Dr Treasure McGuire

Breakout Room One – Pregnancy

Prescribing During Pregnancy – Myths and Facts

How can Nurse Practitioners promote a consistent, evidenced, and safe approach to prescribing during pregnancy? This session looks at some myths and realities of safe prescribing practice and includes:

  • A review of key pharmacological concepts required for evidenced-approaches to prescribing during pregnancy
  • Case studies to link theory to your practice
Christine Muller

Breakout Room Two – Mental Health

The Nurse Practitioner Detective

As NP's we use critical thinking skills and professional judgment on a daily basis in our practice. It is essential that we continue to revise and strengthen these skills to ensure that we can recognise and act on significant changes and promptly. In this highly interactive session, we will:

  • Gradually move through a case scenario involving a multi-morbidity mental health patient
  • Debate why certain diagnostic tests, observations and procedures are undertaken to confirm or eliminate potential clinical problems
  • Discuss prescribing considerations
  • Formulate a plan of care and more...
Dr Kathy Tori

Breakout Room Three – Professional Issues

Collaboration or Bust!

We’d all agree that collaboration is pivotal for the lateral integration of care and successful patient outcomes. Fragmented care results in adverse outcomes and dissatisfaction for both patients and the interprofessional team. This practical session will focus on examples of collaboration and clinical leadership about prescribing practice and medication safety. It includes:

  • What is true collaboration?
  • What are the attributes and antecedents for effective collaboration?
  • Strategies for strengthening collaboration – what does the evidence say?
  • How does this lead to improved medication safety and a reduction of errors?
3:05 Afternoon Tea

Dr Treasure McGuire

Cannabis – Pharmacological Profile

Although it is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia, cannabis is known to have therapeutic indications for use in specific health circumstances. For this reason, medicinal cannabis is now legislated for use in certain jurisdictions. This timely session looks at cannabis from a pharmaceutical viewpoint and discusses its impact on the body and brain. It includes:

  • What is medicinal cannabis?
  • How is it metabolised and excreted?
  • Is there a therapeutic range?
  • What are the side effects and drug interaction profile?
  • How predictable are its effects?
  • Can Nurse Practitioners prescribe medicinal cannabis?
Associate Professor Timothy Wand

Wrap up and Discussion

4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Nurse Practitioners are authorised to prescribe a wide range of medicines. As a professional group, it is challenging to access quality education that addresses their needs in relation to: The latest updates and the myriad of changes to the evidence base Affirming basic prescribing knowledge Gaining new knowledge to support individual scope of practice Nurse Practitioners are required to access 30 hours of education per year, including 10 hours relating to their advanced practice and prescribing. The sheer amount of new evidence relating to medicines today can make it difficult for all prescribers to stay adequately informed. Therapeutic decisions must be based on advanced assessment, evaluation of the patient circumstances, and consideration of concurrent therapies and should also maximise opportunities for deprescribing. Prescribing demands a high-level of knowledge and skills relating to pharmacotherapeutic action, including potential adverse and other side effects, drug interactions, compliance, and evaluation.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this program is to increase your advanced practice knowledge about prescribing, the administration of medicines, and professional practice as a Nurse Practitioner or Advanced Practice Nurse.

Your learning outcomes:

Clinical decision-making relating to prescribing medicines will reflect the latest evidence
Adverse effects of medicines, including unwanted side effects, will be prevented, identified, and reduced
Patients in your care will experience the highest level of health care and the best possible outcomes
Medicines will be prescribed and care delivered within the Australian legal framework


Nurse Practitioners - Prescribing and Practice Conference



Nurse Practitioners - Prescribing and Practice Conference
11 Hours | 30 Mins



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