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In order to prescribe controlled substances, one must have obtained a registration number from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), that is within the US Department of Justice (Fass&Hardigan, 2011). In the State of Florida, controlled substances are classified in schedules, from schedules one to five. Some drugs that are used in oncology to manage pain are classified under these schedules. For example, Morphine is classified under schedule II. Phenobarbital, Valium and Librium are classified under schedule IV (Finklea, Sacco &Bagalman, 2014). The law under chapter 893. F. S. does not categorize a nurse as one of the health practitioners allowed to prescribe controlled substances. Considering that some of the drugs used to manage cancer are categorized as controlled substances, and that the constitution does not allow nurses to prescribe, this is likely to affect my practice as an oncology nurse. I may be restricted from prescribing the right drugs to my patients.

Some states, however, have allowed nurses to prescribe controlled substances. In the State of Alaska, for example, the general authority for prescription is considered through inclusion of prescribers title on the prescription. Authority to prescribe is granted for nurses and it includes schedules II to V. This is contrary to the State of Florida, where such authority to prescribe is not granted (Gershman et al., 2014). In Alaska, the Supervisory requirements are that the advanced nurse must be licensedby the state, and should also show compliance with federal law. The practitioner must also adhere to the requirements for controlled substances as outlined in the physician’s manual for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.


Fass, A. J., &Hardigan, C. P. (2011).Attitudes of Florida pharmacists toward implementing a state prescription monitoring program for controlled substances.Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, 17(6), 430-438.

Finklea, ., Sacco,L. N., &Bagalman, E. (2014). Prescription drug monitoring programs. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Gershman, A. J., Gershman, A. J., Fass, A. D., &Popovici, I. (2014).Evaluation of Florida physicians’ knowledge and attitudes towards accessing the state prescription drug monitoring program as a prescribing tool.Pain Medicine: Early View. Availlable online from

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