Does the Medical Practice Act in the State of Texas allow a RN to prescribe birth control pills for patients? Why or why not?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Based on the text of the Medical Practice Act, the distribution of any medicine lies in the hands of the physician:

§158.001.Provision of Drugs and Other Supplies

(a) A physician licensed under this subtitle may supply a patient with any drug, remedy, or clinical supply necessary to meet the patient’s immediate needs.

It does not specify a nurse's capacity to prescribe medicine for patients, as only a physician explicitly states as being able to do so.  The distribution of birth control pills would fall under the umbrella of "any drug necessary to meet the patient's immediate needs."  It does not forbid the distribution of birth control pills by name, so such a drug can fall under this statute.  The Act itself does not specify a section for nurses, per se.  Rather, it has a section deemed to address issues regarding "physician's assistants."  However, the distribution of medicines falls squarely in the confines of the physician's duties, regardless of drug.