Nurse prescribers can prescribe the full range of drugs and other items in the British National Formulary under the latest arrangements from the Department of Health. This move has been met with mixed reactions. Nurses see it as the rightful acknowledgement of their responsibilities, conferring authority commensurate with their role and enabling them to perform their role honestly and openly. In contrast, the British Medical Association, representing doctors, issued public warnings about patient safety if nurses were allowed to prescribe more freely. In this article, we review the opportunities and challenges of nurse prescribing, and explore strategies for its effective and safe implementation.