objective. to describe the drug prescription duties held by nursing professionals in the city of cali (colombia) during the year of 2008. methodology. a survey was applied to 135 nurses who work in different kinds of healthcare or administrative services about prescription habits, perceptions about their education, abilities and necessities to prescribe drugs. results. drug prescription is a frequent practice in most of the surveyed population, unrelated to the work performed, the postgraduate degree or the job experience. the surveyed consider they need more than a legal support the pharmacological training to prescribe drugs; however they don't recognize this practice as part of their professional job. nurses' drug prescription is sometimes presented as part of their occupation tasks into the institution. conclusion. drug prescription is a practice performed by the city nurses and according to the presented results they require an academic, legal, professional debate to be considered between their tasks.