January 2018

Full steam ahead for RN prescribing

In September 2017, our Council defined the vision for RN prescribing. Since then, the College has been moving full steam ahead with planning so we can meet the government's rapid timeline. To begin, we are exploring the following areas for RN prescribing:

  • immunizations

  • contraception

  • smoking cessation and travel health medications

  • topical wound care medications

Our goal is to implement and evaluate these areas before including other types of medications.

As well, we need to implement new regulations to ensure RN prescribing in Ontario is safe for clients. We expect to propose regulations to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in late 2018.

A large part of our work involves consulting with a variety of stakeholders. Here’s an overview of what we’ve done so far, and what’s ahead.

Public consultation

We recently completed an exploratory survey of the public. We heard back from 1,013 Ontarians about what they think and feel about RNs being able to prescribe the types of medications listed above.

In our survey, more than 80 per cent of respondents support RN prescribing these medications. Seventy-six per cent said it would benefit them if RNs were allowed to prescribe these medications.

In their comments, many respondents said that RN prescribing would lead to quicker access and shorter wait times for these services. They also said that RN prescribing would give doctors more time to focus on other more complex cases.

Consultations coming up

Currently, we are forming a group of Ontario RNs to discuss prescribing in areas of practice such as wound care, contraception and travel health. Over the next few months, we will talk to nurses and other stakeholders such as associations, other regulators, universities and employers. We will seek feedback about education requirements and standards of practice, as well as information that will appear about RN prescribers on our public Register, Find a Nurse

For ongoing and up-to-date information, visit our dedicated webpage: Journey to RN prescribing.

Take our poll on RN prescribing (now closed) 

As work to implement RN prescribing in Ontario progresses, we want to hear from you. Throughout the year, we will have a series of polls for you to take. Our goal is to raise awareness about this initiative and help us understand your information needs.

Polls are a way for the College to engage with nurses about hot topics in nursing regulation — we do not regard polling as an official form of consultation. We will use the results together with information from other sources, to identify communication needs.

We invite you to participate in the poll below: 

This poll is now closed.

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