February 2017
Spotlight

Health Minister announces plans to allow RN prescribing

On Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Eric Hoskins, announced that he will introduce changes to the Nursing Act this spring. If passed, these changes will expand RNs' scope of practice to include communicating diagnoses and prescribing medication for their clients.

After the Nursing Act is changed, the College will work closely with government to create regulations for this change to nursing scope of practice.  

Prescribing medications is a high-risk activity. The College’s role is to ensure RNs have the knowledge, skill and judgment to practise this activity safely. 

To prepare for this change, the College will consult with nurses, employers, the public and other stakeholders. Other work may include:

  • identifying the competencies and education RNs will need to safely communicate diagnoses and prescribe medication

  • setting practice standards for safe RN practice

  • determining the requirements for maintaining ongoing competence through the College’s Quality Assurance program

It is important to note that Ontario RNs do not currently have the authority to communicate diagnoses or prescribe medication. Only after the Ontario government approves the College’s regulations, will it become legal for RNs to independently perform these activities.   

We look forward to working with the Ministry, nurses, employers, the public and other stakeholders on this anticipated change. 

Watch for regular updates as this work develops. 

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