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Controlled Substances

CNO recognizes the devastating impact of the opioid crisis. We also recognize the complexity of both health and social factors linked to opioid use disorder. In line with right-touch regulation, CNO encourages nurses to reference and consider current expert guidance to inform their practice in the hope of minimizing illness, addiction and the risk of opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Ultimately, it is up to nurses to determine what sources of information are most appropriate for each individual medication practice.

Nurses are accountable to evaluate nursing practice within their setting. This includes using  evidence-informed sources and critical inquiry to guide decision-making in clinical practice to ensure safe patient care delivery. You must also ensure you have the knowledge, skill and judgment to perform any nursing activity.

Meeting CNO standards

CNO recognizes there may be situations where nurses cannot provide optimal patient care due to circumstances beyond their control. These situations often require a systems approach for resolution. It is important to remember that even in situations where nurses cannot provide optimal patient care (such as working with limited resources), they can still meet the Professional ​Standards.

Nurses are responsible for providing the best nursing care possible under the circumstances, setting priorities, using their critical thinking and professional judgement, communicating with the health care team, and participating in efforts to improv​e patient care.

Related links:

Controlled Substances: Resources and References 

Page last reviewed February 04, 2022