On This Page

NPs can now prescribe controlled substances

The Ontario Government approved regulation changes that enable NPs to prescribe controlled substances in Ontario.

To help ensure safe client care, the regulations include a condition that NPs must meet education requirements related to controlled substances. If an NP has not completed the education requirement, their profile on the College's public register, Find a Nurse, will indicate the NP is "Entitled to Practise with Restrictions." The restriction is described as follows: "This member cannot prescribe controlled substances. They have not completed the education needed to do so." 

Who are NPs?

NPs, also known as Registered Nurses in the extended class, are registered nurses who have met additional education, experience and exam requirements set by the College. They are authorized to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medication and other treatments. 

What are controlled substances?

A controlled substance is a medication that is restricted by federal law (under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act). These medications are restricted because they present a high risk of abuse, addiction and diversion. There are hundreds of controlled substances and they are used in healthcare to treat a wide variety of conditions such as pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and so on. They include narcotics (e.g., morphine), benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam) and controlled drugs (e.g., testosterone). 

For more information, including other frequently asked questions, see: NPs and Prescribing Controlled Substances.

Page last reviewed April 19, 2017