The Ontario government will soon expand the professional scope of registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) across the province.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins recently announced the government plans to amend the Nursing Act in Ontario this spring to authorize RNs to prescribe medications independently and communicate diagnoses. Regulatory changes to allow NPs to prescribe controlled substances will follow soon.
Expanding the scope of practice for RNs and NPs is a “longtime priority” for the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) — the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in the province.
RNAO officials greeted the news with enthusiasm at its 17th annual Queen’s Park Day.
“By taking this tremendous step, we’re making history,” RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun said in a statement. “RNs and NPs have the expertise to increase access to care in all corners of our province, and we are delighted this will soon become a reality.”
Grinspun was among more than 110 RNs, NPs and nursing students visiting Queen’s Park recently as part of the event.
Once enacted, Ontario will become the province or territory in Canada where RNs independently prescribe and communicate diagnoses, RNAO said.