Health Canada grants nurse practitioners more prescribing authority

OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) applauds Health Canada for publishing new regulations with more prescribing authority for nurse practitioners (NPs), midwives and podiatrists.

"CNA welcomes this development, a milestone for NPs and the patients they care for," said Barb Mildon, CNA president. "With these new regulations in place, NPs can provide Canadians with the advanced level of care that is in keeping with their expanded education and skills."

Current legislation and regulation authorize NPs to independently diagnose and treat health conditions but limit prescribing authority. The new regulations will allow NPs in all jurisdictions (except the Yukon) to prescribe controlled substances under the federal Controlled Drug and Substances Act, which will enable them to provide more timely and comprehensive care to patients.

NPs are registered nurses with additional education, advanced knowledge and nursing experience, who work collaboratively with other nursing colleagues and health-care providers. In addition to prescribing medication, they deliver and coordinate high-quality care, order tests, and diagnose and manage chronic illnesses. In B.C., Alberta and Ontario, NPs also have authority to admit and discharge patients in hospitals and other facilities.

There are more than 3,000 NPs in Canada. The Yukon is the only jurisdiction that does not license NPs, but the territory has introduced legislation to include them among its region's health-care providers. This legislation is expected to be tabled later this month.

To read Health Canada's complete regulations, visit: Canada Gazette — New Classes of Practitioners Regulations. For information about CNA's NP campaign visit www.npnow.ca

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 146,788 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded not-for-profit health system.

SOURCE: CANADIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION

For further information:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca