Nurse Practitioners Authorized to Provide Medical Assistance in Dying

EDMONTON, Dec. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - A new Order in Council has given Albertans more access to medical assistance in dying. Provincial Cabinet has approved the Medical Assistance in Dying Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners as standards of practice of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).

"Albertans who have a relationship with a nurse practitioner as their primary care provider now have more access to medical assistance in dying," says CARNA president Jerry Macdonald.  "Nurse practitioners provide primary health care both as independent practitioners and as members of health care teams.  The new standards of practice ensure that nurse practitioners can provide medical assistance in dying if required by their patients." 

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have undertaken graduate education.  They order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, perform procedures and prescribe medications and therapeutic interventions. There are 450 nurse practitioners in Alberta.

The Order in Council ensures that nurse practitioners can provide medical assistance in dying within a regulatory framework that has safeguards for consistency and patient safety.  The framework was developed in collaboration with Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, and the Alberta College of Pharmacists.

"Thank you to all the health professionals who collaborated with us and CARNA to develop these standards," says Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne. "Together we have made medical assistance in dying more accessible for those who are suffering intolerably, while protecting patients, vulnerable Albertans, and our dedicated health care providers at the front line – through thoughtful, compassionate policies and standards."

About CARNA
CARNA is the regulatory college and professional association for Alberta's more than 37,000 registered nurses including: nurses in direct care, education, research and administration as well as nurse practitioners.

Twitter: @AlbertaRNs | Hashtag: #CARNA100 | Web: carna100.ca

SOURCE College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

For further information: For media inquiries: Margaret Ward-Jack | 780.932.1376 | mwardjack@nurses.ab.ca

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http://www.carna100.ca

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