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Nurse Practitioners in Ontario now able to prescribe controlled drugs and substances

TORONTO, April 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, on behalf of more than 3,100 nurse practitioners in Ontario and the millions of people they serve, NPAO is thrilled to announce that the Honourable Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) have approved the prescriptive authority for nurse practitioners in Ontario to prescribe Controlled Drugs and Substances (CDS).

At the NPAO conference in September 2016, the Hon. Minister Eric Hoskins made a commitment to Nurse Practitioners and the people of Ontario to put patients first by enabling broad prescriptive authority.

This has been a much-anticipated expansion in scope given that Ontario was the last jurisdiction in North America to grant Nurse Practitioners the authority to prescribe controlled drugs and substances.  NPAO has been working on this issue on behalf of NPs and their clients for many years, and we are delighted to see it come to fruition.  The change in regulation is pivotal in enabling NPs to work to full scope and put their patients first.

"Every day, Nurse Practitioners play an important role in providing psychiatric care and addiction services to patients, relieving pain and suffering, and delivering palliative and end-of-life care to the people of Ontario. These changes will enable Nurse Practitioners to better provide safe, efficacious and timely care. In addition, Nurse Practitioners in Ontario will now be able to provide medical assistance in dying to those who are eligible."
----Theresa Agnew, CEO, NPAO

"NPAO represents Nurse Practitioners who provide care to clients with seizure disorders, learning disorders, and mental health conditions, and to people experiencing acute and chronic pain. Nurse Practitioners work in Emergency Departments, in hospitals, in long-term care homes and in pain clinics. NPs provide palliative care in the home to those with cancer. These changes will especially help those Ontarians who live in remote and rural areas of the province," states NPAO president, Wendy McKay.

We know that NPs regardless of where they work will continue to deliver excellent care to patients in a wide variety of sectors. NPAO will continue to engage with key stakeholders in the development of educational tools and resources including webinars and guidelines to help ensure safe and effective prescribing of CDS.  NPAO is committed to ensuring that Nurse Practitioners are held to the highest standards in the prescribing of controlled drugs and substances.

NPAO is the professional voice for over 3,100 Nurse Practitioners in Ontario. Our mission is to achieve the full integration of Nurse Practitioners in order to ensure accessible, high quality health care for all.

NPs provide service to the people of Ontario across the health care system in variety of settings including community clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes and in patients' homes. NPs practice in inter-professional teams with a broad range of health care providers. NPs independently diagnose illness and health care conditions, prescribe drugs, and order x-rays and laboratory tests for their patients. NPs can also admit, treat and discharge patients in hospitals and long- term care homes.