The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) has wrapped up a series
of public hearings across the province examining changes in legislation that will
expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and allow them to work more
autonomously. RNAO members participated in the hearings, which were held in Hamilton, Ottawa, London, Thunder Bay and Sudbury. RNAO President-Elect Wendy Fucile appeared before the Toronto hearing on November 20th. She shared RNAO’s view that changes proposed by the College of Nurses of Ontario will help RNs in the extended
class to better serve the health-care needs of Ontario residents and will enhance public protection.
Some of the proposed changes include being able to diagnose and order tests both inside and outside the hospital setting without medical directives, as well as allowing nurses to treat bone fractures and dislocated joints. RNAO would also like to see RN(EC)s in a position where they’re able to move to "open prescribing" and away from the current model in which they can only prescribe medications listed by category.
RNAO argues the changes to the Nursing Act would unclog a system that currently leaves patients waiting and nurses unable to work to their full scope of practice.
The changes, if adopted, would also enable Ontario to catch up to other provinces where NPs already enjoy an expanded scope of practice. The advisory council will make a formal recommendation to Ontario's Health Minister.