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June 30, 2024

Ontario government consulting on expanding role of NPs

Expanding the role of NPs

On June 27, the provincial government announced its plan to start consultations with RNAO, the College of Nurses of Ontario and other health-care partners to expand the scope of practice for NPs. This announcement marks progress in the province utilizing the role of NPs to improve access to primary care – a move RNAO continues to call for.

The proposed changes would allow NPs to:

  • order and apply a defibrillator help restore a person’s regular heartbeat in the event of a cardiac arrest
  • order and apply cardiac pacemaker therapy to make it faster for people to receive care if their heart isn’t beating regularly
  • order and perform electrocoagulation to help people with skin conditions and lesions
  • complete and sign mandatory blood testing forms for specific infectious diseases

In the government’s media release, RNAO President NP Lhamo Dolkar says: “Efforts to expand the scope of practice of nurse practitioners (NPs) are both welcome and necessary. We’re pleased the government is acting on RNAO's advice because as NPs we want and we can do more to help Ontarians with their health needs. With over two million people lacking regular access to a primary care provider, we have the education and the experience to close access gaps and deliver quality care.”

RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun thoughts were also captured in the media release: “These changes will lead to a better functioning health system, faster care, and improved outcomes for persons in primary care, in long-term care, and anywhere else NPs work. An expanded scope for NPs and RN prescribing are game changers for Ontarians.”