Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO continues to advocate for RN prescribing

RNAO has long advocated for independent RN prescribing.

In 2017, amendments were made to the Nursing Act to give RNs the authority to prescribe medications and communicate a diagnosis for the purpose of prescribing medications. This milestone change is the first step towards expanding the scope of practice for RNs.

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is currently doing the necessary work to enable RN prescribing, including making regulations under the Nursing Act and defining RN prescribing competencies. RNAO continues to be involved in the ongoing work to inform the safe implementation of independent RN prescribing in Ontario.

The CNO recently requested feedback on draft RN prescribing competencies. RN prescribing competencies are the benchmark for the knowledge, skill, and judgment of RNs who prescribe. Our feedback includes:

1. Ensure the description of changes to the Nursing Act, 1991 reflects the wording in the legislation.
2. Align and ensure consistency of RN prescribing competencies with existing College of Nurses of Ontario competency frameworks.
3. Incorporate RNAO’s suggested re-ordering and edits to RN prescribing competencies.
4. Clarify the intent of the interpretation section of the draft RN prescribing competencies, and whether the content is part of the competencies.

For the complete feedback RNAO provided on the draft RN prescribing competencies, please read our submission.

Stay tuned for continued updates. The college is scheduled to discuss RN prescribing further at the December Council meeting.

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