Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Email response to posted proposed regulatory change re RN prescribing

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 275/94 (General), Part III (Controlled Acts) and Part V (Delegation) under the Nursing Act, 1991 to enable registered nurse (RN) prescribing. 

As the professional association representing RNs, nurse practitioners (NP), and nursing students in all settings and roles across Ontario, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) welcomes the proposed regulatory amendments to expand RN scope of practice as a positive first step towards improving equity and access to health services in our health system.*

RNs are central to our health system, providing person-centred care to Ontarians. With more than 100,000 RNs registered to practise in the province, regulations authorizing RN prescribing have an enormous potential to improve Ontarians’ access to health services and their health outcomes. 

RNs are a person’s first point of contact with the heath system. Expanding their scope will enable RNs to better respond to non-complex health conditions during this initial contact. We know from other jurisdictions in which RNs are already authorized to prescribe that this will make accessing health care more timely and convenient, decrease wait times, and improve continuity of care. This, in turn, contributes to better patient satisfaction and better health outcomes. 

Further, by more efficiently and effectively responding to non-complex health conditions, RN prescribing will decrease demands for health services in other parts of the system. This means patients with more complex health conditions will also have improved access and shorter wait times for the care they need.

RNAO has called for independent RN prescribing since 2012. As RNAO has previously communicated to the government and to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), more can and must be done to realize the full potential of independent RN prescribing. The next step in this important scope expansion is to address four outstanding legislative and regulatory issues.  These issues and RNAO’s evidence-based recommendations are detailed in the attached document.

Thank you for considering our feedback on the proposed regulation amendments to enable RN prescribing. We look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry of Health and the CNO as our province moves forward on this important scope expansion.

Warm regards,

Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, O.ONT
Chief Executive Officer, RNAO

*Note: A summary of the proposed regulatory amendments were posted in lieu of the proposed regulation. Please note that while RNAO supports amending the regulation as summarized, we may have future feedback with respect to the amended regulation itself.

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