Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Have your say on CNO’s RN prescribing

Have your say on the College of Nurses of Ontario’s (CNO) regulation changes to enable the long awaited expansion to RN scope of practice: RN prescribing.

RNAO has advocated since 2012 for independent RN prescribing – in all practice settings and inclusive of diagnostics – as the best model to implement this expanded scope of RNs. Independent RN prescribing allows RNs to prescribe any medication to treat non-complex health conditions under their own authority within a regulated scope of practice and within their clinical competency area, without restrictions from a limited drug schedule.

Independent RN prescribing has huge potential to increase Ontarians’ access to care and to increase efficiencies in our health system. Independent RN prescribing has been successfully used for over a decade in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and other parts of the world. The outcomes are impressive! Improved access, safety, and person-centred care.

RNAO proposes to expand the RN scope of practice to enable independent RN prescribing in two phases. Phase one: to support RNs and employers who voluntarily choose to integrate this expanded scope into their practice through an approved course that will prepare RNs to be “prescribers” for non-complex health conditions. Phase two: to integrate this expanded scope into the BScN curricula so that in the future, students graduate with this competency.

The Ontario government amended the Nursing Act in 2017 to authorize RNs to communicate a diagnosis and to prescribe medication. The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) was then directed to do the work to enable this expanded scope of practice. CNO has now shared for comment the proposed regulation changes for RN prescribing.

RNAO is disappointed in the overly restrictive approach of CNO to enable RN prescribing. CNO’s proposed regulation changes are limited, and will do little to increase access to care for people and increase efficiencies in our health system.

RNAO’s feedback and recommendations on the proposed regulation changes to enable RN prescribing are outlined in our submission to CNO. We encourage our members to also provide their feedback on this important scope expansion.

There are two things you can do:

1. Sign the action alert below and share it with your networks. You can edit the subject line and email message to add own comments.

2. Complete the CNO survey on the proposed regulation changes.

Deadline: Feb. 18, 2019

Copies will be sent to:

  • Anne Coghlan, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer
  • CNO Council
  • Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
  • Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition
  • France Gélinas, Critic, Health Care
  • John Fraser, Interim Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party
  • Michael Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
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