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Ontario expanding prescribing powers for registered nurses


The province will soon be expanding the prescribing powers of Registered Nurses who complete additional training, allowing them to provide Ontarians with birth control, travel medications, and vaccinations such as the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced that starting in January 2024, Registered Nurses (RNs) who complete the training programs will be able to prescribe medications for contraception, immunizations, smoking cessation, and topical wound care in a variety of settings, including long-term care homes and retirement homes.

“Training programs are being developed by the College of Nurses of Ontario to ensure registered nurses can acquire the knowledge, skill and judgment to conveniently administer and prescribe more medications,” Jones said.

The move, the province said, will provide doctors and nurse practitioners with more time to treat patients with more complex needs.

“We are collaborating with health system partners and creating the standards that promote safe nursing practice,” Silvie Crawford, the Executive Director and CEO of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), said in a written statement.

“This includes ensuring changes in nurses’ scope of practice, including RN prescribing, are implemented safely for all Ontarians.”

The training programs will be offered through select colleges and universities, the province confirmed.

This development comes after the province expanded the prescribing powers of pharmacists in Ontario earlier this year. Pharmacists are now permitted to prescribe medications and treat common ailments, including urinary tract infections, pink eye, and cold sores.

The ministry of health said last month that 89 per cent of pharmacies in Ontario have opted to participate, with pharmacists now able to treat 22 common ailments. Top Stories

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