Support the Qualification of Prescribing for All Registered Nurses in Ontario

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The Government has recently legalized the Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act that allows registered nurses (RNs) the authority to prescribe drugs and communicate diagnoses under specific circumstances, expanding the scope of practice for the RN profession. However, the College of Nurses’ of Ontario (CNO) has yet to formulate and implement regulations, competencies, and requirements for RNs to finally execute these activities.

The goal of Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act is to improve the accessibility to healthcare for Canadians. However, the CNO stated that only those RNs who choose to obtain continued education and who have met the specific requirements of the college are able to prescribe and communicate diagnoses, which does not include the entry-level nurses. We have identified the problem of this Act as it creates inconsistencies in the RNs scope of practice. The limitation of this Act also does not completely address the macro-level problems of the healthcare system, which includes the inadequate universality and accessibility to healthcare to some Canadians, especially those living in remote areas.

Making it as a requirement for ALL RNs to prescribe and diagnose in certain situations would be an ideal approach to prevent the incongruity in the RN’s scope of practice as well as on the existing problems faced by the healthcare system.
We believe that by making it a requirement that all RNs utilize their knowledge, skill and judgement to prescribe low-risk medications, and communicate diagnosis that provide rationale for these prescriptions, that the nursing profession will be better able to serve the public. Adding this requirement to the RN entry-level scope of practice would provide nurses with the opportunity to take on a greater role in tackling health care wait time and accessibility challenges related to shortages in the number of prescribers in Canada. In addition, making this a mandatory requirement would ensure confusion regarding which RNs can and cannot prescribe is avoided, for those utilizing health services and for inter-professional collaborators.

We are sending this petition to ask for support from the RNs, student nurses, and the general public to help Canadians have a better health outcome.

Examples of the low-risk medications that will be authorized to prescribe by RNs:
1. Immunizations
2. Contraception
3. Medications to support smoking cessation and travel health
4. Topical medications used in wound care

Our Goals:
Make Prescribing an RN requirement to avoid inconsistencies in the RN role and scope of practice, as well as to avoid confusion for the public. Make it an entry-to-practice level requirement and make it a requirement for other nurses currently working as RNs.

1. To increase the accessibility and universality of healthcare to all Canadians, especially those living remotely.
2. To develop continuing education programs for existing RNs in their places of work (hospitals, clinics, community health centre) for them to be able to prescribe certain medications and communicate diagnoses.
3. To incorporate RN prescription education in the current nursing curriculum.
4. Maximizing the current human resources of Ontario through expanding the roles of RNs, giving RNs more autonomy and independence in their professional practices.

As nursing students, we want to involve key health policymakers in order for us to make this change possible. We are targeting:
• Doug Ford, Premier, Leader of the PC party
• Christine Elliott, Minister of Health
• Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP party
• Various Ministers involved with public health and treasury boards

If you agree with our goals, PLEASE sign this petition to HELP us make a positive change in the Canadian healthcare system. #AllRNsPrescribing 

For more information and resources about RNs prescribing, visit the CNO’s website on “Journey to RN Prescribing”

Also, please LIKE and SUPPORT our Facebook Page "Support Mandatory Prescription for ALL RNs" LINK:


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