Starting Nov. 1, nurse practitioners in Nova Scotia can register with the Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program, allowing them to prescribe monitored drugs to patients who need them.
Government has added the College of Registered Nurses as a licensing authority with new regulations under the Prescription Monitoring Act, bringing Nova Scotia’s nurse practitioners in line with their counterparts in other jurisdictions, including New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Alberta, and Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
“Nurse practitioners are the primary-care provider for many Nova Scotians today and prescribing these medications will help them better support their patients,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Wellness. “The regulations ensure that each nurse practitioner takes the necessary training to prescribe safely and appropriately, and the monitoring program is in place to track all activity.”
Donna Denney, CEO, College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, said this is good news for Nova Scotians and provides greater access to comprehensive care for patients who may require monitored drugs.
“We have been working hard with the government of Nova Scotia, nurse practitioners and other stakeholders to ensure that rigorous standards are in place so nurse practitioners are competent to safely incorporate this new authority into their practice on behalf of their patients, families and communities,” said Ms. Denney.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical competencies, allowing them to diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses, disorders and injuries. They can also order and interpret laboratory and other diagnostic tests, and initially prescribe and re-order medications.
Every nurse practitioner in the province has received specialized education and workshop training for prescribing controlled drugs.
The Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program promotes the appropriate use of monitored drugs in Nova Scotia and aims to reduce the abuse or misuse of monitored drugs in the province.