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HomeHealth and LifestyleOntario Proposes Expanding The Scope Of Practice For Nurse Practitioners

Ontario Proposes Expanding The Scope Of Practice For Nurse Practitioners

ONTARIO-The Ontario government says it is starting consultations with the College of Nurses of Ontario and other healthcare partners on expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.

“Our government is continuing to use every tool in our toolbox to ensure people have access to the care they need, when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By considering changes to allow nurse practitioners to provide more care to their patients, we will connect more people to convenient primary care, while reducing the need for referrals to other providers.”

Proposed changes include:

  • providing faster care for someone in cardiac arrest by allowing nurse practitioners to order and apply a defibrillator, which provides an electric shock to help restore a person’s regular heartbeat.
  • making it faster for people to receive care if their heart isn’t beating regularly by allowing nurse practitioners to order and apply cardiac pacemaker therapy.
  • help people with skin conditions and lesions such as skin tags get them removed faster by allowing nurse practitioners to order and perform electrocoagulation.
  • complete and sign mandatory blood testing forms for specific infectious diseases.

The government is also consulting on changes that would improve the end-of-life experience for families after the death of a loved one by allowing nurse practitioners to certify death in all circumstances, as well as allowing registered nurses to certify death when the death has been expected. This will help ensure deaths are certified promptly to preserve dignity for the deceased and their families.

“CNO’s purpose is to protect the public by promoting safe nursing practice for all nurses: Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners. Our role includes communicating to nurses and others the professional accountabilities for safe patient care, and CNO is pleased to be a key partner in ensuring that any changes to nursing practice are implemented safely. We encourage the public and system partners to take part and share their perspectives on this important consultation.” said Silvie Crawford
Registrar/Executive Director & CEO, College of Nurses of Ontario.

Since expanding the role of registered nurses to prescribe medications, 122 registered nurses have been authorized to prescribe, after meeting specific requirements, with close to 900 others in the process of meeting education requirements for RN prescribing.

“NPAO applauds the government’s initiative to expand nurse practitioners’ scope of practice. These changes will enhance our ability to provide timely and comprehensive care, improving access for all Ontarians. By leveraging the full extent of our training and expertise, nurse practitioners can play a crucial role in ensuring a more integrated health system in Ontario.” stated Dr. Michelle AcornCEO of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO).

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