Let's Get the Facts Straight: College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) RN Prescribing

July 21, 2017

Read our correspondence to the CNO regarding RN prescribing.

Contrary to what CNO claims, we have raised the issue of negative connotations on the CNO website with them and are determined to ensure any expanded scope of practice is a positive and celebrated by our profession.

1.) ONA's letter from President Linda Haslam-Stroud to CNO Executive Director Anne Coghlan regarding proposed changes to the Nursing Act and CNO by-laws regarding nurse practitioners (NPs) prescribing controlled substances. In the letter, we indicate our strong opposition to CNO's proposal that NPs who have not completed the required education for prescribing controlled substances be labeled negatively with a "restriction" placed beside their name.

2.) A letter from Ms. Coghlan in response indicating that what we have recommended is "not possible to explore given the timelines."

3.) Our response back in an email from ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud to Ms. Coghlan indicating CNO's intent to post negative connotations regarding NP practice is absolutely unacceptable as it puts our expanded scope in a negative light. Further, we express our concern that, with an expanded scope for RNs to include prescribing, tens of thousands of RNs will be labeled negatively as well with a "restriction" on their practice if they choose not to expand their scope and take the requisite education.

4.) Our communication to our Bargaining Unit leaders on this topic, urging you to write to CNO. Let CNO know that when RN prescribing development is complete, CNO's "Find a Nurse" webpage should reflect an RN's ability to prescribe medication in a positive light. Tell CNO you oppose any mention of "restrictions" or other negative connotations. Suggest CNO put our expanded scope in the positive, i.e., by adding an additional tab on Find a Nurse which says "Authority to Prescribe Medications and Communicate a Diagnosis for the Purpose of Prescribing."

5.) All RNs should share their concerns with CNO now.


Let's celebrate an expansion of our scope of practice!