Registered Nurse (RN) Prescribing

A guide to resources on the development and implementation of RN prescribing in Nova Scotia.

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About

In 2017, the Nova Scotia Registered Nurse Prescribing Strategy was created, with a mandate to explore, plan, and implement Registered Nurse (RN) prescribing in Nova Scotia. 

The RN prescribing model has been effectively implemented in other Canadian and international jurisdictions. Evidence suggests that enabling RNs in Nova Scotia to prescribe will improve patient access to care and efficiency in care delivery.

RN Prescribers must have completed advanced, post-secondary education at a recognized educational institution and must be licensed by the Nova Scotia College of Nursing. Advanced education and specialized skills prepare RN Prescribers to order relevant screening or diagnostic tests and prescribe medication and/or devices, within their specific area of expertise, in employer-approved practice settings, and for specific patient populations. 

RN Prescribers in Nova Scotia are authorized to prescribe from an approved and limited list of relevant medications, devices, and tests. They are not authorized to prescribe systemic therapy for cancer (STC), or controlled drugs and substances, such as narcotics, exempted codeine products, benzodiazepines, or other targeted substances.

This guide provides information on implementing RN prescribing in Nova Scotia, including:

  • The guiding national nursing framework
  • Provincial legislative and regulatory changes
  • Organizational and post-secondary education requirements developed with the guidance of key stakeholders

This guide also provides information for licensed RN Prescribers in Nova Scotia, including:

  • Clinical decision support tools
  • Resources for point-of-care use in clinical practice settings

What’s the difference between an RN Prescriber and a Nurse Practitioner?

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