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Getting started

NPs must meet a number of requirements before they can prescribe controlled drugs and substances (CDS).

Not all NPs will want to prescribe CDS. If you do, you must meet several requirements:

Take one of three courses outlined in the prescribing standard
  1. University of Ottawa Continuing Educational Development of NPs Prescribing Narcotics and Controlled Substances
  2. Athabasca University: Prescription and Management of Controlled Drugs and Substances
  3. Saskatchewan Polytechnic Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) online module

Note that you are not required to send CRNBC proof of course completion. You should retain the certificate and document the course in your professional development planning as part of meeting quality assurance requirements.

Take the CRNBC CDS Prescribing module

This self-directed learning module builds on the knowledge gained in the foundational course NPs take on CDS prescribing. It includes information and activities designed to support NPs in:

  • Applying the relevant federal and provincial legislation
  • Understanding the CRNBC Standards, Limits, Conditions and Competencies for prescribing CDS in the context of NP practice.
  • Recognizing the risks and mitigating factors associated with prescribing CDS.
  • Utilizing  pharmacovigilance and applying best practices to mitigate these risks
  • Being aware and applying the requirements of the Controlled Prescription Program and PharmaNet when prescribing CDS.

Learning module

Download the narrative script (for use in conjunction with the module)

Meet the standards, limits and conditions set out in the NP Scope of Practice

The standards, limits and conditions for prescribing are part ot the NP Scope of Practice document. They begin on page 26.

Meet employer requirements

Employers may place their own, additional restrictions and requirements on NPs prescribing CDS. You must meet your employer’s organizational policies and procedures. Before proceeding, discuss your plan to prescribe CDS with your employer, and follow all required guidelines, standards and/or restrictions.

PharmaNet access

Before prescribing CDS, NPs need to register with Ministry of Health for the Access to PharmaNet Program appropriate to the practice site(s) where they will be prescribing controlled drugs and substances.
You will need to work with your employer or directly with PharmaNet to secure this access.

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