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NP Survey Results

To prepare for the anticipated provincial regulation that will permit NPs to prescribe controlled substances, we conducted a survey with NPs to get their opinion on prescribing controlled substances.

posted July 5, 2013

NP Survey Results — Prescribing Controlled Substances

In anticipation of provincial regulation that will permit NPs to prescribe controlled substances, we are developing new regulatory standards. To help us with this work, we recently invited all NPs to complete a survey. The results of this survey will help guide not only standards, but also competencies, registration, examination and quality assurance requirements.


  • If given prescribing authority, 85% of NPs would choose to incorporate narcotics and controlled substances into their practice. 
  • The survey revealed that nearly 30% of NPs rely on a physician colleague on a daily basis to prescribe narcotics, and another 37% every week. 
  • The most common condition NPs dealt with, relevant to controlled substances, was chronic non-cancer pain, followed by acute pain, palliative pain, addictions and mental health disorders. 
  • NPs anticipate the controlled substance they would mostly likely need to prescribe is narcotics (opioid and non-opioid analgesics) followed by benzodiazepines. 
  • When it comes to the prescribing of medical marijuana, just over 30% said they would include this in their practice, while 29% said they would not. Forty percent were unsure at this time.  


Within the past 12 months, approximately how many times have narcotics or controlled substances been prescribed by a physician colleague for the patients/clients under your care?

pie chart

 Read the full report

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