News Bulletin VO. 23 NO. 4

Virtual Care Across Borders

The CRNS and the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) have signed an agreement to launch a pilot program that will reduce barriers and facilitate interjurisdictional registration for RNs and NPs. The agreement will enable Saskatchewan RNs and NPs — meeting predetermined criteria — to provide virtual care services to patients in Alberta. The agreement will also enable Alberta RNs and NPs to provide virtual care services to patients in Saskatchewan.

CRNS and CARNA worked together to develop a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that uses existing nursing regulatory frameworks in both provinces to enable Interjurisdictional Virtual Care. This pilot program will permit RNs whose Primary Jurisdiction is in one province to deliver virtual care services to patients who are physically situated in the RN’s Secondary Jurisdiction. This pilot program will enable both regulatory bodies, CRNS and CARNA, to adopt a common regulatory framework for Interjurisdictional Virtual Care services, while ensuring that quality of care, accountability and the protection of the public are not compromised.

Throughout this pilot process, the legal and professional requirements expected from RNs to provide competent, professional, ethical and appropriate care regardless of where the patient is located will remain steadfast. Professional expectations are the same regardless of the service delivery model (i.e., face-to-face care and virtual care share consistent expectations unless standards of practice are developed specifying otherwise).

The pilot program is currently scoped to a small group of RNs employed at Alberta Health Services (AB), Covenant Health (AB), Indigenous Services Canada (AB/SK) and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SK), and currently carries no associated fees. If Saskatchewan RNs working under the employment of the SHA are already providing telehealth and virtual care services to residents of Alberta and think they qualify to participate in this pilot program, they should connect with their employer. More information for those Saskatchewan and Alberta RNs providing virtual care services will be shared by your employer. Updates will be available on both the CRNS and CARNA websites. The program is projected to go live on November 25, 2021.

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