IV Hydration Therapy

The evolution of independent for-profit (stand-alone) clinics providing intravenous (IV) hydration therapy has prompted many calls to the CRNS. After completing environmental scanning and a review of best practices, the CRNS has determined that it is within the scope of practice of Registered Nurses (RN) to administer IV hydration therapy and medications, vitamins, and/or electrolytes (additives) while working in stand-alone clinics so long as the nursing process is implemented and appropriate policies and supports are in place to support safe, competent, and ethical care of this client population.  

RNs and Nurse Practitioners (NP) are accountable to practice within their legislated scope of practice and personal competence and to adhere to their Practice Standards and Code of Ethics as they would in any other practice setting.  Registrants must complete the Recognition of Practice process to use the title RN and/or NP and to count the practice hours they have worked in an IV hydration clinic towards licensure.

With the growing popularity of IV hydration therapy and individuals “self-selecting” treatments – for example, to relieve the effects of a hangover, there is an increasing trend of complaints related to unsafe practices and untoward events reported in Canada and the United States.  It is essential for RNs and NPs engaged in this practice to understand that IV hydration is a medical treatment and, therefore, there must be a medical condition for the client to obtain the treatment. As with all treatments and interventions, the risks of accepting treatments should be disclosed to the client and informed consent obtained.   

To provide safe, competent nursing care and to meet the requirements for Recognition of Practice, the following must be in place when performing IV hydration therapy treatments:

  1. Appropriate policies, procedures, and resources.
  2. A health history and physical examination must be performed and documented by the prescribing NP or physician to ascertain if underlying co-morbidities, such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease, might be a contraindication to the client receiving treatment.
  3. Provision for diagnostic testing, as indicated for co-morbidities, should be completed as part of the client assessment. Diagnostic testing should be considered to establish a baseline for ongoing treatment.
  4. The infusion must be prescribed to treat a diagnosed medical condition; clients must not “self-select” treatments. 
  5. There must be an order from an NP or physician for the RN to initiate the IV and/or administer the IV solution and additives.
  6. There must be appropriate documentation, including the client assessment, client consent, treatment ordered and administered, and client response to that treatment.
  7. The supplies, including IV lines, solution, and additives, must be procured from a reputable source and stored and handled in alignment with current infection prevention and control (IPAC) best practices and principles. 
  8. There must be an ability to manage untoward events, including having the necessary emergency equipment on site.

For more information, please contact a nursing practice advisor practiceadvice@crns.ca, or to inquire about recognition of practice, please contact  regulation@crns.ca.

External Consultation: Nurse Practitioner (NP) Practice Standards

The CRNS is collaborating with the Nurses Association of New Brunswick to revise the NP Practice Standards document. The practice standards are the expected levels of professional practice performance that guide safe and effective decision-making in nursing.

CRNS staff have reviewed and revised the existing document and are now seeking feedback from the public, partners, and registrants as part of the external consultation process. This process is in place to ensure the revised NP Practice Standards reflect current NP practices and are clearly presented. Feedback can be provided by accessing this survey and will be accepted until Monday, August 14, 2023, at midnight.

Final approval of the document is through the CRNS Council. Questions or comments are welcome and can be directed to smoore@crns.ca and/or dcooke@crns.ca.

Working with Unregulated Care Providers Resource

The CRNS, RPNAS and SALPN are pleased to share a collaborative document developed to guide your decision-making when working with Unregulated Care Providers. Regulated nurses are expected to utilize the nursing process, their knowledge, critical thinking, and judgement when making client care decisions. Not all scenarios can be captured in a document, and the responsibility remains with the regulated nurse to make decisions in the client’s best interest.  

When there are ongoing concerns, the regulated nurse is responsible for working with the health care team to resolve them. Involvement of nursing management and senior administration may be required. Entry-Level Competencies, Practice Standards, and Code of Ethics are resources to guide the discussion. Nursing Advisors are also available to assist.
Read the Working with Unregulated Care Providers Resource here.

For those currently working with Unregulated Care Providers, please review this resource and consider how it may relate to your practice. CRNS Nursing Advisors are available to answer your questions. They can be contacted by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email at practiceadvice@crns.ca

Aesthetics Nursing Resource

The Aesthetics Nursing resource has been developed for RNs and NPs in response to the evolution of aesthetics nursing and the many questions CRNS registrants have asked regarding this practice area. In this resource, you will find information about the legislated scope of practice, personal competence, education, accountabilities, and expectations for using the nursing process in this area of nursing. In addition, you will find information on the process for obtaining recognition of practice and engaging in self-employed practice for aesthetic nursing.

For those currently practicing or planning to practice aesthetics nursing, please review this resource and consider how it may relate to your practice. CRNS Nursing Advisors are available to answer your questions. They can be contacted by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email at practiceadvice@crns.ca

Northumberland Pharmacy Closure

Be advised that Northumberland Pharmacy at Unit F3 924 Northumberland Avenue Saskatoon has been closed by Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) as of the beginning of business day February 28, 2023.

Due to the sudden closure of the pharmacy, patients will not have access to their prescription(s), or the pharmacy-specific records maintained at the pharmacy. Records of filled prescriptions will be available on the Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP).

Prescriptions which were faxed to Northumberland Pharmacy will no longer be accessible to either the patient or another pharmacy if they were not processed by the pharmacy prior to the closure. This could include new refill authorizations and acute care medications. As such, SCPP staff will be faxing prescriptions with a cover letter back to the practitioner as the patients will need to be contacted to see where they would like their prescription(s) sent. The SCPP apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

The pharmacy provides OAT medications to ten patients. The SCPP is working with the Drug Plan and Extended Benefits Branch (DPEBB) and Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) to ensure the transition of care in terms of adjudication of prescriptions.

Pharmacists are enabled under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) section 56 exemption and SCPP Prescriptive Authority Bylaws to continue existing prescriptions to maintain continuity of care for the patients.

SCPP has also provided an email to pharmacists to assist them with managing the situation. Signage has also been placed on the pharmacy exterior doors to assist patients with the name, location, and phone number of surrounding pharmacies to assist them, which includes pharmacies that provide OAT services.

While SCPP has put as many provisions as possible in place to be able to manage this unfortunate situation, they wish to alert CRNS registrants to the possibility of increased requests for prescriptions for patients of Northumberland Pharmacy.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and any questions or concerns from practitioners can be addressed to Deputy Registrar Lori Postnikoff at lori.postnikoff@saskpharm.ca or by contacting 306-584-2292.

Extension to the Temporary Exclusion of Eligibility for MAiD 

On February 2, 2023, the Ministers of Justice and Health of the Government of Canada introduced legislation, Bill-39, to extend the temporary exclusion of eligibility for MAiD where a person’s sole medical condition is a mental illness until March 17, 2024. The one-year extension would provide the federal government with additional time to prepare for the safe and consistent assessment and provision of MAID where the person’s sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness. 

The CRNS will continue to monitor updates from the Federal government, work with Saskatchewan Health Authority MAiD program partners and provide updates as they become available.

More information is available from the Department of Justice Canada website, MAiD Media Release.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Practice Advice at practiceadvice@crns.ca

Antibiotic Suspension Shortage

Health Canada has declared a Tier 3 shortage for several antibiotic suspensions. Tier 3 is the most critical level and is expected to impact the health care system significantly. Many antibiotic suspensions are unavailable or sporadically available in extremely limited supply.

There may be a current supply of certain antibiotic suspensions, but we should expect these to become depleted as prescribing shifts. Tablets and capsules are currently available. This message addresses:

  • Strategies for conserving antibiotic suspensions
  • Resources for managing this shortage
  • Resources to help your patients understand the shortage

Note: All RN(AAP)s can only prescribe and dispense the medications that are identified in a CDT. Review the appropriate CDT prior to prescribing and dispensing any medication. Due to the suspension shortage, consult with a physician or NP as needed to receive orders for medications not included in the CDT.

Read the joint statement regarding the Antibiotic Suspension Shortage

Amendment: Pharmacists Prescribing for Acetaminophen to Support Accessing Compounded Supplies During the Pediatric Analgesic Shortage

This is an update to the October 12, 2022, Nursing Practice Update. The provincial Collaborative Practice Agreement to support accessing compounded supplies during the pediatric analgesic shortage has been updated to include ibuprofen.

There is a demand surge for pediatric analgesic and antipyretic dosage forms which is creating an ongoing supply issue for patients. Pharmacists have been supporting patients by assisting with advice on alternate products, different dosage forms, repackaging bulk supplies when able, and compounding. 

To support patient access during the pediatric analgesic shortage, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals have created a short-term solution in the form of a provincial CPA which would then enable pharmacists to prescribe for pediatric acetaminophen and ibuprofen. 

Read the full statement here.

Update to Pharyngitis: Adult and Pediatric Clinical Decision Tool (CDT)

There is an updated dose of Azithromycin as a third-line oral antibiotic agent within the Pharyngitis: Adult and Pediatric CDT. This change takes effect immediately and is posted on the CRNS website along with all of the CDTs for RN(AAP) practice. 

The change in Adult and Pediatric dosing and duration of Azithromycin is consistent with the RxFiles: Drug comparison charts (13th ed.), and is as follows: 

If you have any questions, CRNS Practice Advisors are available by emailing practiceadvice@crns.ca.


RxFiles Academic Detailing Program. (2021). RxFiles: Drug comparison charts (13th ed.). Saskatoon Health Region.

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