Support for Public Health Measures

Evidence shows that measures such as handwashing, masking and social distancing are effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At this time, as COVID vaccines are being administered to the residents of Saskatchewan, the CRNS wants to remind RNs and NPs about expectations related to providing advice on public health protection and prevention measures.

RNs and NPs are leaders in the community. The public’s trust may extend to the views expressed by RNs and NPs on health matters communicated on social media and other forums. As such, statements made by RNs and NPs in public forums have the potential to impact the health and safety of the public.

RNs and NPs have a professional responsibility and are accountable to:

  • use evidenced-based information to inform their professional practice;
  • support patients and the public to make informed health care decisions, including decisions about public health prevention and protection measures; and,
  • role model and follow public health directives that keep patients and the public safe.

The CRNS’s expectations of RNs and NPs regarding public statements, are outlined in the Registered Nurse Practice Standards, Registered Nurse Entry-level Competencies, Nurse Practitioner Practice Standards, Nurse Practitioner Entry-level Competencies and the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.

The CRNS’s standards, entry-level competencies and code of ethics do not apply to all aspects of an RN’s or NP’s private life. However, those who choose to make public comments, while identifying themselves as an RN or NP, are accountable to the CRNS and the public it protects.

RNs and NPs are expected to adhere to the standards, entry-level competencies and code of ethics when carrying out their professional responsibilities. They have a professional responsibility to provide evidence-based information and care. Making anti-vaccination, anti-masking and anti-distancing comments may result in an investigation by the CRNS, and possible disciplinary proceedings. 

Additional resources


Social Media

Saskatchewan Health Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Canada

Section 56 Exemption Extension

The current Health Canada section 56 exemption that was set to expire on September 30, 2020 has been extended to September 30, 2021. This exemption provides practitioners with the authority to issue a verbal prescription for controlled substances. There are no changes to the exemption and as previous, Health Canada can terminate this exemption depending on the current conditions if the Minister deems that such suspension is necessary to protect public health, safety or security. If necessary, the Minister may change the terms and conditions of this exemption. Should this be the case, you will be informed. View the update here.

Professional Accountability During the Pandemic – Joint Statement

Nursing Practice Update: Joint Statement – Supporting Saskatchewan Regulated Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is difficult and challenging for our health care system. During a surge in COVID-19 cases, you may be required to adapt your usual practice. A joint statement outlining principles and practice expectations for you and other regulated health care professionals has been developed to support clarity during these challenging times. Read the Full Statement

Nursing Use of Information and Communication Technologies

RNs and NPs are working with organizations to provide continued safe, competent and ethical care to the people of Saskatchewan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using virtual means, such as telehealth, to connect with patients and families is a necessity in today’s environment. Telehealth connects patients and health care providers who provide health services over the phone, computer or any other forms of information and communication technologies (ICT). Nursing telepractice is the delivery, management and coordination of care and services provided via ICT.

When utilizing ICT for telepractice, RNs and NPs must ensure they continue to uphold their standards, competencies and code of ethics. The importance of clinical knowledge, nursing judgment, communication and documentation skills is paramount when establishing and maintaining a nurse client relationship through telehealth. More information for nursing telehealth activities can be found in the resource section below.

To provide telehealth to a Saskatchewan resident, you must be registered and hold a practicing license with the CRNS. The Registered Nurses Act, 1988 in Saskatchewan outlines the need to be registered to engage in the practice of registered nursing and to use protected titles. Information about registration can be found here.

Each province/territory and country is governed by differing legislation/regulations/bylaws. It is important to contact the nursing regulator in that jurisdiction before providing telehealth services to their residents.

Questions about registration can be directed to Regulatory Services by email at or by calling 306.359.4200 or 1.800.667.9945 (toll free within Canada).

For a confidential consultation about a practice issue, please contact a Practice Advisor by email at or call 306.359.4200 or 1.800.667.9945 (toll free within Canada).


Van Houwelingen, C. et al. (2016). Competencies required for nursing telehealth activities: A Delphi-study. Nurse Education Today, 39, 50-52.

Canadian Nurses Protective Society,

Canadian Nurses of Ontario (CNO) (2017). Practice Guideline: Telepractice CNO Practice Guideline: Telepractice

Updated Clinical Decision Tools for RNs with Additional Authorized Practice

As of November 5, 2019, the updated Clinical Decision Tools (CDTs) for RNs with Additional Authorized Practice [RN(AAP)s] have been adopted by CRNS Council and will be in effect beginning December 1, 2019. As of this date, the older versions of the CDTs will no longer be in effect.

The evidence and best practice guidelines have been reviewed and incorporated into the updated CDTs with in-text sources included. The Interprofessional Advisory Group (IPAG) reviewed, revised and approved all of the CDTs. During this process, it was determined that some Pediatric and Adult CDTs could be merged to streamline the processes. Additionally, charts and tables have been added to support effective and clear messaging about pharmacology options and other information within the CDTs. Language has been updated to reflect non-binary genders, for example people of reproductive age rather than women of childbearing age, and reproductive health rather than women’s health.

While the literature review is complete and all CDTs are updated for evidence-informed best practice for RN(AAP)s to diagnose, treat and prescribe for limited common medical disorders, there are no significant practice changes and no new CDTs.

It is important RN(AAP)s review all CDTs to ensure they are informed about the latest evidence for their practice.

CRNS Practice Advisors may be contacted for answers to your practice questions by email at or by phone 306.359.4200 or 1.800.667.9945 (toll free within Canada).

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