NP Practice Update: NPs Prescribing for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and Methadone for Pain

On March 27, 2019, CRNS Council passed the two policies that allow NPs, who regularly see people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) or who require methadone for pain, to apply to the CRNS to receive approval to prescribe medications such as suboxone and methadone. These regulatory processes are in follow up to the Bylaw passed by CRNS membership at the 2018 CRNS Annual Meeting. Based on this Bylaw, the CRNS has worked with provincial and national partners, including the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Ministry of Health, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Interdisciplinary Advisory Committees, and NP Advisory Committee, to develop the education and clinical practicum requirements, and regulatory processes.

The CRNS has developed regulatory processes to minimize harm to the public and develop expectations for safe prescribing. In accordance with the CRNS mandate to set standards for competence and govern prescribing, NPs must meet all requirements prior to receiving approval to prescribe drug therapeutics for OUD and methadone for pain. The NP prescribing of these additional medications will be monitored through the existing Prescription Review Program.

Advancing the NP Scope of Practice by enabling NPs to prescribe drug therapeutics for OUD will increase the number of approved prescribers in Saskatchewan; thereby providing increased access for clients.

Eligible NPs can begin the application process as of April 2, 2019.

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