Recent legislative changes to the scope of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role will mean increased responsibility and accountability for NPs in Ontario, both in community and hospital settings.
As a result of the changes introduced by Bill 179, NPs will now be able to:
- independently order lab tests and other diagnostic procedures
- prescribe medications and communicate a diagnosis
- admit and discharge patients from hospitals
"This is a positive change for health care in Ontario that will improve access to care, decrease wait times and help clients navigate complex health care systems. These changes will contribute to greater efficiency," says Jo Watson, NP Practice Lead and Operations Director of the Women and Babies Program at Sunnybrook.
The changes enacted by Bill 179 reflect the autonomous and collaborative role of Nurse Practitioners.
"Our nurse practitioners are essential members of our health care team, and these important changes will help NPs to maximize their scope of practice. I am proud that Sunnybrook's Nurse Practitioners are making such an important impact to clinical practice," says Ru Taggar, Vice President, Chief Nursing Executive & Health Professions and Quality & Patient Safety at Sunnybrook.
Ontario's NPs are Registered Nurses with advanced university education and clinical preparation who provide a full range of health care services, including the diagnosis of injuries and illnesses, ordering tests and procedures, prescribing medication. They also assist in the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, COPD and asthma. Sunnybrook is home to 36 of the approximately 800 NPs working in the province.