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 SRNA 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 SRNA’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 SRNA’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 SRNA 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 SRNA, and possible disciplinary proceedings. 

Additional resources

SRNA

Social Media

Saskatchewan Health Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Canada

Nurse Practitioner Regulation Framework Implementation Plan Project (NPR-FIPP)

As a member of the national steering committee, the SRNA is participating in the Nurse Practitioner Regulation Framework Implementation Plan Project (NPR-FIPP). This project is a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative commissioned by the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR).

The goal of NPR-FIPP is to implement the recommendations endorsed by CCRNR regarding six basic elements of a model for Nurse Practitioner regulation in Canada. These six elements include entry level education programs, the creation of one national entry-level examination for all NPs across Canada, common standards of practice, continuing competence, one NP registration category based on entry-level competencies and common principles for re-entry to practice. The first-year priority will focus on beginning work on an entry level examination and entry level education programs.

For additional information about the project, visit the CCRNR website.

If you have any questions about the project and/or the SRNA’s role, please contact Donna Cooke, Nursing Advisor, Regulatory Services at dcooke@srna.org or phone 1-800-667-9945 (ext. 202) or 306-359-4202.

24 Hour RN Coverage Resources

With the recent transition towards a single mandate organization, the SRNA Council has made the decision to discontinue the use of position statements. Thus, updated resources are being provided in replacement of previous position statements.

The 24 Hour RN Coverage in Special-Care Homes resource document will replace the 24 Hour Registered Nurse Coverage position statement. It is recognized that RNs are one health care provider within the larger health system, and there are many factors that lead to better outcomes for residents. This resource provides an at-a-glace connection to standards, competencies, ethical responsibilities and evidence for RNs practising in special-care homes.

Please review this document and consider how it may relate to your practice.

Updated Requirements for NP Hours

As of December 1, 2020, Nurse Practitioners in Saskatchewan will no longer be required to complete 600 clinical hours to maintain eligibility for registration. According to SRNA Bylaw VI subsection 3(7), NPs are required to work in nurse practitioner activities approved by the association in one of the four specialties for at least 900 hundred hours in the three years immediately preceding application. However, there is no longer a requirement for clinical hours.

This modification was made in recognition of changes in NP practice acknowledging the increasing diversity with many NPs working in various domains of practice outside of a clinical setting.

For any questions regarding this change, please email Leah White, RN Nursing Advisor (lwhite@srna.org)

Prescription Review Program (PRP): Codeine Use in Pediatrics

In response to an updated Health Canada advisory warning that patients under 18 years of age should not use non-prescription pain relief products containing codeine, the Prescription Review Program (PRP), Saskatchewan’s prescription monitoring program, has released correspondence to assist practitioners with the management of pediatric pain and provide guidance in regards to the use of codeine products. 

The update by Health Canada also included warnings regarding the use of prescription cough and cold products containing opioids in patients under 18 years of age. Research has suggested that early exposure to opioids may put young patients at risk for opioid-related adverse events throughout their life. 

Given it’s perceived safety, codeine was previously a preferred opioid drug in pediatrics, it has since been recommended that practitioners do not initiate treatment with codeine if the patient hasn’t been prescribed the drug for a chronic condition in the past. 

Correspondence shared by the Prescription Review Program, elaborates on the above topics further, outlines non-opioid and non-pharmacological options in pediatric pain management and highlights important reminders if an opioid prescription is deemed necessary in a pediatric patient. 

Review this document here

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Furman-Pelzer, NP Nursing Advisor PRP (prp@srna.org). 

NPs Prescribing Cosmetics

Nurse Practitioners (NP) in Saskatchewan can prescribe bioactive agents and medical fillers for cosmetic purposes when:

  • the patient condition for which they are prescribing the agents fall within the individual NP common medical disorders and
  • the NP has the knowledge, skills and competence to safely assess, treat, prescribe and/or administer the product in accordance with bylaws, standards and competencies and federal legislation.

NPs work within a collaborative team of physicians, registered nurses (RN) and other health care providers to implement the nursing process including assessment, care planning, implementation and evaluation. Considerations for NPs when practicing in an interdisciplinary setting:

  • Recognition of practice is required for NPs who practice in the most responsible practitioner role. Contact regulation@srna.org for further information.
    • The most responsible practitioner is responsible to:
      • conduct an initial assessment of the client at each visit;
      • establish a treatment plan for the injection;
      • assess that the RN providing the injection is competent to perform the task; and,
      • be available to provide assistance in the event of an untoward event.
    • RN Clinical Protocols are required to provide guidance to RNs who are administering these products under the authority of NPs. The four essential components for RN Specialty Practices must be incorporated into the RN Clinical Protocol.

Providing cosmetic services and procedures has evolved over the past several years and includes unique liability risks that NPs should understand prior to engaging in this area of practice. It is strongly recommended that NPs contact the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) to discuss liability risks associated with cosmetic nursing.

Questions? Contact an SRNA Practice Advisor by phone: 1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4227 or by email: practiceadvice@srna.org.

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