Nursing Practice Updates
Updates focus on changes to legislation, SRNA bylaws, and the introduction of new standards and guidelines.
With the legalization of recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018, new Cannabis Regulations have replaced the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Under the new regulations, a nurse practitioner is defined as an authorized health care provider and is not restricted, under the laws of the province in which they practise, from authorizing the use of cannabis. The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) has determined that it is within the RN(NP)’s scope of practice whom have the appropriate knowledge, skills and competencies to safely authorize the use of medical cannabis for Saskatchewan clients.
It is important RN(NP)s educate clients on the risks, side effects, safe transportation and storage of medical cannabis. RN(NP)s are required to adhere to employer policy for authorizing the use of medical cannabis. Clients authorized by their health care provider are still able to access cannabis for medical purposes by:
- buying directly from a federally-licensed seller,
- registering with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, and
- designating someone to produce it for them.
Additional resources for RN(NP)s:
- Accessing cannabis for medical purposes
- Cannabis for medical purposes under the Cannabis Act: information and improvements
- Medical Document Authorizing the use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations
- Information for Health Care Practitioners – Medical Use of Cannabis
- Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis and the cannabinoids
- Cannabis Legalization Resources
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
- New Class of Practitioner Regulations
- Narcotic Control Regulations
- The Drug Schedules Regulations
- Ask a Practice Advisor: Medical Cannabis
SRNA Nursing Advisors are available to discuss practice questions about cannabis. To contact the SRNA for practice advice, please call: 1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4200 (ask to speak to a practice advisor), or you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mifegymiso is an antihormonal medication consisting of two medications (mifepristone and misoprostol) that work together to block the effects of progesterone for termination of early pregnancy.
Health Canada recently broadened the interpretation of Mifegymiso prescriber to include prescribing health professional, resulting in Nurse Practitioners having the legal authority to prescribe Mifegymiso within Canada. The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) has determined that it is within the RN(NP)’s scope of practice whom have the appropriate knowledge, skills and competencies to prescribe Mifegymiso to Saskatchewan patients.
Additional resources for RN(NP)s:
- Health Canada updates prescribing and dispensing information for Mifegymiso outlines the expectations for prescribing and dispensing Mifegymiso with key information for health professionals.
- Review the Product Monograph, Patient Medical Information, the Patient Consent Form and the Patient Information card that can be found on the Celopharma website: celopharma.com
- Consider completing the accredited training program through the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC); or the online education program through the Celopharma website specific to Mifegymiso inclusive of the Risk Communication
An interdisciplinary advisory group is working with SRNA staff to develop council policy that fully defines the educational, practicum, monitoring and audit requirements. The projected timeline to have policies approved by SRNA Council is by Dec. 31, 2018. SRNA will provide updates as the work progresses.
Starting on October 23, 2018, Health Canada has amended the Food and Drug Regulations to require a warning sticker and patient information handout be provided when dispensing Class A opioids. These requirements will ensure that all Canadians receive consistent information about the risks and safe use of opioids.
Currently in Saskatchewan, RN(NP)s licensed with the SRNA are the only authorized practitioners who can dispense opioids. When dispensing Class A opioids, the practitioner is required to ensure:
- The opioid warning sticker be affixed to the opioid bottle, container or package.
- The Opioid Patient Information handout must be given directly to the patient from the practitioner dispensing the opioid.
For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s website.