Nurse practitioners to be allowed to prescribe drug therapies for Opioid Use Disorder

A resolution passed by members of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) at their annual meeting last week opens the doors to allowing Nurse Practitioners to prescribe drug therapeutics for clients with Opioid Use Disorder, and methadone for palliative pain management in the province.

Other resolutions passed at the meeting include the establishment of an annual Award of Excellence.

“The number of clients who require drug therapeutics for opioid use disorder exceeds the number of authorized prescribers available, which limits the number of clients who can currently access this treatment within the province,” said Joanne Petersen, SRNA President in a press release.

“Therefore, this addition of nurse practitioners as authorized prescribers will have a positive impact on increasing access to this therapy.”

The next step will be to put the changes into practice.

For the new drug therapies available for nurse practitioners to prescribe, that will involve a definition of educational, practicum, monitoring and audit requirements.

The change makes Saskatchewan the second province after BC to allow Nurse Practitioners these options as part of their scope of practice to add to harm reduction strategies aimed at tackling the opioid crisis.