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​Introduction

Nurse practitioners prescribe drugs in accordance with relevant federal and provincial legislation and the BCCNP Standards of Practice. In particular, the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners Regulation gives nurse practitioners the authority to prescribe Schedule I, IA, and II drugs, subject to the standards, limits and conditions set by BCCNP.

The Prescribing Drugs standards, limits and conditions apply when nurse practitioners are initiating, continuing or discontinuing the prescribing of a drug. Continuation prescribing includes re-ordering and/or making adjustments to the drug therapy, ongoing assessment and monitoring, and consulting with and/or referring clients to other health care professionals as needed.

Nurse practitioners are authorized to compound, administer, and dispense all drugs that they have the authority to prescribe. For drugs that nurse practitioners do not have the authority to prescribe, they are authorized to compound, dispense or administer them with a client-specific order from a listed health professional who is authorized to prescribe the drug in British Columbia.

Authorizing Medical Cannabis

Under section 272 of the Cannabis Regulations, a nurse practitioner may authorize medical cannabis7 for a client if it is required for the condition for which the client is receiving treatment. Nurse practitioners may provide a medical document or, if practising in a hospital, issue a written order for medical cannabis, in accordance with the requirements of Part 14 of the Cannabis Regulations. The Prescribing Drugs standards apply to the authorization of medical cannabis. Nurse practitioners who plan to authorize medical cannabis first familiarize themselves with the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations (in particular, Part 14), review the information about cannabis that is available from the Canadian Nurses’ Protective Society (CNPS), and review and comply with their organization’s policies about medical cannabis.

Footnotes

7

Medical cannabis refers to cannabis that is authorized by a medical document or written order issued under Part 14 of the Cannabis Regulations. It does not include prescription drugs containing cannabis, which are listed in in Schedule I of the Drug Schedules Regulation and are regulated under Part 8 of the Cannabis Regulations. Nurse practitioners who prescribe Schedule I drugs containing cannabis comply with the same standards, limits and conditions that apply to the prescribing of any other Schedule I drugs.

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