On March 2, 2022, both the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) announced that effective July 1, 2022, Nurse Practitioners would be able to order computerized tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
The NPAO characterizes this as a welcomed expansion to the Nurse Practitioner’s scope of practice, which will ultimately improve patient care. Nurse Practitioners provide primary care to many patients across Ontario and are often considered the most responsible healthcare provider to their patients. It only makes sense that Ontario follow suit with the rest of the country and recognize that Nurse Practitioners are capable of deciding whether and what diagnostic imaging is appropriate.
In order to affect this change in scope of practice, the Ontario Government has amended Ontario Regulation 107/96 (Controlled Acts) under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, SO 1991, c. 18, and Ontario Regulation 543/90 (X-Ray Safety Code) under the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act,RSO 1990, c H.2. These Acts, together with their regulations, place limits upon who may order, and perform, various diagnostic imaging, including CT scans and MRIs.
In addition to Nurse Practitioners, the amendments to the Controlled Acts Regulation will also permit oral maxillofacial surgeons to order MRI scans, effective July 1, 2022.
Both the RCDSO and the CNO have published standards to guide members’ enhanced scope of practice and exercise of these new privileges.
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Proposed amendments would allow specified PSWs to administer medication to residents in long-term care when authorized by a member of the registered staff.