Registered Nurses in the Extended Class [RN(ECs)], more commonly known as Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are graduate-prepared Registered Nurses, regulated since 1998 in the Extended Class by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). NPs must meet rigorous requirements and standards to enter and maintain ongoing registration in Ontario. NPs independently, and in collaboration with health care professionals, provide health care services for all ages and across the health spectrum (e.g., primary care, acute care and long-term care). In Ontario, NPs are authorized to:
- Complete a comprehensive health history and assessment;
- Formulate and communicate a diagnosis, taking a differential diagnosis into consideration;
- Prescribe all medications including controlled drugs and substances;
- Dispense, sell, and compound medications;
- Order and interpret all laboratory tests;
- Admit, treat and discharge patients from hospitals; and
- Order some diagnostic imaging tests (CNO, 2016).