Regulation - LGIC

Registered Nurse (RN) Prescribing: Proposed regulatory amendments to Ontario Regulation 275/94 (General), Part III (Controlled Acts) and Part V (Delegation) under the Nursing Act, 1991

Regulation Number(s):
Ontario Regulation 275/94
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Nursing Act, 1991
Summary of Proposal:
College Introduction

In Ontario, the regulation of health professions is based on a self-governance model. There are 26 health regulatory colleges governing 28 health professions under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and their respective health profession Acts.

Under the RHPA and the Nursing Act, 1991, the College of Nurses of Ontario (College) is responsible for governing the profession of nursing in Ontario. Under these Acts, the College has the authority to make regulations on a variety of subject matters, including regulations regarding the performance of controlled acts authorized to the profession. The proposed regulation amendments are subject to prior review by the Minister of Health and the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC).


In May 2017, the Ontario government amended the Nursing Act, 1991 to permit RNs to perform two new controlled acts of prescribing drugs for certain non-complex conditions and communicating a diagnosis for the purposes of prescribing. The College is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 275/94 (General) made under the Nursing Act, 1991 to authorize RNs to prescribe individual drugs as well as drug categories related to:
• Immunization,
• Contraception,
• Wound care,
• Travel health,
• Smoking cessation, and
• Over-the-counter medications.

The proposed regulations for RN prescribing specify:
• The conditions RNs must meet to prescribe and communicate a diagnosis for the purposes of prescribing,
• Drugs and drug categories from which RNs can prescribe, and
• Practice expectations and parameters upon which RNs are permitted to prescribe.

The proposed regulations related to dispensing and administering substances:
• Give authority to RNs to dispense and administer any medication they are authorized to prescribe, and
• Give authority to RNs and registered practical nurses (RPNs) to dispense and administer any medication that is prescribed by a RN who is authorized to prescribe.

RNs must complete additional education that is approved by the College's Council in order to prescribe drugs and to communicate a diagnosis for the purposes of prescribing.

Should you wish to provide feedback on this proposal, you may provide it by email to
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Work is currently underway analyzing possible administrative and compliance costs to businesses and professionals that may result from this regulatory proposal. To inform this analysis we encourage you to provide your feedback.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
October 4, 2019
Comments Due Date:
November 17, 2019
Contact Address:
Health Workforce Regulatory Oversight Branch
Strategic Policy, Planning and French Language Services Division
438 University Avenue, 10th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 2K8