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January 2, 2019


Improving access to care: Manitoba’s first class of authorized prescribers has graduated

As a regulatory College, we’re always looking at ways we can better meet the needs of Manitobans.

Two years ago we introduced the registered nurse (authorized prescriber) or RN(AP) role, broadening an RN’s scope of practice so that we can improve access to care. Fast forward to today and we’re proud to see the first class of authorized prescribers graduate, ready to make a new impact in their communities.

What can RN(AP)s do?

RN(AP)s can prescribe medication in the areas of reproductive, travel or diabetes health. To become an RN(AP), a registered nurse needs to complete Red River College’s Nurse Prescriber course.

Lana Happychuk recently completed the reproductive health stream of the course, making her Manitoba’s first RN(AP). Lana works in primary care and sees how valuable this new nursing role will be.

“I enrolled in the program because I was ready to do something more. Being in this role is empowering because it means I can better meet the needs of my clients,” says Lana.

Right now a lot of teen clinics like the one Lana works in are led by RNs, but they still require orders from a physician or RN(NP) for things like prescribing medication. Lana is excited about the possibilities of her new role, especially being able to meet her client’s needs without having to send them elsewhere or have them wait longer at the clinic.

Nicole Watling RN(NP) is an instructor of the program and also teaches students during their practicum. In practicum, students build off the theory they learn in the course and bring that theory into their practice.

“A lot of RNs are already doing this kind of work so my role is to help them understand the prescribing and liability pieces,” says Nicole.

The program itself is unique because each student already has nursing knowledge. Because of this, Nicole’s goal is to help students feel confident working within their new scope. Above all, she sees this new role filling an important gap in health care.

“The RN(AP) role is a missing piece for a lot of areas,” says Nicole. “People need treatment right away and now we can respond to their needs so much quicker.”

Pictured above: Lana (left) and Nicole (right)

Learn more about the RN(AP) role here