Registered Nurse (Authorized Prescriber)

What is a registered nurse (authorized prescriber)?

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) and the College’s General Council Regulation will bring a new role to registered nursing: registered nurse (authorized prescriber) or RN(AP).

Those who wish to receive this designation must successfully complete an approved course of instruction and obtain approval from the College’s Registrar to practice as a registered nurse (authorized prescriber) in any of the following areas:

  • Travel health
  • Reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections and blood borne pathogens
  • Diabetes health

An RN(AP) will be able to prescribe certain medications in these areas.

What is the difference between an RN(AP) and an RN(NP)?

RN(AP) and registered nurse (nurse practitioner) or RN(NP) are both vital roles. Each registered nursing role will continue to follow the standards and competencies that are core to all RNs. The difference between the two involves the span of knowledge, skill and judgment required in each role. 

Registered Nurse (Nurse Practitioner)

An RN(NP)’s scope of practice is broader than an RN(AP)’s. An RN(NP) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education to autonomously provide a broad range of health-care services. An RN(NP) can independently prescribe drugs, order and manage the results of screening and diagnostic tests and perform minor surgical and invasive procedures.

Registered Nurse (Authorized Prescriber)

An RN(AP) provides care within three practice areas: travel health, reproductive health or diabetes health. An RN(AP) will only be able to prescribe certain medications in these areas. 

It is necessary to note that the RN(AP) role will not replace other health-care providers. The role is a necessary extension of care that is currently provided by RNs in order to address the needs of a community.

Click here to read FAQs on the RN(AP) role


For more information, contact:

Diana Heywood RN MN
Practice and Standards Consultant