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Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2009 Jan;45(1):3-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2009.00194.x.

Prescriptive authority for nurses: the Canadian perspective.

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School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



This study aims to describe the role of prescriptive authority for nurses within Canada.


Prescriptive authority for Canadian nurses is linked to the development of advanced practice nursing generally and nurse practitioners specifically. Recent legislative changes allow nurse practitioners to function more independently regardless of the availability of medical practitioners. The smaller population results in less legislative variety for specific nurse practitioner specialty areas. Facilitators and barriers to implementing effective prescriptive authority remain as challenges and mirror findings from other literature.


Role clarity, strength in nursing focus, and support from administrators and legislation are required for prescriptive authority to be fully enacted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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