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Government of Canada Celebrates Registered Nurses
Committed to working with partners to improve access to care

November 27, 2012
For immediate release

OTTAWA - Today the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health applauded registered nurses (RNs) while attending the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Annual Hill Day for the vital contributions they make to the health of Canadians.

"We want to express our appreciation for the dedication of nurses as professionals, and advocates of health promotion and education," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Improving health care requires partnerships. Our government is committed to strengthening Canada's health system by working with registered nurses and other health-care professionals."

"Registered nurses are leading important transformations in Canada's health-care system," said Barb Mildon, CNA President. "Those closest to the issues must be a part of informing the solutions. We welcome and appreciate the opportunity to meet with our country's leaders and to work together at supporting a strong health-care system and the best health for Canadians."

The Minister and leadership from CNA took the opportunity to discuss what role registered nurses can play in limiting prescription drug abuse. The federal government announced recently its desire to bring together players from different levels of government and health practitioners to discuss a national approach to tackling this growing issue. There was agreement that feedback from the CNA would be very helpful to this process.

On November 21, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to working with its partners to improve the health-care system by publishing regulations that provide authority to new classes of practitioners to prescribe, administer and provide medications when authorized by provincial or territorial legislation.

"These new regulations will improve the flexibility of our health-care system by allowing more practitioners across the country to provide needed care to patients," Minister Aglukkaq said.

"More prescribing authority for nurse practitioners is a milestone development for our profession and the patients they care for," said Barb Mildon, CNA president. "The new regulations are important because they recognize the advanced education and skills that enable nurse practitioners to deliver more comprehensive care, which in turn helps Canadians gain timely access to health care that is wholly focused on their individual needs."

The New Classes of Practitioners Regulations designate midwives, nurse practitioners and podiatrists as practitioners under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and allow them to prescribe, administer and provide certain controlled substances if they are already authorized to do so under their respective scopes of practice set out in provincial and territorial legislation.

Minister of Health LeonaáAglukkaq joined by June Webber, RN, PhD, Director of Policy and Leadership, Canadian Nurses Association (left) and Barb Mildon, RN, PhD, CHE, CCHN(C), President , Canadian Nurses Association (right).

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