Alberta nurse practitioners (NPs) can now prescribe methadone and
other drugs to manage opioid-use disorder and methadone for pain
management. Before prescribing, NPs must first complete education and
preceptorship requirements. They must also prescribe in accordance
with best practice guidelines for their area of practice.
CARNA Provincial Council approved revisions to the
Practitioner Prescribing Standards (2018) at its meeting
on June 7, 2018. The standard was updated to reflect Health Canada’s
decision to remove the federal requirement for an exemption to
prescribe methadone and add NPs to the list of health providers that
can prescribe diacetylmorphine.
NPs have indicated that the ability to prescribe drugs to manage opioid dependence is needed in selected areas of NP practice. This change will enable NPs to respond to pressures in the system and support delivery of health care for client populations, while supporting provincial harm-reduction strategies.