Professional Accountability and Prescribing

As stated in the Canadian Nurses Association Code of Ethics (2009), “nurses are accountable for their actions and answerable for their practice” (p. 18). This lesson reminds us of this responsibility as applied to the administration and prescription of controlled drugs and substances (CDS).

Given the potential for misuse and resulting harm, as a nurse, you must practice in keeping with professional standards, laws and regulations supporting CDS use. Nurses are accountable for knowing their scope of practice and recognizing the limits of their competence in all situations where CDS are used in order to provide the best care possible to all they serve.

This lesson examines the use of clinical practice guidelines applicable to CDS prescribing and discusses ethical principles that guide nurses to “do no harm”. Tools to support safe prescribing and management are included.

Learning Outcomes

Lessons in Module 1 address the following learning outcomes:

  1. Describe the federal and provincial / territorial legislation and regulations related to CDS.
  2. Identify jurisdictional registered nurse and nurse practitioner standards of practice for CDS.
  3. Describe the use of prescription monitoring systems.
  4. Apply tools and mechanisms for safe prescribing and management of prescribed controlled drugs and substances.
  5. Develop an effective strategy to assess evidence used for CDS use.
  6. Examine ethical principles influencing controlled and substances use.
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