Expanded nursing roles are being explored in Canada as a means to better support the health of the population, enable access to quality care and contribute to the sustainability of the healthcare system. As Canada embarks on a process of developing and implementing registered nurse (RN) prescribing roles, gathering evidence from jurisdictions with established nurse prescribing is helpful to inform policy development. Of particular interest is literature from the UK, with more than 20 years of experience with nurse prescribing, which identifies the importance of completing graduate pharmacological education and building on existing clinical knowledge and experience. Similar models of RN prescribing education have been adopted in New Zealand and Ireland. Within Canada, the RN prescribing role is still in its infancy, and there is some variation among provinces in the approach to prescribing practices and in RN prescribing education. This paper describes the results of an environmental scan that sought to explore the educational practices of national and international jurisdictions through published and grey literature sources. Findings from this environmental scan will support nurse leaders as they develop RN prescribing regulation and education in Canada and will highlight important areas for further knowledge development.
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