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Alberta registered nurses to order X-rays, prescribe drugs under new rules

File: A nurse tends to a patient on Friday, Feb. 6, 2009. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Editor’s note: This story by The Canadian Press erroneously reported that Alberta nurse practitioners were being granted the ability to prescribe drugs, when in fact, they already can. They’re being granted the ability to set bone fractures. The story has been updated to reflect the correct information. We regret the error.

Alberta’s health minister says the province is expanding the ability of nurses to prescribe drugs and order X-rays.

Sarah Hoffman says the government will bring in new rules that will allow registered nurses to prescribe drugs in travel clinics, as part of sexually transmitted infection programs and at workplace health and safety clinics.

READ MORE: Cases of syphilis and gonorrhea on the rise in southern Alberta

Registered nurses will not be allowed to prescribe controlled drugs and substances.

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Hoffman says nurse practitioners, who can already prescribe drugs, will now also be able to set bone fractures.

Dennie Hycha, president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, calls the changes a milestone for registered nursing.

READ MORE: AHS to build centralized drug production facility in Edmonton

Hycha says the changes mean people will have better access to medication and tests when they need them.

Hoffman praised nurses for the vital role they play in health care.

“I’m proud our government is supporting nurses to use their front-line expertise and training to help Albertans get the care they need sooner and closer to home,” she said in a release Friday.

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