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Athabasca University

Controlled drugs and substances module available

August 21, 2014

This module, recognised by CARNA, will provide education for Nurse Practitioners who wish to prescribe narcotics or controlled substances in their practice and addresses the following topics: provincial and federal regulations regarding narcotics and controlled substances; standardized approaches to the assessment of clients for whom narcotics may be prescribed; and evidence-based, systemic approaches and tools for the prescription of narcotics and controlled substances; comprehensive, effective therapeutic treatment and management options for nurse prescribers, including non-pharmacological alternative modalities; multidisciplinary approaches to care related to clients on narcotics and controlled substances; and addiction, drug tolerance, drug -seeking behavior and drug tapering. A series of case studies provides an opportunity for application of this knowledge to practice situations.

Some jurisdictions in Canada have not yet authorized the prescription of controlled drugs and substances for nurse practitioners. Please note that successful completion of this module does not give you the authority to prescribe narcotics or other controlled drugs and substances. This authority is granted by the college of registered nurses in the jurisdiction where you practice. Please ensure that you are aware of and adhere to the terms and conditions of your college as it relates to prescriptive authority.

Module Objectives

After successful completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • articulate the legislation and regulations governing the prescribing of controlled drugs and substances (CDS) in Canada;
  • discuss the pharmacology of a range of controlled drugs and substances;
  • review the pathophysiology of conditions that may require treatment with CDS;
  • assess and identify clients who are suitable for controlled drugs and substances, using recommendations from Canadian Guidelines;
  • identify clients who are at risk for addiction to, and misuse of, controlled drugs and substances;
  • explain the rationale for using a CDS agreement plan;
  • explain the rationale for including urine drug testing in an opioid maintenance care plan;
  • identify the legal requirements of prescribing narcotics and controlled substances;
  • safely conduct an opioid trial by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations;
  • monitor clients on long term CDS therapy by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations;
  • safely taper a client off CDS;
  • discuss potential non-pharmacologic, alternative modalities and multidisciplinary approaches to care;
  • outline appropriate documentation related to CDS prescribing including informed consent;
  • identify strategies to enhance patient and prescriber safety related to the prescription of controlled substances;
  • assess the evidence supporting the use of CDS.

The module consists of 7 self-paced units followed by a multiple choice exam.

Cost: $169.00 +5% GST ($8.45) = $177.45

To enroll in the module please follow the link to the PD Modules Online Registration Form and complete the registration process. You will need a valid credit card in order to complete this process. Once your registration is processed (may take 24-48 hours), an email will be sent (to your email id you provided in the registration process) with the module link and web access information.

The entire course is estimated to take between 20 and 30 hours of study. You will have three months from your registration date to complete the module.

If you have questions please contact fhd-pd@athabascau.ca.

Updated January 26 2017 by Student & Academic Services

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