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Athabasca University

Professional Development

Prescription and Management of Controlled Drugs and Substances

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:

  • Discuss beliefs and attitudes about prescribing narcotics and controlled substances among health care providers
  • Discuss the pharmacology of a range of narcotics and controlled substances
  • Assess and identify clients who are suitable for narcotics and controlled substances following the Canadian Guideline recommendations
  • Define the difference between opioid dependence and opioid addiction
  • Identify clients who are at risk for narcotics and controlled substances addiction and misuse
  • Explain the rational for using a narcotics and controlled substances agreement plan Explain the rational for including urine drug testing in an opioid maintenance care plan Identify the legal requirements of narcotics and controlled substances prescribing Safely conduct an opioid trial by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations
  • Monitor clients on long term narcotics and controlled substances therapy by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations
  • Safely taper a client off narcotics and controlled substances
  • Discuss non-pharmacologic, potentially alternative modalities and multidisciplinary approaches to care

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 15 and 20 hours of study.

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

Updated December 09 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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