January 2018

Coming soon: NPs ordering any ultrasound

On Jan. 1, 2018, NPs gained the authority to apply and order ultrasound without restrictions. However, changes in legislation are needed before this new authority can fully take effect. 

Changes under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, now allow NPs to apply and order any ultrasound that uses soundwaves to produce an image or other data. Previously, NPs could only order specific ultrasounds from a list. Those restrictions have been removed. However, the Health Insurance Act and Independent Health Facilities Act need to be updated before these changes can fully take effect. For example, under the Health Insurance Act, only ultrasounds to the abdomen, pelvis and breast are insured.

Government is working on the necessary changes to ensure that all ultrasounds NPs order, and the interpretation of those ultrasounds, are insured. We will update you as more information becomes available.

When applying ultrasound, NPs are accountable to expectations in the practice standards, including Decisions About Procedures and Authority and the revised Nurse Practitioner.

Visit www.cno.org/np for updated information about these changes, including new Q&As.

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