Regulation changes enable NPs to order CTs and MRIs as of July
As of Friday, July 1, 2022, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) will be able to order computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
These changes mean that NPs can provide more direct care to support patient safety, and better connect patients with needed tests in a timely manner.
Here’s how the CT and MRI scan changes will be implemented, what they mean for NP practice and how they can help support safe patient care.
Supporting safe patient care
When it comes to CTs and MRIs, NPs currently work collaboratively with other care professionals to ensure patients can access the tests they need. When NPs are able to directly order the scans in July, they’ll be able to save a step in this process, which will enable them to provide more direct care to patients.
Understanding the changes
To enable these changes, the government amended regulations under two pieces of legislation: the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act, 1990 (HARPA) and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA).
Previously under HARPA and the RHPA, NPs were not authorized to order CTs and MRIs. When the regulatory changes take effect on Friday, July 1, 2022, NPs’ practice will include the authority to order CTs and MRIs. Ordering tests that involve nuclear medicine will remain prohibited for NPs.
Ensuring safe practice
Nurse Practitioners are expected to have the knowledge, skill and judgment to order appropriate tests. When ordering tests like CTs and MRIs, NPs are accountable to existing practice standards, including Decisions about Procedures and Authority and Nurse Practitioner.
Depending on their individual learning needs, NPs also can review ordering CT and MRI scans as part of their annual learning plan and ongoing learning for this year’s Quality Assurance (QA) Program.
If you have any questions about how this change impacts your practice, please contact Practice Support.