Nurse Practitioner

The Nurses Act was amended in July 2002 to enable the practice of nurse practitioners in New Brunswick. The nurse practitioner role is regulated in addition to that of a registered nurse because the nurse practitioner performs activities that are not considered part of the scope of practice of registered nurses.

Nurse practitioners, as autonomous health professionals with advanced education, provide essential health services grounded in professional, ethical and legal standards. They integrate their in-depth knowledge of advanced nursing practice and theory, health management, health promotion and disease/injury prevention, and other relevant biomedical and psychosocial theories to provide comprehensive health services. Nurse practitioners work in collaboration with their clients and other health care providers in the provision of high quality patient-centred care. They work with diverse client populations, in a variety of contexts and practice settings.

Nurse Practitioners in New Brunswick- Primary Health Care NPs (Brochure)

The NP role is a nursing role, and nurse practitioners must practise in accordance with all NANB standards. In addition, NPs must practice in accordance with the Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners.

The documents Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and Standards for the Practice of Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners focus on the responsibilities in nurse practitioner practice which require additional regulation by NANB.

Schedules for Ordering

The NP Schedules for Ordering outline the screening and diagnostic tests that may be ordered and interpreted, the drugs that may be prescribed and the forms of energy that may be ordered by the NP. These schedules are established through recommendations of the NP Therapeutics Committee (NPTC) and approved by the NANB Board of Directors and the Minister of Health.

The schedules are located in the NANB document Standards for the Practice of Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners, Appendix 2

Prescriber Number

As of May 3rd, 2016 the government of New Brunswick no longer issues a prescriber number. Instead of a prescriber number, nurse practitioners will be identified in the system, by their NANB registration number. Therefore, NPs are to include their registration number from NANB when filling out prescriptions.

Authorizing Cannabis

Since December 2018, NPs are authorized to order medical cannabis. For further guidance and links to evidence-informed resources, please refer to the document Guidelines for Nurse Practitioners Authorizing Medical Cannabis found in the Resource Library.

Prescribing Methadone

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in New Brunswick who have successfully completed the required learning and clinical practice expectations, as outlined by the NANB, are authorized to prescribe Methadone. For further information please read Fact Sheet: Nurse Practitioners (NPs) Prescribing Methadone.

Application forms for authorization:

          1. Methadone for Analgesia Application
          2. Methadone for Opioid Dependency Application 

Verifying an authorization to prescribe methadone:

The NANB recommends that pharmacists and other stakeholders check the New Brunswick Registry for NPs, to ensure that the prescribing nurse practitioner has the authority to prescribe methadone. This registry is found at www.nanb.nb.ca under the icon REGISTRATION SERVICES –> Registration Verification.

Legal Considerations When Prescribing Controlled Drugs 

With such broad prescribing authority for NPs in New Brunswick, there are key points to consider when prescribing, especially when prescribing controlled drugs.
Fact Sheet: Legal Considerations When Prescribing Controlled Drugs

Special Authorization

The prescription of drugs found on Schedule “C” of the NANB document Nurse Practitioner Schedules for Ordering may be subjected to a Special Authorization process for payment purposes. See the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program (NBPDP) Formulary.

If you would like more information or would like to become a member of the Nurse Practitioners of New Brunswick interest group visit www.npnb.ca.