Scopes of Practice > Nurses

Scope of Practice from Individual Acts

The practice of nursing is the promotion of health and the assessment of, the provision of care for and the treatment of health conditions by supportive, preventive, therapeutic, palliative and rehabilitative means in order to attain or maintain optimal function.

Alternate / Additional Description of Scope

The scope of practice statement reflects practice for the nursing profession (RPNs, RNs and NPs). In addition to various means (e.g., supportive, therapeutic, rehabilitative, etc) by which all nurses assist clients to attain or maintain optimal functioning, NP practice also includes diagnosis.  

Summarized Controlled Acts

Applying or ordering the application of a form of energy (partial)

Communicating a diagnosis (partial)

Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis

Prescribing, dispensing, selling or compounding a drug (complete for NP, partial for RN/RPN)

Putting an instrument, hand or finger, into natural or artificial body openings

Setting or casting a fracture of a bone or a dislocation of a joint

Treating, by means of psychotherapy technique


Authorized Acts

4.  In the course of engaging in the practice of nursing, a member, other than a member described in section 5.1, is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:

1. Performing a prescribed procedure below the dermis or a mucous membrane.

2. Administering a substance by injection or inhalation.

3. Putting an instrument, hand or finger,

i. beyond the external ear canal,

ii. beyond the point in the nasal passages where they normally narrow,

iii. beyond the larynx,

iv. beyond the opening of the urethra,

v. beyond the labia majora,

vi. beyond the anal verge, or

vii. into an artificial opening into the body.

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, section 4 is amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 2007, chapter 10, Schedule R, section 16 by adding the following paragraph:

4. Treating, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning.

See: 2007, c. 10, Sched. R, ss. 16, 20 (2).

5. Dispensing a drug. 1991, c. 32, s. 4; 2009, c. 26, s. 18 (1, 2).

Additional requirements for authorized acts

5.  (1)  A member shall not perform a procedure under the authority of section 4 unless,

(a) the performance of the procedure by the member is permitted by the regulations and the member performs the procedure in accordance with the regulations; or

(b) the procedure is ordered by a person who is authorized to do the procedure by section 5.1 of this Act or by theChiropody Act, 1991, the Dentistry Act, 1991, the Medicine Act, 1991 or the Midwifery Act, 1991. 1991, c. 32, s. 5 (1); 1997, c. 9, s 1.