Skip to content

Georgian student 1st in Ontario to receive RN prescribing credential

Receiving credential 'exciting and pioneering,' says Cyril Lee Turley
Cyril Lee Turley is the first registered nurse in Ontario to receive a new credential allowing registered nurses to prescribe medication and communicate diagnoses for the purpose of prescribing medication to patients. He received the credential from Georgian College.

Up until now, patients at a Manitoulin Island health-care clinic who needed a prescription had to book an appointment with a registered nurse, wait up to five days for a physician to write it, and then book a second appointment to pick it up.

To make this process more efficient, registered nurse Cyril Lee Turley completed a brand-new online course at Georgian College that allows him to prescribe certain medications and communicate diagnoses for the purpose of prescribing those medications to patients in his remote community.

Turley is the first registered nurse in Ontario to receive the credential after regulations were approved late last year by the Ontario government.

“It’s really rewarding to be able to prescribe and save our patients some time. Why not expand so our patients have easier access to vaccines and certain medications that they need in a timely way?” he said, adding to be the first person with the credential is “exciting and pioneering.”

Four of Turley’s registered nurse colleagues at the Northeastern Manitoulin Family Health Team are also working on completing Georgian’s new programming. Tuition for the course is free until the end of March.

Georgian launched the self-directed course — Registered Nurse Prescribing Education: Safe and Ethical Practice — in January. Georgian is one of four Ontario post-secondary institutions authorized by College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) to provide this education.

“It’s wonderful that Georgian came together so quickly to develop a program that really is holistic and encompassing of what the ministry and the CNO (were) trying to achieve,” Turley said.

The new course was designed and developed by nurse practitioners with extensive knowledge and experience in prescribing to patients, registered nurses’ scope of practice, and the CNO’s standards and guidelines.

“We are thrilled to offer this groundbreaking new program aimed at enhancing local patient care by expanding the capabilities of registered nurses. This innovative course is a testament to Georgian’s enduring commitment to fostering excellence in nursing education and cultivating a strong nursing workforce within our community,” said Kevin Weaver, president and CEO, Georgian College.

The course was also developed in partnership with PharmAchieve and it will be offered through continuing education at Georgian.

“Our government has been taking bold action to ensure more Ontarians can conveniently connect to the care they need, closer to home,” said Sylvia Jones, deputy premier and minister of health. “I’m delighted to see our innovative changes coming to life by congratulating Lee Turley as the first registered nurse in Ontario authorized to prescribe medication, which will mean faster and easier access to care for Manitoulin Island families.”

Registered nurses must meet a few requirements to enter the program:

  • Be a registered nurse in good standing with the CNO.
  • Be employed in a health-care setting where RN prescribing is sanctioned by employer.
  • Have evidence of a secured placement and supervising prescriber within current workplace.

“RN prescribing represents a forward leap in nursing practice, empowering RNs with the knowledge, skill and judgment to assess, diagnose and treat defined non-complex conditions,” said Silvie Crawford, executive director and CEO, CNO. “CNO-approved prescribing education programs like the one offered by Georgian College ensures that RNs obtain the competencies necessary to prescribe safely and competently.”

Learn more about the Registered Nurse Prescribing Education course at Georgian.