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Prescribing controlled drugs

This course is for nurse practitioners who wish to prescribe narcotics or controlled substances in their practice.


  • Provincial and federal regulations for narcotics and controlled substances.
  • Standardized approaches for assessing clients that may be prescribed narcotics.
  • Evidence-based, systemic approaches and tools for prescribing narcotics and controlled substances.
  • Comprehensive, effective therapeutic treatment and management options for nurse prescribers, including:
    • non-pharmacological alternative modalities
    • multidisciplinary approaches to care for clients on narcotics and controlled substances
    • addiction, drug tolerance, drug-seeking behaviour, and drug tapering.

A series of case studies allows you to apply this knowledge to practice situations.

This course is recognized by CARNA (the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta).

Structure and cost

The course consists of 7 self-paced units followed by a multiple-choice exam. The entire course is estimated to take between 15 and 20 hours of study.

Cost: $169.00 +5% GST ($8.45) = $177.45 (non-refundable)*

*Refunds will only be granted upon request when the course has not been accessed. Refunds will not include the registration processing fees charged by Eventbright.


Some jurisdictions in Canada have not yet authorized nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled drugs and substances. Successful completion of this course does not give you the authority to prescribe narcotics or other controlled drugs and substances. This authority is granted by the college of registered nurses in the jurisdiction where you practice.

Please ensure that you are aware of and adhere to the terms and conditions of your college as it relates to prescriptive authority.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss beliefs and attitudes about prescribing narcotics and controlled substances among health care providers.
  • Discuss the pharmacology of a range of narcotics and controlled substances.
  • Assess and identify clients who are suitable for narcotics and controlled substances following the Canadian Guideline recommendations.
  • Define the difference between opioid dependence and opioid addiction.
  • Identify clients who are at risk for narcotics and controlled substances addiction and misuse.
  • Explain the rationale for using a narcotics and controlled substances agreement plan.
  • Explain the rationale for including urine and drug testing in an opioid maintenance care plan.
  • Identify the legal requirements of narcotics and controlled substances prescribing.
  • Safely conduct an opioid trial by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations.
  • Monitor clients on long-term narcotics and controlled substances therapy by following the Canadian Guideline recommendations.
  • Safely taper a client off narcotics and controlled substances.
  • Discuss non-pharmacologic, potentially alternative modalities and multidisciplinary approaches to care.

Technical requirements

To successfully complete this course, you must have ready access to a computer with reliable Internet access.


To register, use the PD Modules Online Registration form. Select Narcotics Courses from the Tickets page. You will need a valid credit card.

It may take 24 to 48 hours to process your registration; you will then receive an email with the courses link and access information.

If you have questions, please email

Updated November 27, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (