Nurse practitioners now allowed to order life-saving MRI tests


The role of nurse practitioners in the delivery of health care to Manitobans has been expanded to allow them to independently authorize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnostic tests for their patients.

"This change will save patients from making an extra visit to a doctor to confirm the need for or benefit of an MRI, while helping to reduce demands on a physician's time and making the system more efficient," said health minister Theresa Oswald in a release.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a master's level education and clinical experience that allows them to diagnose illnesses, treat conditions, prescribe medications and order diagnostic tests.

The expanded authority was supported by the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. More than 100 nurse practitioners work in various health-care facilities across the province including  hospitals, QuickCare Clinics, primary-care clinics and personal-care homes.

The province supports the nurse practitioner program at the University of Manitoba and provided funding to add three additional seats to the program last year, Oswald said. 

Manitoba news release