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Nurse practitioners can OK MRIs: Oswald

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Manitoba is expanding the role of nurse practitioners by allowing them to authorize MRIs for patients.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced the move in a press release today.

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. More than 100 nurse practitioners work in health care facilities across the province, including hospitals, QuickCare Clinics, primary-care clinics and personal care homes.

Oswald said they play a key role in increasing access to front-line services. "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," she said.

The expanded authority for nurse practitioners was supported by the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, Oswald said.

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