Controlled Drugs and Substances Essential Management and Prescribing Practices

This course is approved by the following regulators in meeting the educational requirements for prescribing controlled drugs and substances:

If you are registered with a College/Association outside of Ontario you should determine whether this course will satisfy the requirements of your regulator.

This course is designed to provide nurse practitioners with the knowledge and skills required for safe, high quality assessment and management of clients who may require the prescription of a controlled drug or substance (CDS). This course will deliver the education necessary for nurse practitioners in Canada to develop the required competencies for:

  1. Prescribing and monitoring CDS in accordance with federal/provincial/territorial legislation, regulation & guidelines.
  2. Integrating concepts of safety, ethics and evidence-informed practice in decision making pertaining to prescribing CDS.
  3. Developing and implementing client-centered CDS treatment plans which include education, monitoring and evaluation of outcomes.

This course may also be of interest to all healthcare practitioners who are interested in enhancing their knowledge of assessment and management practices related to CDS. This comprehensive course includes a final exam and covers the following topics:

    • Overview of nurse practitioner prescriptive authority for controlled drugs and substances (CDS) in Canada
    • Ethical and safe practice context issues
    • Pharmacology and indications for the prescribing of authorized CDS classes
    • Assessment & treatment planning related to CDS prescribing – universal approach
    • Assessment & treatment planning for clients with complex presentations including: substance use disorders or substance diversion behaviours
    • Case presentations from acute & primary care settings, including pediatric and geriatric populations

Available Now

Online (self-paced) Course Content

Our online fully self-paced course includes interactive eLearning modules, short video clips, links to tools and resources and access to Virtual Interactive Case software to practice your clinical decision making. All course content is delivered using our U of T learning management system – Quercus. We anticipate this course will take 10-20hrs to complete. Your access to the course and resources will begin approximately 5 business days after you register and will end 3 months after the day you receive access.

Online Exam

Your final completion grade includes results from section quizzes and a final exam. You may attempt the section quizzes and the final exam as many times as you wish. Results will be provided immediately. You are required to achieve 75% in order to successfully complete the course.

Please Note:

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive your final mark and a certificate of completion via email. The registration form offers a place where you may give permission to the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing to release your course status (pass) to your regulatory College/Association. In Ontario: within 7 days of achievement of an overall passing grade of 75% or higher, the University will automatically start the notification process. Information sent includes the participant’s full name as it appears on their College license, date of course, and completion status as “pass”.  Grades are not submitted.  If you are an NP, the CNO will notify you within approximately 1-2 weeks that you have met the educational requirements for NP prescribing of controlled drugs and substances and are allowed to practice without restrictions.  NP students will have the course applied to their NP registration once you have written your NP exam. Other Provinces/Territories: There is not an automatic notification process in place but the University will release the information as requested directly through our e-mail by the individual and the approving regulator body.

Registration Information


$320 + HST

Please Note

  • Applicable taxes (13% HST) will be added to the registration fees.
  • Refund Policy – To withdraw from the online course and receive a refund, your written request must be emailed to within 24 hours of registering for the course. No refunds will be given after this time limit. All refunds are subject to an administration fee of $100 + tax.
  • Course Cancellation Policy– The Centre for Professional Development reserves the right to cancel courses due to circumstances. The decision to cancel a course is normally made 15 days prior to the course. If you are enrolled in a course which is subsequently cancelled, you may apply your fee to another course, or receive a full refund. The Centre is not responsible for any travel or other expenses incurred by you. 


Core content was developed by nurse practitioners in a variety of practice settings within Ontario in collaboration/consultation with physician and pharmacy partners. Our primary faculty includes:

Kathryn Deverson

Lynn Haslam

Nurse Practitioner-Adult, Certificate in Anesthesia Care Pre-Operative Clinic, Holland Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Jiao Jiang

Nurse Practitioner, Acute Pain Service, Toronto General Hospital Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Mary Mowbray

Nurse Practitioner, Anesthesia and Pain Service, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Profile of Monica Parry

Monica Parry


Katherine Trip

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream,
Coordinator, Nurse Practitioner Field of Study (MN Program)

Heather Whittle

Nurse Practitioner, Department of Anesthesia Care and Perioperative Medicine, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario

Rosanra Yoon

Nurse Practitioner, The Jean Tweed Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Kevin Zizzo

Paediatric Nurse Practitioner, Cardiology, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Leasa Knechtel

Associate Director, Centre for Professional Development
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream

Salima Ladak

Nurse Practitioner, Acute Pain Service, Toronto General Hospital,
University Health Network
Coordinator UHN APN Network
Clinical Scientist, TGH Research Institute
Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Financial Assistance

OSAP for Micro-credentials

The Ontario Student Assistance Program now offers funding for micro-credentials (short training programs offered by post-secondary institutions), including a number of courses offered by the Centre for Professional Development. This funding initiative is part of Ontario’s micro-credentials strategy, helping learners access more opportunities to train or upskill for in-demand jobs through loans and grants.

OSAP for Micro-credentials is available for eligible students taking a ministry-approved micro-credential that is less than 12 weeks. 

To be eligible for OSAP for Micro-credentials, a student must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a protected person; and, be a resident of Ontario.  

Ontario residency requirements for the purposes of OSAP for Micro-credentials are consistent with Full-Time OSAP residency criteria. 

Students may be ineligible for the following reasons:

  • they do not meet the Ontario residency requirement 
  • their family income threshold is above the income threshold to qualify for funding (i.e., $80,000 for a family of one person; $100,000 for a family of two or more people) 
  • they are restricted from OSAP for Micro-credentials (e.g., have defaulted on a previous OSAP loan, they have a failed credit check on file, they have a bursary overpayment)

Step 1: Confirm that the University of Toronto micro-credential course you want to take is OSAP-approved.

Step 2: Log in to your OSAP account. If this is your first time applying, you will need to create an OSAP account. 

Step 3: From the options listed, select and complete the OSAP for Micro-credentials Application. You can only receive OSAP for Micro-credentials funding for one course at a time.

Step 4: Once you have completed your application, you will receive communication through your OSAP account, which will guide you in completing a supplementary form on the Service Portal. 

The form requires the following information: 

  • Full Name 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Name of Program 
  • Program Study Period – start and end dates 

This must be completed by the end of the study period. 

Step 5: Your division will confirm the information that you have submitted is correct and confirm your registration status. 

Step 6: The University Registrar’s Office will update the OSAP for Micro-credentials Application with the information provided by both you and your division and process your confirmation of enrolment.

Step 7: If you have not already done so, enrol and pay for the micro-credential course you would like to take.

Note: you must be registered in an OSAP approved micro-credential program before OSAP funding will be issued/released. 

Contact Us

Centre for Professional Development
Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
University of Toronto
155 College Street, Suite 130
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5T 1P8