10/29/2014 10:45 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST

Nurse practitioners to be able to prescribe monitored drugs in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX - Nurse practitioners in Nova Scotia will be allowed to prescribe monitored drugs to patients as of Saturday.

The provincial government says nurse practitioners who wish to do so can register with the Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program.

The program tracks the prescribing of monitored drugs, which includes controlled substances.

The government says allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe the drugs brings them in line with their counterparts in other jurisdictions, including New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia says nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and specialized skills.