Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Purpose & Scope

  • The focus of this guideline is to support nurses, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) in all practice settings, as they care for clients (18 years and older) with type 2 diabetes requiring subcutaneous insulin therapy.
  • Specifically, this guideline would assist nurses who are not specialists in diabetes care to safely initiate and administer insulin, a “high-alert” medication.
  • Although this best practice guideline contains recommendations for RNs and RPNs, caring for clients with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin is an interdisciplinary endeavour. It is acknowledged that effective care depends on an intradisciplinary approach with ongoing communication between health professionals and clients.
  • It is acknowledged that individual competencies of nurses vary between nurses and across categories of nursing professionals (RNs and RPNs), and are based on knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgement enhanced over time by experience and education. It is expected that individual nurses will perform only those aspects of care for which they have obtained appropriate education and experience.
  • This guideline will not address the use of insulin pumps, as it is recognized that insulin pump therapy requires specialized training and certification.
Chronic Disease
Subcutaneous Administration of Insulin in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Background Information