Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience, which enables them to:
NPs are health-care professionals who treat the whole person, an approach that includes:
NPs are also educators and researchers who can be consulted by other health-care team members.
NURSE PRACTITIONERS — Untapped Resource
NPs work in a variety of health-care settings, such as:
NPs provide a wide range of direct care services to people at every stage of life. In addition to treating illnesses, they teach individuals and their families about healthy living, preventing disease and managing illness. NPs bring together medical knowledge with the values and skills of nursing. NPs are also leaders, consultants and researchers who incorporate new knowledge into their practice.
NPs work with, rather than replace, other health-care providers. They are part of a collaborative team that includes registered nurses, doctors, social workers and others. While seeing an NP, you can still see your family doctor or any other health-care provider.
NPs bring value to Canadians and their health-care system. Studies1about these benefits and patients’ experiences tell us that NPs:
Every province and territory has NP legislation in place. See CNA’s Nursing Statistics section for more information regarding NP numbers across Canada.
NPs first appeared in Canada in the 1960s. Early on, NPs provided care in rural and remote areas. By the 1970s, interest in the NP role increased and more education programs began. Today, NPs are an important part of the health-care system.
1See, for example, College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia. (2016).Nurse practitioner-sensitive outcomes: 2016 summary report. Retrieved from http://crnns.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NP-Sensitive-Outcomes-2016-Report.pdf
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