What is a Nurse Practitioner?
What is a Nurse Practitioner
• A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced education, skills and experience who provides personalized, quality health care to the people of Ontario.
What does a Nurse Practitioner do?
NPs have the competency to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe treatments including medications, and perform medical procedures. They work with individuals and families to manage illness or chronic conditions, prevent illness through health screening, and promote wellness through education and community resources. In essence, NPs bring together the medical knowledge needed to diagnose and treat illnesses with the values and skills of nursing.
Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work?
Ontario NPs provide a full range of health care services to individuals; families and communities in a variety of settings across Ontario. They work in hospitals, Community Health Centre’s (CHC), Family Health Teams (FHT), Nurse Practitioners Led Clinics (NPLC), Doctors offices, Aboriginal Health Centres (AHAC), Community Care Access Centres (CCAC), Nursing Stations, Public Health Units, Long Term Care Facilities and for the Department of National Defence.
NPs work in collaboration with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals such as social workers, midwives, mental health professionals, dieticians and pharmacists to provide a team approach to health care. Primary Health Care (PHC) NPs are a vital resource for improving access to primary care; many people in Ontario depend on NPs for their primary health care needs. Most PHC NPs work in CHCs, FHTs, and NPLCs, serving patients in their local communities.
What does research say about the benefit of Nurse Practitioners to health care?
NPs provide a valuable service to Canadians and their health-care system. Studies about the patient’s experience of having an NP as a primary care provider confirm that NPs:
• involve patients in decisions related to their care
• improve access to primary health care
• reduce pressures on the health-care system
• are valued and trusted by patients
• provide high-quality management of chronic illness (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure)
• Provide care that is rated with high levels of patient satisfaction and excellence in care. (Canadian Nurses Association, Its about time campaign, www.npnow.ca )