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November 13, 2017

Canada’s nurses celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week by launching a project to expand NP care to meet growing need


Monday November 13, 2017 (OTTAWA) – In celebration of National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week taking place from November 12 to 18, Canada’s nurses are launching a retention and recruitment project aimed at developing recommendations to grow the number of Canada’s nearly 5,000 NPs.

“NPs are uniquely suited to meet the growing need for primary care in our communities effectively while saving health care dollars,” said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “Governments need a plan to ensure we benefit fully from the value NPs provide to patients and our health care system.”

NPs are highly skilled autonomous practitioners with advanced education and broad scope of practice, allowing them to diagnose, treat, refer and prescribe medications. NP practice also provides a unique, patient-centered model of care that includes health promotion and patient education.

NPs have been shown to be as effective as traditional care and equally or less costly. A recent report by the CFNU outlines how nursing home residents who are patients of NPs have lower rates of hospitalization and overall costs than patients of other practitioners.

“As our population rapidly ages, the need for community-based care by NPs to manage acute and chronic conditions will only increase,” said Silas. “Now is the time to plan for tomorrow’s health human resources.”

About 3 million Canadians receive care from an NP, but their numbers are not sufficient to meet demand. The supply of NPs in most provinces is very small, with more than half working in Ontario.

“We are launching this study to better understand the work context of existing NPs and provide clear recommendations for governments across Canada to recruit more,” said Silas.

The CFNU study will explore the socioeconomic conditions of NPs across the country, including their salary, benefits, employment status, working hours, funding models, roles and settings of employment.

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For further information please contact:
Lauren Snowball, CFNU Communications Officer, (613) 868-5702, lsnowball (at) nursesunions (dot) ca

Download the media release in PDF format.