About Nurse Practitioners
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice nurse (APN) that is licensed in the classification of Nurse Practitioner by the regulatory college. Nurse Practitioners provide comprehensive clinical care including the diagnosis and management of disease/illness, prescribing medications, ordering/interpreting laboratory/diagnostic tests, and initiating referrals to specialists. NP practice does not require physician supervision.
NP’s provide care in both primary and acute care settings including rural, remote and urban centers. The NP role was established in British Columbia in 2005, however it has existed for over 50 years in other North American jurisdictions and the United Kingdom. There has been extensive research regarding the contributions of NPs to patient care in a variety of practice settings. Studies from multiple jurisdictions have consistently shown that patients are very satisfied with NP services. A 2003 Ontario study showed that 87% of patients surveyed were very satisfied with the care or advice they received from NPs.
Studies also show that patient outcomes are either the same, or improved, when NPs participate in patient care. Some examples of the positive effects associated with NP involvement include shorter length of hospital stay, improved compliance with clinical practice guidelines, better coordination of patient care, lower rates of clinical complications, lower mortality rates and improved interprofessional team collaboration.
Because of their positive contributions and the ability of NPs to improve access to health services, British Columbia’s introduction of NPs has increased access to care with further room to grow. We look forward to caring for you!