Top News

DEBORAH HART: Nurse practitioners — health-care professionals who partner with their patients

Alberton Health Centre nurse practitioner, Maryna Kudryacheva completes a requisition form for a patient. Kudryacheva says the rural practice she has in Alberton is just what she was looking for. She plans to attend the Here to Stay community engagement day which will be held at Mill River Resort on March 5.
Nurse practitioner Maryna Kudryacheva completes a requisition form for a patient at the health centre in Alberton, P.E.I., in February. "More and more people are choosing NPs as their primary care provider," writes Deborah Hart. - Eric McCarthy

Nurse practitioners have been providing excellent advanced patient care for well over half a century. Thousands of NPs provide care across Canada, and about 200 of them are licensed right here in Nova Scotia.

Millions of visits were made to NPs this past year alone. Nurse practitioners work in many towns, cities, countries and health-care settings; their roles include a multitude of specialties and certifications. This week, Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 10-16), NPs celebrate their profession and their commitment to help bring health and wellness to our communities and our patients.

Looking for an experienced health-care provider, one who spends time with you and offers both high-quality care and health counselling? Find that perfect provider by seeking out a nurse practitioner near you. More and more people are choosing NPs as their primary care provider. NPs partner with their patients, assisting them in making better lifestyle and health-care decisions. NPs are different from other health-care providers; they focus on the whole person when treating specific health problems, and they educate their patients on the effects those problems will have on them, their loved ones and their communities. Locate an NP in your area and find out for yourself how an NP can be your partner in health.

The demand for health-care services is increasing, and with approximately 200 NPs in Nova Scotia, this means that there are approximately 200 solutions to the primary-health-care shortage facing Nova Scotia today. These 200 highly trained health-care providers have been educated in Nova Scotia and have been providing licensed care throughout Canada since 1962. (Our NP predecessors have provided primary-health-care services in Canada’s North for more than 100 years.)

NPs are proven, expert, patient-centered clinicians, and they are the health-care providers of choice for many people because of their unique combination of medical and nursing expertise and skills. NPs diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries; they order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and X-rays; they prescribe all types of medications and initiate referrals to specialists. In addition, NPs partner with their patients, providing health education and counselling. This empowers patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices, which ultimately leads to better adherence and reduced health-care costs.

In Canada, NPs are licensed by jurisdictional nursing regulators. NPs are masters- and doctorate-prepared health-care providers who practise autonomously and independently. NPs are dedicated professionals who provide high-quality, cost-effective, personalized health care to diverse populations in rural and urban settings.

If you’re already seeing a nurse practitioner, please take a moment this week to say thanks. If you are not already seeing an NP, contact the Need a Family Practice Registry or call 811 to locate an NP in your area. You’ll be glad you did!

Deborah Hart is chair, Nurse Practitioner Association of Nova Scotia

Recent Stories