Nurse Practitioner Information

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.
  • As Registered Nurses in the Extended Class [RN (EC)] they are regulated by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
  • Only nurses who are registered in the Extended Class can refer to themselves as Nurse Practitioners.
  • Maintaining registration in the Extended Class requires ongoing education, training and complying with a high level quality assurance program.
  • In Ontario, the average Nurse Practitioner works for 16 years as a Registered Nurse before returning to school to complete a Master’s degree or post baccalaureate certificate to qualify as an NP (CRaNHR NP Workforce Study, 2012)

What does a Nurse Practitioner do?

NPs have the competency to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe all 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 Centres (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, Corrections, 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, dietitians, 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.

How many Nurse Practitioners are there in Ontario?

NP BREAKDOWN BY SPECIALTY -Click on Link for Up-to-date NP Data

NPs provide a valuable service to Canadians and their health-care system. Studies about the patient’s experience of having an NP as a 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.

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