Nurse practitioner website to give Ontarians access to primary care
TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2005 – Quality primary health care and a skilled nurse practitioner (NP) are just a click away, thanks to the Nurse Practitioner Electronic Registry being launched by the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) this Friday at its annual conference and general meeting.
“This registry puts the ability to access quality primary health care into the hands of the people of Ontario,” says Willi Kirenko, NPAO chair. “Members of the public know that nurse practitioners are able to provide them with comprehensive care, and demand for this service has been growing.”
Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the online registry will provide accurate, current information about nurse practitioners in most cities and towns across the province. More than half of Ontario’s approximate 650 NPs are currently on the list, which is updated on a regular basis. Members of the public can visit the website (www.npao.org) for a listing of local nurse practitioners and to see if they are taking patients.
“Primary health care is the cornerstone of our health-care system,” says RNAO president Joan Lesmond. “Nurse practitioners play a central role in health-care teams that provide well-rounded care that helps Ontarians stay healthy.”
Nurse practitioners are key members of any health-care team, diagnosing, treating and prescribing, educating, and when necessary, referring patients to other health-care professionals, such as social workers, nutritionists and others. Officially designated Registered Nurse (Extended Class), or RN(EC), NPs are registered nurses with additional education who work with individuals, families, groups and communities. Like all registered nurses, their focus on health promotion and disease prevention should help in the implementation of comprehensive health-care reform. NPs are playing an essential role in the establishment of the 52 family health-teams approved by the province to date.
More than 350 NPs at this year’s Annual Nurse Practitioners Conference: Impacting Health and Wellness conference will hear from leaders like Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman, while expanding their skills and knowledge in many areas, including:
- Preventing heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death among Canadian men and women, respectively.
- Methods of screening and identifying those with mental disabilities living in the community, and sensitizing NPs to that population’s specific health-care needs.
- Primary health care for marginalized populations.
- Updates on the national status of nurse practitioners from the Canadian Nurses Association and provincial primary health-care leaders.
- The latest research from the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute on the introduction of NPs to chronic-care environments – what is working, and what isn’t.
WHAT: Annual Nurse Practitioners Conference: Impacting Health and Wellness. Hosted by the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario and the RNAO Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence. NPAO’s Nurse Practitioner Electronic Registry will be launched during the NPAO general meeting on Friday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman will address the conference at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.
- Provincial Chief Nursing Officer Sue Matthews will provide updates on NP initiatives around Ontario at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.
- Dr. Jim MacLean, team lead for the primary health-care team and Marion Knock, executive director of the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Initiative.
- Experts from a diverse range of fields including nursing, medicine and pharmacy will provide information on the latest in a variety of areas including chronic and primary care.
- Thursday, Nov. 10, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 pm.
- Friday, Nov. 11, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 12, 8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Conference Centre and Spa
8500 Warden Ave., Markham, Ontario
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.-30-