“Nurse practitioners and all nurses take pride today in this important achievement,” says Wendy Fucile, President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). “This clinic will allow NPs and their interprofessional teams to work to their full potential and provide the people of Sault Ste. Marie with the kind of timely, high-quality health care they need and deserve.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are RNs with advanced education and decision-making skills in assessment, diagnosis and health-care management. They have legislative authority to treat common illnesses and injuries, write prescriptions, and order lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
“We are thrilled to expand access to primary health care,” says Pam Pogue, President of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario, a member group of RNAO.
Funding for the clinic was announced yesterday by Liberal MPP David Orazietti. Although details remain to be worked out, the clinic will be modeled on the first NP-led clinic that opened in Sudbury last year. That clinic is already providing care to 1,500 area residents, many of whom didn’t have a health-care provider until the clinic began seeing patients last summer.
“ The real winners are the people of Sault Ste. Marie who will benefit from the knowledge, skills, and compassion of nurse practitioners. We applaud the McGuinty government for committing to 25 additional NP-led clinics with at least three of those to open in 2008,” says RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun, adding that other groups in Thunder Bay, Belleville and Guelph are also eager to have this model in their communities and are ready to go as soon as funds are made available.
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-