HAMILTON, Nov. 9, 2011 – The contribution nurse practitioners are making to improve health care for their patients and clients will be highlighted at the annual Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) conference this week. More than 400 nurse practitioners will attend the conference, which takes place Nov. 10-12 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. The role of NPs is also being highlighted during a national campaign entitled “Nurse Practitioners – It’s About Time,” organized by the Canadian Nurses Association and intended to educate the public about how nurse practitioners can improve access to high quality health care.
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced education who provides a full range of health-care services to individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings, including hospitals and community-based primary care clinics. Nurse practitioners work in partnership with physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals such as pharmacists, social workers, registered dietitians, midwives, mental health professionals, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to provide comprehensive, accessible, and coordinated health-care services.
One setting in which more and more patients are being cared for is in nurse practitioner-led clinics. The primary health-care delivery model was first piloted in Sudbury when it opened in 2007. Proven successful, more than a dozen others have opened their doors around the province. In this setting, nurse practitioners lead the primary and secondary care needs in their community using a collaborative practice approach. These clinics improve the quality of care by providing health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease management. In 2012, the remaining eight of 26 NP-led clinics will open.
Patients in hospital are also benefitting more from the care NPs provide now that they are able to treat and discharge patients. In July 2012, that authority will be expanded when NPs will also be allowed to admit patients to hospital. Improving patient flow and offering more timely care are just two examples of the way nurse practitioners across Ontario are providing enhanced quality care.
The NPAO is a voluntary professional association established in 1973. NPAO is an expert interest group of the Registered Nurses’ of Ontario (RNAO). NPAO’s vision is “transforming health care for Ontarians through Nurse Practitioner innovations.”
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated 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.