Nurse prac­ti­tion­ers play a key role in health care

The Western Star - - EDITORIAL -

Dear edi­tor: This week, Nov. 12th to 18th, marks Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Week in Canada, and the New­found­land and Labrador Nurse Prac­ti­tioner As­so­ci­a­tion (NLNPA) is thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to raise aware­ness about the role of the nurse prac­ti­tioner in our health-care sys­tem.

Ad­vanced age, high rates of chronic dis­eases, men­tal health is­sues, the opioid cri­sis and dis­persed set­tle­ment con­trib­utes to com­pli­cated and costly health­care de­liv­ery in New­found­land and Labrador. To be ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive, our prov­ince re­quires more providers with a broad set of com­pe­ten­cies to tackle these chal­lenges.

Nurse prac­ti­tion­ers are reg­is­tered nurses with ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion and skills to in­de­pen­dently as­sess, di­ag­nose and treat the health con­di­tions of pa­tient from across the life­span. A nurse prac­ti­tioner is reg­u­lated to order and in­ter­pret di­ag­nos­tic tests like X-rays and blood work, pre­scribe med­i­ca­tions and make re­fer­rals to spe­cial­ists, po­si­tion­ing the nurse prac­ti­tioner as an ideal provider to ad­dress the ma­jor con­cerns of those seek­ing health care. In fact, the nurse prac­ti­tioner role has been em­braced in sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties in New­found­land and Labrador with the nurse prac­ti­tioner as the pri­mary care provider, and many other com­mu­ni­ties are ac­tively re­cruit­ing a nurse prac­ti­tioner. In ad­di­tion to the widely rec­og­nized role of the nurse prac­ti­tioner in pri­mary care, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers are also in­te­grated into the larger health-care sys­tem, on acute and crit­i­cal care teams and in spe­cialty pro­grams. Nurse prac­ti­tion­ers are valu­able mem­bers of health-care teams.

The NLNPA is a pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports and ad­vances the pro­fes­sional in­ter­ests of its mem­bers by pro­mot­ing a so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment in which nurse prac­ti­tion­ers are able to pro­vide health-care ser­vices that meet the high­est pro­fes­sional stan­dards of prac­tice. Our goal is to ad­vo­cate for ac­ces­si­ble, high qual­ity health care for all cit­i­zens through­out New­found­land and Labrador. We con­grat­u­late all nurse prac­ti­tion­ers for their con­tri­bu­tion to health care in our prov­ince and wel­come all of our pa­tients and clients to cel­e­brate al­most 20 years of nurse prac­ti­tioner ser­vice in New­found­land Labrador.

El­lisa Sin­nicks-House, pres­i­dent, New­found­land and Labrador Nurse Prac­ti­tioner As­so­ci­a­tion Corner Brook

Ad­vanced age, high rates of chronic dis­eases, men­tal health is­sues, the opioid cri­sis and dis­persed set­tle­ment con­trib­utes to com­pli­cated and costly health-care de­liv­ery in New­found­land and Labrador.

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