St. John’s, NL – The Registered Nurses’ Union (RNU) Newfoundland & Labrador is proud to acknowledge November 8-14 as Nurse Practitioner Week. This is a time to celebrate nurse practitioners (NPs) and raise awareness of the vital role they play in our health care system.
NPs are highly skilled practitioners with advanced education that allows them to autonomously diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications. NP practice provides a patient-centered approach that includes health promotion and patient education.
These skills are crucial to our health care system, and RNU is working with the provincial government and regional health authorities to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts to keep NPs working in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“While it’s encouraging to see growth in the number of NPs in our province, we believe there is great opportunity to further utilize this role and increase the number of primary health NPs employed by the RHAs,” said Yvette Coffey, Vice President of RNU. “This will help improve access to care in communities across the province and alleviate strain on the system that we currently face due to a shortage of primary health providers, an aging population and a high complexity of care.”
“We are also advocating for the implementation of publicly delivered NP-led clinics,” adds Coffey. “Many provinces operate NP-led clinics and it is a proven approach to improve timely access to care. It’s time to introduce this model in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Currently, the public has to pay out of pocket to see an NP not employed by a regional health authority, where as a visit to a family physician is covered by MCP. Introducing a public funding model for NPs is critical to improving access to care that is equitable for all. A recent public survey conducted by the RNU showed a strong show of support for publicly funded NP led clinics, with 86 per cent in favour of the concept.
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