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Nurse Practitioners in Saskatchewan

For this licensing year (2015), there are 201 actively practising RN(NP)s in Saskatchewan. RN(NP)s are registered to practice in neonatal, adult and primary care. Provincial health authorities are creating many new RN(NP) positions in various health care services settings. There are RN(NP)s working in Emergency Rooms, Geriatric Services, Long Term Care and School Health. Saskatchewan Health is providing bursaries for students completing nurse practitioner education programs.

SRNA (2008) completed a public survey related to the role of RNs and RN(NP)s in the province.  The survey summarized below demonstrates the public awareness of the NP role in relation to providing primary care.

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Saskatchewan people have heard of RN(NP)s, up substantially from 63% in 2006
    • Among those, more than two-thirds (70%) are aware that RN(NP)s operate at a ‘higher’ level by providing some care historically practiced by doctors, virtually the same as 2006.
    • However, fewer respondents (15%) identify the RN(NP) role as a ‘lower’ level than in 2006 (21%).

Attitudes towards Nurse Practitioners

  • The public is comfortable with RN(NP)s providing advice on healthy lifestyles
    • 88% on the comfortable side of the scale, 55% very comfortable
    • Exceptionally high mean response level of 4.38, up slightly from 4.37 in 2006.
  • The public is comfortable with RN(NP)s providing advice on minor illnesses.
    • 82% on the comfortable side of the scale, 45% very comfortable.
    • Exceptionally high mean response level of 4.17, down slightly from 4.19 in 2006.
  • The public is comfortable with advice on routine checkups.
    • 70% on the comfortable side of the scale, 35% very comfortable.
    • Very high mean response level of 3.83, up substantially from 3.75 in 2006.

Should we have more or less Nurse Practitioners?

  • Most Saskatchewan people (87%) believe there should be more RN(NP)s.
  • About one in ten (11%) say there should be the same number of RN(NP)s.

 – SRNA, RNs: Practice and Perception (2008)

The 2010 SRNA Public Survey asked different questions from the 2008 survey. Respondents were asked their level of comfort with seeing a Nurse Practitioner rather than a doctor for a variety of health care services including: “assessing and diagnosing illness”;”prescribing drugs”; “promoting or advising people on how to live a healthy lifestyle”; and Performing minor surgical procedures (such as stitches).” Respondents felt more comfortable with NPs promoting healthy lifestyles, ordering diagnostic tests and performing minor surgical procedures; (4.08, 4.39, 3.77 mean responses respectively) and less comfortable with prescribing drugs and diagnosing illnesses(3.39 and 3.42 mean responses respectively). When cross-tabulating these activities by age, gender, location, household income and education level there is a significant difference among some factors. Women have a greater confidence level in NPs than men. A very high proportion of people (89%) feel the number of NPs should increase and this would lead to increased access to health care.

– SRNA RNs: Practice and Preception Research Report.

 

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