Who are RN(NP)s and what do we do?
- NPs have been practicing in the U.S. since the early 1950s.
- RN(NP)’s predecessors were RNs practicing under an expanded practice model.
- Saskatchewan Health instituted rural and urban Primary Care Nurse pilot sites.
- Pilot sites were successful – RN Act, 1988 amended to include the role of the NP.
- First SK RN(NP) was licensed on April 30, 2004.
- Primary Care RN(NP)s now provide initial access to healthcare for Saskatchewan residents.
Primary Care RN(NP)s practice in community settings.
- Primary Care RN(NP)s practice in Emergency Rooms. (CNA, 2006).
- The Canadian Institute for Health Information estimates that 57 percent of ED visits are less urgent or non-urgent. NPs are well suited to treat such cases.
- Primary Care RN(NP)s practice in Long Term Care facilities. (CNA, 2006).
- RN(NP)s in LTC spend more time with facility residents, have higher reported levels of patient satisfaction and have patients with fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits.
- Primary Care RN(NP)s practice Rural/Remote communities. (CNA, 2006).
Patient satisfaction surveys found that 99% were satisfied or very satisfied with the health care provided by RN(NP)s in rural/remote communities.
RN(NP) are cost-effective.
- RN(NP)s manage 80% of the health care conditions most commonly managed by family physicians.
- RN(NP)s prescribe more evidence based, cost saving medications.
- RN(NP)s communicate with and counsel their patients which increases patient satisfaction AND decrease reliance on expensive diagnostic testing/screening.
- RN(NP)s provide patients with tools to help them look after themselves.
- RN(NP)s facilitates communities/groups toward improved health.
- Currently in the U.S., there are NPs practicing in Acute Care, Adult Health, Neonatal Health, Oncology, Pediatric/Child Health, Psychiatric/Mental Health and Women’s Health.
- Instituting the above roles at the RN(NP) level would greatly decrease wait-times as well as enhance the health of Saskatchewan residents.
RN(NP) role is currently underutilized
- One hundred and twenty-two RN(NP)s are currently licenced in SK. Five are neonatal, one is Adult and 116 are Primary Care Nurse Practitioners.
- Many RN(NP)s are not practicing in or near their home communities.
- RN(NP)s are not practicing to their full scope of practice – largely due to a management knowledge gap.
Recruitment and Retention
- The average age of practicing RN(NP)s is forty-seven.
- Currently there are a number of vacancies across the province.
RN(NP)s are end users of technology
- RN(NP)s use to advocate for technologies such as Pharmaceutical Information Program and the Electronic Health Record.
- RN(NP)s use evidence based guidelines to research clinical questions in order to best manage the health care of their patients.
Additional information about NPs in Saskatchewan can be found per these fact sheets linked here:
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