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WHAT IS A

NURSE PRACTITIONER?

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience. 

NPs are authorized under legislation and regulations to independently:

  • Complete a comprehensive health history and assessment;

  • Formulate and communicate a diagnosis, taking a differential diagnosis into consideration;

  • Prescribe all medications including controlled drugs and substances;

  • Dispense, sell, and compound medications;

  • Set and cast fractures and dislocated joints;

  • Order and interpret all laboratory tests;

  • Admit, treat and discharge patients from hospitals;

  • Order some diagnostic imaging tests;

  • Consult with and refer directly to specialists.

Nurse Practitioners work together with, rather than replace, other health-care providers. They are part of a team and collaborate with registered nurses, doctors, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and others to provide exceptional patient-centered care.

Facts about NP's

  • NPs are a hybrid healthcare provider that have the knowledge and skills of both nursing and medicine.
     

  • NPs are Master's prepared and have undergone 7 years of post-graduate education which includes a 4-year undergraduate nursing degree from a university and then a 3 year master of nursing and NP program. Prior to entering the NP program Registered Nurses (RNs) are required to work for a minimum of two years before applying to the program.
     

  • NPs can specialize in either pediatrics, primary care or adult care.
     

  • NPs are required to pass a licensing exam.
     

  • NP practice is regulated by the Saskatchewan Registered Nursing Association (SRNA).
     

  • NPs are not paid in the same way as most physicians. NPs do not bill the government for the services they provide.
     

  • The majority of NPs are paid by salary, however, NPs may bill patients directly for medical services as well as non-health care services such as sick notes.
     

  • NPs bridge the gap in the healthcare system by improving access and reducing pressures on an overwhelmed healthcare system.
     

  • NPs are the most researched medical profession and research has found that NPs consistently provide high quality, cost-effective care when compared to their physician colleagues.
     

  • NPs work independently and in collaboration with many healthcare providers including physicians. NPs are not supervised by a physician.  

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