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Canadian Nurses Association says ‘It’s About Time’

CNA’s campaign says it’s about time Canadians consider nurse practitioners as the answer to greater access to better health care.

Ottawa, July 8, 2013 — The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) campaign to raise awareness about nurse practitioners (NPs), which focuses on how NPs improve access to quality health care and reduce wait times, is being launched today in the Yukon. More than four million Canadians are without access to a primary health-care provider, while those that have one often have difficulty accessing care. The result is an unsustainable, heavily burdened and overcrowded health-care system. As the national professional voice of registered nurses (RNs), CNA strongly believes that adding more NPs will improve access, lead to a greater number of health-care options and enhance care for the whole patient.

“Nurse practitioners have been an important part of Canada’s health-care system for decades,” said CNA president Barb Mildon. “But Canadians would get a lot more benefit if the health-care system allowed more NPs to work to their full scope of practice. Given the current strains on our system, there’s no better time to harness the full capabilities and expertise of NPs. They’re an existing resource with a track record for improving Canadians’ access to primary health care.”

NPs are RNs with additional education, advanced knowledge and nursing experience, who work collaboratively with other nursing colleagues and health-care providers. They deliver and coordinate high-quality care, order tests, prescribe medications, and diagnose and manage chronic illnesses. NPs are part of health-care teams in a variety of settings, including community clinics, doctors’ offices, nursing homes and hospitals. In B.C., Alberta and Ontario, NPs have authority to admit and discharge patients in hospitals and other facilities.

Legislation recognizing NPs in the Yukon came into effect in November 2012. In a recent address to the Yukon Registered Nurses Association (YRNA), health and social services minister Doug Graham underlined the significance of this historic development in Yukon health care and also the benefits for Yukon residents.

Sean Secord, YRNA president and an NP himself, said, “Having NPs recognized in this region is an incredibly encouraging development — for both the health of our communities and the nursing profession. Allowing nurses to work to their full and optimized scope of practice will lead to new efficiencies in the health system and to better access to care for patients.”

There are more than 3,000 NPs in Canada, and every provincial and territorial government has NP legislation in place. The Yukon currently has four NPs registered.

The campaign — whose slogan is “Nurse Practitioners: It’s About Time!” — is led by CNA, in conjunction with YRNA.  First launched in October 2011, the CNA campaign targets Canada’s various jurisdictions to create a regional focus on the value of NPs. For more information about CNA’s NP campaign and to access interactive tools, such as video and letters to government, please visit www.npnow.ca.

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing nearly 150,000 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded not-for-profit health system.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kate Headley
External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca