Dear editor: This week, Nov. 12-18, marks Nurse Practitioner Week in Canada, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurse Practitioner Association (NLNPA) is thankful for the opportunity to raise awareness about the role of the nurse practitioner in our health-care system.
Advanced age, high rates of chronic diseases, mental health issues, the opioid crisis and dispersed settlement contributes to complicated and costly health-care delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador. To be efficient and effective, our province requires more providers with a broad set of competencies to tackle these challenges.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and skills to independently assess, diagnose and treat the health conditions of patient from across the lifespan. A nurse practitioner is regulated to order and interpret diagnostic tests like X-rays and blood work, prescribe medications and make referrals to specialists, positioning the nurse practitioner as an ideal provider to address the major concerns of those seeking health care. In fact, the nurse practitioner role has been embraced in several communities in Newfoundland and Labrador with the nurse practitioner as the primary care provider, and many other communities are actively recruiting a nurse practitioner. In addition to the widely recognized role of the nurse practitioner in primary care, nurse practitioners are also integrated into the larger health-care system, on acute and critical care teams and in specialty programs. Nurse practitioners are valuable members of health-care teams.
The NLNPA is a professional organization that supports and advances the professional interests of its members by promoting a social, economic and political environment in which nurse practitioners are able to provide health-care services that meet the highest professional standards of practice. Our goal is to advocate for accessible, high quality health care for all citizens throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. We congratulate all nurse practitioners for their contribution to health care in our province and welcome all of our patients and clients to celebrate almost 20 years of nurse practitioner service in Newfoundland Labrador.
Ellisa Sinnicks-House, president, Newfoundland and Labrador Nurse Practitioner Association