SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System

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"Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners"
Presenter: Alba DiCenso
McMaster University
December 2, 2010


Primary health care nurse practitioners (PHCNPs), also known as family or all-ages nurse practitioners are the fastest growing advanced practice nursing role in Canada. All ten provinces and three territories now have legislation that authorizes their role. Their introduction is linked to country-wide health reform efforts to improve the accessibility and quality of primary healthcare. The presentation will focus on the PHCNP role drawing on the results of a scoping review of the literature and qualitative key informant interviews conducted for a decision support synthesis commissioned by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and the Office of Nursing Policy in Health Canada. The overall objective of this synthesis was to develop a better understanding of advanced practice nursing roles and the factors that influence their effective development and integration in the Canadian healthcare system.

Based on synthesis findings and with a specific focus on Ontario, the current status of PHCNP roles will be described including recent Ontario-specific research about NPs in primary care settings, long-term care, emergency departments and public health; challenges to their integration and long-term viability; resources that have been developed to guide NP integration; and current research underway.

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