CANADIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION AND SASKATCHEWAN REGISTERED NURSES’ ASSOCIATION SAY ‘IT’S ABOUT TIME’

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

Ottawa, Monday, May 14, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) launched its campaign in Saskatchewan to raise awareness about nurse practitioners (NPs) and how they can improve access to quality health care and reduce wait times. Almost five million Canadians are without a primary health-care provider, while many others have a hard time accessing the care they need. These conditions result in a heavily burdened and overcrowded health-care system, something that Canadians are noticing more and more.

CNA, the national professional voice of registered nurses (RNs), strongly believes that the addition of more NPs will improve acess to more health-care options and enhance the care of the whole patient.

“As Canadians, we’re proud of and grateful for this country’s health-care system, but it’s time to recognize we deserve even better,” says Judith Shamian, CNA’s president. “Nurse practitioners have played a valuable and essential role in the system for many decades. Given the stress the health-care system is currently under, now is the time to realize just how much more value nurse practitioners can bring to the health of Canadians.”

Nurse practitioners are RNs who have additional education, knowledge and nursing experience. Working collaboratively with other health-care providers, NPs provide high-quality care for patients, order tests, prescribe medications and diagnose and manage chronic illnesses. They work in wide-ranging settings, including community clinics, doctors’ offices, nursing homes and hospitals.

Saskatchewan currently employs 140 nurse practitioners, each of whom serves a vital role in the provision of quality health care in Saskatchewan while being an integral part of the communities in which they work.

“The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) is collaborating with the CNA on the campaign and is excited about the future of the nurse practitioner role within the health care team,” says Karen Eisler, RN, Executive Director of the SRNA. “The emerging and optimized roles of the nurse practitioner will have a large impact on the way services are delivered in this province. The NP Awareness Campaign is timely and aligns with the primary health care redesign recently announced by the Saskatchewan Minister of Health.”

The campaign — with its slogan, Nurse Practitioners: It’s About Time! — encourages all stakeholders to recognize the value of NPs and to continue to make investments that allow for more NPs in the health-care system.

First launched by CNA in October 2011, It’s About Time! is targeting Canada’s various jurisdictions to create a regional focus on the value of NPs. For more information about CNA’s nurse practitioner campaign, and interactive tools such as video and letters to government, please visit 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 146,788 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.

The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA), established in 1917, is the professional self-regulatory body for the province’s RNs and RN(NP)s. The Registered Nurses Act (1988) describes the SRNA’s mandate in setting standards of education and practice for the profession and registering nurses to ensure competent, caring knowledge-based care for the people of Saskatchewan. The SRNA is responsible for ensuring continuing competence, professional conduct, standards of practice, a code of ethics and the approval of education programs.

For more information

The campaign website:  http://www.npnow.ca/