Nurse practitioners in Canada more than double in five years

The number of nurse practitioners has more than doubled over five years, including a 25-per-cent jump in a single year, newly published data show.

At the end of 2010, there were 2,486 NPs practising in Canada, up from 1,129 in 2006, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

“The trend is really positive but there are some concerns,” Claudia Mariano, president of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario, said in an interview.

The vast majority of NPs – registered nurses with additional, master’s-level training that allows them to diagnose patients, provide some forms of treatment, refer patients to testing and prescribe some medications – practise in Ontario. In the province, NPs are an integral part of primary care reform and a move to team-based medical practice.

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