The nurse practitioner (NP) is a relatively new care provider in the Canadian healthcare system. NPs are registered nurses (RNs) with extensive clinical experience and higher education to conduct advanced health assessments, make diagnoses, order and interpret lab tests, prescribe drugs, perform advanced interventions, monitor outcomes, and make referrals to other healthcare providers. Although the positive impact of NPs in improving patient access to timely and quality care has been widely demonstrated, NPs continue to be grossly underutilized in Canada. We provide our thoughts on how to expand the role of the NP in healthcare delivery.
KEYWORDS: nurse, registered practitioner, underutilized, interdisciplinary