Nurse Practitioners in Canada

When nurses reach the highest level in the profession - most times through additional education and experience - they are known as Nurse Practitioners or NPs, and this group of nursing professionals is the focus of the present article. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about nurse practitioners in Canada.

Nurse Practitioners Job(NPs) in Canada

According to the Canadian Nursing Association (CNA), nurse practitioners are "registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience, which enables them to treat the whole person." This means that NPs can diagnose and treat illnesses without the supervision of a physician, order and interpret medical tests, write prescriptions for medications, and even perform certain medical procedures.

Some of the most common tasks and responsibilities of nurse practitioners include conducting complete physical evaluations on patients, monitoring the effectiveness of prescribed medication and treatments, recording patients’ medical history and updating their records, as well as managing the work of other nurses such as RPNs, and RNs. Furthermore, NPs work often focuses on the overall wellness of their patients, which is why they are known by patients for suggesting diet changes, increased exercise, and the interruption of bad habits such as smoking or frequent consumption of alcohol.

As experienced healthcare professionals, nurse practitioners can also act as educators and researchers who can be consulted by other healthcare workers about the treatment and management of chronic illnesses, the medical history of patients under their care, and other aspects related to patients' physical and mental health.

Nurse practitioners must have excellent social skills and an aptitude for caregiving. They must also be empathetic to be able to put themselves into their patient’s shoes and identify with their feelings. NPs should also develop strong time management skills in order to manage their patient needs and overall workload efficiency. Last, but not least, they should have both physical and mental endurance to help prevent burnout, which is a common issue in this profession.

History of Nurse Practitioners in Canada

In terms of the history of the role, nurse practitioners were designated in Canada in the decade of 1960s as a strategy to bring more advanced care to rural and remote areas across the country, as stated by the CNA. The following decade, the role had become increasingly popular, which caused the opening of new education programs exclusively dedicated to it. In recent years, and thanks to the advocacy work done by the same organization, NPs are now recognized as care providers in three key pieces of federal legislation and regulation, which means they have fewer barriers in terms of their practice and can provide a wider range of services.

Where Can Nurse Practitioners Work?

Just like any other nurse, in Canada nurse practitioners work in diverse healthcare settings such as hospitals, long-term care homes, community healthcare centres, and even offer home care. On top of that, NPs can be in front of their own clinics, leading a group of nurses and healthcare professionals to offer healthcare services to patients similar to what family doctors do.

Nurse Practitioner Job Salary

Regarding their income, the average nurse practitioner salary in Canada is 50 dollars per hour or 100,000 dollars per year, according to several sources.

As it happens in other areas, NPs with more experience and in higher positions often make more. Their salaries also vary depending on location. For instance, in Ontario, NPs who practise in Toronto and Ottawa make more than those who practise in London or Oshawa.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Ontario

To become a nurse practitioner, nursing students must first complete the educational requirements to practice as a registered nurse and then move on to post-graduate work, which usually includes intensive medical training and can also involve an internship or residency.

In Ontario, all nurses have to get registered at the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) to be able to practice. Now, in the case of nurse practitioners, once they complete the required advanced education, they must complete an examination approved by the college’s council for the NP specialty they are applying to practise. The specialties that are currently available are adult care, paedriatics, and primary health care.

Nurse practitioners in Ontario have three chances to successfully complete the NP exam of their choosing. If they are not successful, then their application to the CNO will be reviewed by the college's registration committee to determine if there were any extenuating circumstances to consider annulling the results of one or more of the candidate's unsuccessful attempts and to allow them to try again.

Nurse Practitioner Jobs Near You

For nurse practitioners who have extensive experience in their careers and now want to find new opportunities to share their knowledge with other nurses, as well as continue to do what they love, which is providing care to patients; there are numerous opportunities out there in diverse healthcare settings.

A great option to find some of these opportunities and get in touch with top employers in the field is to join our Caring Support platform. Doing so is as easy as signing up, creating a free healthcare worker profile, filling it out, and then searching for nurse practitioner jobs. Our platform offers multiple features and tools that facilitate and accelerate the job hunting process, while giving access to dozens of career revolutionizing job postings for NPs and many other healthcare workers, so we encourage anyone in the field to give it a try.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Leave us a comment below if you want to know more about nurse practitioners and similar topics. And as always, thank you for reading!

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