Nurse Practitioners in BC need to be seen – do you see an NP?
- Did you know that 1 in 10 British Columbian’s is without a primary care provider? (IPSOS poll sponsored by BCMA 2011)?
- Did you know that Nurse Practitioners are skilled health care providers who can act as independent primary care providers in British Columbia?
- Did you know that Nurse Practitioners were introduced into BC’s health care system in 2005 to increase access to primary health care services for British Columbians?
With the recent funding announcement by the BC Government to help create 190 new Nurse Practitioner positions over the next 3 years, we can expect that more and more British Columbians will have access to Nurse Practitioners. That’s great news! But many people still ask how they can access an NP as their primary care provider today.
How Can I see an NP?
NPs work in multiple settings including acute care, specialty clinics, long term care settings and Primary Care Clinics. Family Nurse Practitioners, like Family Doctors, work as Primary Care Providers across all ages. However, NPs who provide Primary Care services do so within a Health Care Authority Primary Care Clinic, which typically has a specific catchment area, mandate for care or criteria of the types of patients an NP can accept. For example, some Primary Care Clinics accept only patients who are new immigrants, some take only patients with mental health issues, or chronic diseases, some take only Aboriginal patients, or those in a particular geographical catchment area, or some only take those who have recently been in hospital.
Currently we are working on a way to help the public locate NPs who are taking new patients and we hope to have this available within the next year.
So in the meantime, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to put in you touch with a Primary Care NP who is taking new patients. Be sure to include your location.
Support Nurse Practitioners
Tell your story! Do you want to thank an NP or share your experience of Nurse Practitioner care? write to email@example.com
Write your MLA – By writing to your local MLA you can help raise the profile of NPs in BC and let the government know you are interested in more access to NP services. We have designed letter template(below) to help you to do this but please feel free to write your own letter if you wish.
- For an MLA letter template click MLA letter template – Public
- To find contact information for your MLA click this link http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm
- Construct your own letter to MLA to share your experience of having a Nurse Practitioner as your care provider or reasons why you would like to have better access to NPs in primary care.
Write your local paper- highlighting Nurse Practitioners within the media also helps to raise the profile of NPs and encourage both the public and local politicians to take notice. Stories of your experiences with NP services/care are particularly useful. If you would like to highlight NP practice or your support for NPs in the local media we’ve included some templates to help make this a bit easier (below), but feel free to craft your own letter/media display.
- To see a template for letter to the editor click Dear Editor
- Construct your own letter regarding your experience with an NP and your support for more access to NPs. For tips on writing letters to the Editor click Letter to the Editor Tips
Tell your friends and family – Let them know about our website!
Frequently Asked Questions about Nurse Practitioners
Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about Nurse Practitioners in BC:
NPs_FAQ’s.Public info 2012
Nurse Practitioners General Information
The value of Nurse Practitioners: