Nurse Practitioner

  1. I've been kicking around the idea of going for my BScN with my NP certificiate next year. (Probably starting Sept 2004) Right now I work in a very busy Family Practice clinic and am doing a lot, but would like to expand into maybe private practice. My own family doc has a NP working there and she spends her days seeing patients.

    Are there any NPs here in private practice? What's your job like? What's involved in terms of training, experience, etc? What about specializing? I did Peds for 10 years prior to coming where I am now and think that maybe I could specialize in Peds again.

    This is all relatively new to me since I never really considered going back to school until recently. So any advice, info, stories you may have for me would be greatly appreciated.


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    About laurasc

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 310; Likes: 107
    Nursing Supervisor
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in Gen Surg, Peds, family med, geriatrics


  3. by   lalaxton
    I am not an NP in private practice but do know abit about it. It depends on where you live in Canada. Ontario has some restrictions on Primary Care NP's such as a limited formulary. You could conceivably have your own practice but you need a physician 'collaborator' for all those things that are outside your scope of practice. I here Alberta has a more 'generous' system but I dont know much about it. In private practice you have to consider overhead, such as rent and salaries for your staff.
    Start by asking your nursing college and ask any NP you meet in your area what they think and know about the situation locally.
    Realize also that there is a push to have all NP programs evolve into a Masters program.
  4. by   laurasc
    Thanks for your reply lalaxton!

    I was wondering what the laws are regarding being a NP. I'm in Ontario, in fact, we're neighbours...I live in Burlington too. The scope of practice for a NP may be somewhat limited, but it can't be anymore limited than I am already now with an RN. It would be nice to be able to actually DO MORE....know what I mean?

    I called McMaster and asked them about their BScN program with the NP certificate and was told that it's a full-time 3 year program.

    I'm going to ask around and see if I can get more info. Maybe have a chat with my family doc's NP.

    Thanks again neighbour!

  5. by   lalaxton
    Hey neighbour!
    Ok, now it's easier to answer you since I know where you are.
    In Ontario there is the Regulated Heath Professionals Act (RHPA) This is what tells you as a nurse what controlled acts you can perform and what controlled acts a physician or lets say a respiratory therapists can do. You can as a nurse delegate some of your controlled acts to say an RPN. A physician can delegate some of his acts to you if you have the 'knowledge, skill and ability' to do so. This is how I practice, yes I can certainly 'do more'. I have a policy of delegation with the 3 physicians that I work with, that uses medical directives. Is this independent practice? No. But it does cover me and allows me to do just about anything I want in the hospital as long as I can back up my actions with evidence. I am an ACNP. Primary Care NP's however in Ontario practice under a system of incependent practice and medical directives for those things that must be delegated by a physician.
    Is this an extended scope of practice over an RN? Absolutely.
    If you want more info on this look up the RHPA on the web you can find the full document. Go to the College of Nurses for more info and the NPAO (Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario) web site at (By the way I am the regional rep for NPAO)
    As far as school goes to be a Primary Health Care NP (PHCNP) in Ontario at the moment requires a BScN and then a post BScN certificate (I think about 18 months past the BScN) however this may change to a Masters as the entry to practice in the near future. To be an Acute Care NP requires a Masters degree. The only ACNP program in Ontario at the moment is at U of Toronto. Mac and just about any Ontario University that has Nursing has a PHCNP program. You can also look into Athabasca U that has a distance ed Primary Care Masters program.
    Hope this helps you understand the system! Feel free to contact me in a private message and I can hook you up with some PHCNP students I know or we can meet for coffee somewhere to go more in depth.
  6. by   Lalage
    Hi, you seem to know a fair bit about NP's in Ontario. This is an area I'm very interested in, and was wondering what your opinion is on getting into the program. I have a BScN, but only since 2002, so I'm still a new grad. Even after 1 more year of work (just passed the 1 year mark of graduating and working in an ICU) do you think my chances of getting into the NP program is poor-fair-good-hopeless. I know there are A LOT of more experienced nurses out there...what do you think?
  7. by   lalaxton
    I think you do need some 'real world experience' as an RN before going to NP school. However, I have no idea what your chances are getting into a program, not having much to do with the local universities. My advice is if you are interested, go ahead and apply. Especially since the provincial government keeps saying they are going to put more money into RN and NP education! Also ask around if anyone knows an NP who has recently gone through the program they may have more of any idea.