More NP talk

Nurses General Nursing


Maybe I should've posted this on another thread, but that talk about nurses taking orders from NPs has got me interested in knowing how much NPs do in each state. Here in Canada NPs are independant practitionners usually working in Northern Rural communitites that can't support a doctor.

I am working further south right now where NPs are non-existant because they seem to lose all their authority once they get South. It REALLY bothers me because our town is notoriously short of GPs yet there has been no move to recruit NPs, only more doctors.

One small community a half hour drive from ours has no doctor. This is in the press all the time and they are desperately trying to recruit doctors. I know for a fact there is a NP there, but she works in our town as a regular RN. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous? Any suggestions for improving the public's notion of NPs so they will get over their MDitis? I just think it is a ridiculous waste of resources to be spending tons of money to try to recruit doctors without using the NP that lives there.

Sorry it's long-winded thanks for any replies.


1,301 Posts

Hi fergus51. Frankly, I don't think your post is long winded. I admit I've written more in my posts.

Question: why does the South in both Canada and the US seem backward? Isn't this also true in Europe?

When you say that the northern NPs are independent, does that mean they work without the backing of a doctor?

It is ridiculous to deprive the available NP in your area of providing needed services. I'm concerned for this NP not utilizing her knowledge and skills as an NP. How long has she been out of school? Will she need to go and refresh herself if she ever gets her own practice?

I don't have a problem with NPs as long as they are caring and competent. I've gotten services from NPs before and haven't had a problem. GPs are going to stay in short supply as long as expensive specialty services are in high demand.


6,620 Posts

Here in Southern Canada is where about 90% of the population lives, so I don't know why we are so stupid at times. Yes, NPs work without the backing of a doctor in many communities. There is usually a doctor they can call and refer pts to, but they don't work in a clinic with MDs like some in the States.

The NP has been out of practice for a year or so and could easily start again. It just seems like there is a dividing line in Canada that defines North and South and what is acceptable for the northern rural communities is not good enough for us, so no NPs. I just think it is so dumb.


413 Posts


You need to realise that the idea of NP's in Canada in any area other than the north is very new. There was a push in the early 70's for awhile, then it died out until 93 or so when the shortage of docs and the realisation that NP's in the US were making great strides. Just like the early days of the NP movement in the US it will take time for the Canadian system to adjust. I think many of the problems in Ontario (where I assume you are located) are political and you know what that means....things take a long time to change. The NPAO (nurse practitioner association of Ontario) has a great web site that has up to date info on legislation etc. You can help by letting your MP (provincial and federal) know that you support NP's . Go to the web site for more info.

NP's in Ontario (not sure about other provinces) can practice independently with the collaboration of an MD. This doesnt mean that the MD has to be on the premises, just that they have to be accessible if a question comes up. There are variations on this theme in the US, the amount of supervision needed varies in each state. Just like the US though NP's were welcome in areas where MD's did not particularly like to practice (ie. the far north, and poor rural areas) once NP's started moving into more lucrative (ie urban) areas there is much more resistance to non-MD's moving into their territory even though there are shortages of MD's in those areas as well.

I am a Canadian NP in the US and eventually would like to go back and practice in Canada so I am keeping a close eye on what is going on in the NP movement at home.


6,620 Posts

Ontario? Why would you think that? I'm in BC. You know that joke about how many people from Ontario it takes to change a lightbulb right? wink.gif... I just don't understand it because the area is obviously unattractive to MDs. They have been trying for over a year to recruit one and NO ONE will work there. I just hate a ack of common sense. Thanks for the website though.


413 Posts

Sorry fergus!! Didn't mean to offend by saying you must be from Ontario...guess I just know more about the NP movement there than in BC. By the way where in BC is this??? I lived in Vernon for awhile and would love to go back to the interior (not necesarily the Okanagan). Maybe I can fight the good fight and help you with this one! Let me know...


6,620 Posts

It's in Logan Lake which is about 45 minutes from my town which is about 40 minutes from Vernon. I was just kidding about the Ontario joke smile.gif

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