News release

Province Begins Hiring Nurse Practitioners

The Province is investing $2.5 million to increase the number of nurse practitioners working in long-term care.

This new funding will be used to hire at least 13 new nurse practitioners who will provide much-needed support to long-term care facilities across the province. The new nurse practitioners will work with existing facility teams and family physicians to diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and perform some medical procedures for long-term care residents.

They will work in multiple long-term care facilities and also serve people in the surrounding community who do not have a family doctor or access to a nurse practitioner.

“Older Nova Scotians deserve dignity and higher levels of care, and we can’t do that without a skilled workforce and facilities with the right staffing levels,” said Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care. “This is only the first step of the hiring we need to do to fix healthcare for seniors and provide more care for thousands of people.”

These new hires will help address the gap identified by Nova Scotia Health in nurse practitioner support in long-term care facilities across the province. Adding more nurse practitioners will also relieve other pressures in the healthcare and long-term care systems, such as reducing ambulance transfers, emergency room visits and long-term care admission delays.

Quotes:

Nova Scotians have told us access to primary care is one of their top concerns, and we know seniors need higher levels of care as they age. These are two of our top concerns, as well. This is an example of action we’re taking to hire more healthcare professionals, so we can improve access to care for more Nova Scotians. Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness

This is fantastic news. It’s another positive step forward to improving the quality of life for long-term care residents, as well as supporting the on-site care teams and health system. It’s a win-win. Cheryl Smith, Long-Term Care Expert Panel Member and Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are an important member of the health care team in long term care facilities and have been shown to improve the health outcomes of residents. As we continue to focus on collaborative team-based care, this addition of more than a dozen nurse practitioners will contribute to the overall quality and comprehensiveness of care that is being provided. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research, Innovation and Discovery, and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:

  • this investment stems from the work of the Long-Term Care Expert Panel to develop a sector-wide strategy for primary care coverage
  • there are currently 29 nurse practitioners employed by Nova Scotia Health working in long-term care in the province
  • the number of seats in Dalhousie University’s Nurse Practitioner program has recently increased from 15 to 40
  • Nova Scotia Health will lead the recruiting and hiring process, working with physicians and the long-term care sector

Additional Resources:

The Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care Report is available at: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Minister-Expert-Advisory-Panel-on-Long-Term-Care.pdf

The Need a Family Practice Registry: https://needafamilypractice.nshealth.ca/

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Media Contact:

Kristen Lipscombe
Cell: 902-220-8621 Email: