Nurse Practitioners Propose New Strategy to Improve Specialized Services in B.C.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Dec. 22, 2017) - The BC Nurse Practitioner Association (BCNPA) has developed a comprehensive plan to fully integrate nurse practitioners (NPs) across the provincial health care system with the launch of a revitalized strategy that will improve acute care, including ambulatory and residential care delivery in BC, BCNPA President Fiona Hutchison announced today.

“After 12+ years in B.C., NPs are still struggling to fit into the broader healthcare system in a way that provides the best access and outcomes for British Columbians, no matter where they need healthcare – primary care, acute care, ambulatory or residential care,” said Hutchinson. “We recognize & support the important focus on primary care, but cannot ignore that the acute care system and transition points between sectors are facing challenges and NPs are providing much needed access is this area as well,” said Hutchinson. “We have taken the initiative to bring together some of B.C.’s leading NP researchers, leaders and policymakers to develop a plan that will provide government with clear direction on how to effectively and efficiently make better use of NPs throughout the province.”

Specialized Services: Nurse Practitioners Collaborating to Improve the Continuum of Care and the accompanying Toolkit are companion documents to BCNPA’s Primary Care Transformation in BC: A New Model to Integrate Nurse Practitioners, released in 2016. This discussion paper pulls together current research, relooks at NP practice barriers, considers innovative new ideas and introduces key recommendations for optimizing existing specialty NP roles, and provides guidance as BC moves forward to take full advantage of these highly skilled professionals.

Recognizing the current barriers to the broad utilization of NPs, the BCNPA has developed ten key recommendations that when enacted will allow the health care system to take full advantage of NPs. The BCNPA has included a toolkit guide to assist the MOH and employers to make the best use of NPs in acute, ambulatory and residential care.

Ten recommendations:

  1. Develop a Sustainable Salary-Based NP Funding Framework
  2. Develop, Adopt and Implement a Quality Assurance Framework
  3. Develop a Working Group to Review and Update NP Remuneration
  4. Develop a Health Human Resources Strategy to NP Deployment
  5. Employ NPs and Increase Educational Seats According to the Health Human Resources Strategy
  6. Review and Update NP Education in B.C. to Reflect Population Needs
  7. Develop NP Postgraduate Fellowship Programs
  8. Adopt a NP Professional Practice Framework to Enable a Standardized Approach
  9. Develop and Implement an NP Role Clarity Campaign
  10. Remove Legislative, Regulatory and Organizational Barriers

“All British Columbians should be able to access an NP for care regardless of how they present to the health care system,” said Kathleen Fyvie, Past-President, BCNPA. “The strategy we have proposed will ensure NPs are accessible to everyone and lead to a healthier population in the long-term. We are looking forward to working closely with the Ministry of Health and Health Authorities to make the benefits of NP care a reality across BC’s health care system.”

Visit BCNPA-Specialized-Final-December-21-2017 and BCNPA-Toolkit-Final-Dec-21-2017 to review the full document.

The BC Nurse Practitioner Association is an independent, non-profit professional organization that represents the unique perspectives and needs of nurse practitioners in the province.

Media Contact:
Andrea Burton