What is an NP?
In Alberta, Nurse practitioners are Master’s and PhD prepared autonomous health professionals who provide essential healthcare services grounded in professional, ethical and legal standards. Nurse practitioners integrate their in-depth knowledge of advanced nursing practice and theory, health management, health promotion, disease/injury prevention, and other relevant biomedical and psychosocial theories to provide comprehensive health services. Nurse practitioners work in collaboration with their clients and other health-care providers in the provision of high-quality patient-centred care. They work with diverse client populations in a variety of contexts and practice settings.
Nurse practitioners have the competence to provide comprehensive health assessment, to diagnose health/ illness conditions, and to treat and manage acute and chronic illness within a holistic model of care. Nurse practitioners order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, perform procedures and prescribe medications, while integrating the principles of resource allocation and cost-effectiveness, in accordance with federal, provincial and territorial legislation and policy.
Nurse practitioners are accountable for their own practice and communicate with clients about health assessment findings and diagnoses, further required testing and referral to other health-care professionals; they are also responsible for client follow-up. Nurse practitioners counsel clients on symptom management, health maintenance, pharmacotherapy, alternative therapies, rehabilitation strategies and other health programs.
Nurse practitioners have the knowledge to assess population health trends and patterns and to design services that promote healthy living. They provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to promote health and prevent illness and injury, and they work with interprofessional teams, other health-care providers and sectors and community members. Nurse practitioners collaborate in the development of policy to influence health services and healthy public policy.