What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has additional nursing education at the graduate level, as well as experience and credentials set by their provincial regulatory body.  In Ontario the term Nurse Practitioner is protected, meaning that only those registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario in the “Extended Class” can call themselves a Nurse Practitioner or NP.

There are three types of Nurse Practitioner specialties in Ontario:

  • Nurse Practitioner–Primary Health Care (NP-PHC)
  • Nurse Practitioner–Pediatrics (NP-Pediatrics)
  • Nurse Practitioner–Adult (NP-Adult).

Registration in any of these specialty areas involves successful completion of  a post graduate nursing program in one of these areas.  At the Ingersoll Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, all of our NPs are registered  as Nurse Practitioner – Primary Health Care (NP – PHC).

NP – PHC Scope of Practice

NP- PHCs provide holistic, patient centered care that is embedded in a nursing philosophy that focuses on wellness and the social, psychological, environmental and spiritual aspects of health.   Some of the care NPs provide has traditionally fallen within the scope of a physician.  Although NPs are NOT physician replacements, they do provide care that combines medical knowledge and the values and skills of nursing.

“NPs are authorized to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications and other treatments for clients. NP practice includes health promotion with the aim of optimizing the health of people, families, communities and populations. This enables NPs to practice with diverse client populations in a variety of contexts and practice settings such as acute care, primary care, rehabilitative care, curative and supportive care, and palliative/end-of-life care”  (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2019).

Read more about Nurse Practitioners:

Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario: https://npao.org/about-npao/what-is-a-np/

College of Nurses of Ontario: http://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41038_strdrnec.pdf

Canadian Nurses Association: https://cna-aiic.ca/en/nursing-practice/the-practice-of-nursing/advanced-nursing-practice


The Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Model

Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs) are primary health care organizations that provide comprehensive, accessible, person centred and co-ordinated primary care services to people of all ages in 25 (and growing!) communities across Ontario.  NPLCs are multi-disciplinary teams that address acute and chronic physical conditions, mental health, addiction and social issues.  As well as staffing NPs, all NPLC teams include a consulting physician and may include Registered Nurses or Registered Practical Nurses, counsellors, dieticians, physiotherapists, kinesiologists and system navigators. NPLCs are salary-based models of care and do not bill OHIP.

The Ingersoll Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic works closely with our community partners to provide a variety of health care services in Oxford County.  Our organization functions as an informal hub where our partners can also provide care.  Our onsite partners include:

  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)
  • Oxford Addiction Treatment Strategy (OATS).
  • Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic (RAAM)

In addition to these organizations, in-kind space is provided to Addiction Services of Thames Valley,   Southwestern Public Health, Children’s Aid Society of Oxford County,  Oxford Human Services and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).