National Nurse Practitioner’s Week November 2021

We recognize the vital role that Nurse Practitioners play in our healthcare system and celebrate the work of our NP members this Nurse Practitioners’ Week, November 7-13.

Enhancing access to primary care within Nova Scotia is top of mind. One way our province has successfully moved forward with this plan involves building a strong Nurse Practitioner complement. Nurse Practitioners make valuable contributions, continually meeting the needs of patients, clients and residents. National Nurse Practitioners’ Week provides an opportunity to inform the public about the important functions NPs perform and how communities benefit from their expertise.

Whether NPs practice in rural and remote areas, acute care or long-term care, they provide a holistic approach, understanding their clients’ needs and overall health goals.

The Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union and our national affiliate, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, have kept pace with the evolving NP practice, urging policy makers to embrace and promote the use of this vital nursing resource.

In 2018, CFNU released the results of its Pan-Canadian Nurse Practitioner (NP) Retention & Recruitment Project which looked at ways to improve working conditions to better retain and attract NPs and expand NP positions throughout the health-care system. Click here to read the report.

NSNU’s Broken Homes report of 2015, recommended more NPs to provide primary care for residents in long-term care. Government recently announced they will hire more NPs in that sector to allow on-site care to our vulnerable seniors. Click here to see the Broken Homes report.

Our Nursing Potential report of 2019 also made numerous recommendations promoting the use of NPs in various settings, capitalizing on the vast skill and knowledge NPs offer. Click here for that report.

Many findings from NSNU research and various collective bargaining efforts in support of NPs have had a significant influence on policymakers.

NPs in emergency departments is an initiative being piloted in two locations in Nova Scotia as a direct result of NSNU research and advocacy. We are hopeful this program will be a success and that it will quickly expand.

In 2018, government announced a $1.4 million investment over two years on a new incentive program to cover the salaries of up to 10 nurse practitioner students at Dalhousie University. That program has since been enhanced. The NSNU was instrumental in encouraging government to take this step.

NSNU has NP-specific collective agreement language to address the unique roles and responsibilities of nurse practitioners. As our NP workforce grows in this province, so does the need to accommodate this nursing designation.

At the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the NSNU, a resolution was put forward and accepted by voting delegates to create a Nurse Practitioner seat on the Provincial Negotiating Committee. That’s one more NP voice at an important table in Nova Scotia.

In late August 2021, the NSNU was a proud sponsor of the ICN APN NP International Conference where NSNU president, Janet Hazelton was a virtual presenter, highlighting the NP-focused components of the Nursing Potential report.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the overall delivery of care, NPs have remained focused on providing primary care to families throughout the pandemic in innovative ways that allow for continuity of care. NSNU has been a staunch ally and source of information for our members during this time.

Nova Scotia is fortunate to have a wealth of NP expertise to help address the primary care needs of our population. The NSNU is proud to represent many of the nurse practitioners working in this province.

Congratulations on National Nurse Practitioners’ Week, 2021.



NP-Focused Recommendations in NSNU Reports

Click images to enlarge

CFNU Canadian Labour Congress