Nurse Practitioner :Womens Health Calgary
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are essential health care professionals who are competent to provide a full range of comprehensive health services to Albertans across their lifespan. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have advanced education, preferably at a graduate degree level, that prepares them to provide comprehensive health services to the public.
The nurse practitioner role is distinct from that of the registered nurse (RN). The nurse practitioner role requires advanced knowledge and decision making skills gained through further clinical practice, education and experience that enable nurse practitioners to perform additional activities that are not considered part of the registered nurse scope of practice (CNA, 2004). While the professional role, responsibilities and accountability of the nurse practitioner includes clinical practice, collaboration, consultation and referral, research, and leadership.
Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnosis
Nurse practitioners have the competence to provide comprehensive health assessment and diagnose health conditions/illness conditions (acute illness/injuries and chronic diseases, co morbidities and emergency health needs) and discuss diagnoses, prognoses, treatments and outcomes with clients. There are no restrictions in Alberta legislation on nurse practitioner authority in assessing, diagnosing and treating client’s health conditions.
Nurse practitioners are authorized to order and interpret laboratory and other diagnostic tests. Lists of treatments and diagnostic/laboratory tests are not specifically outlined; rather nurse practitioners have a broad scope of practice, autonomy and independence to determine the appropriate diagnostic tests for their clients
Nurse practitioners are authorized to prescribe Schedule 1 drugs as per the Pharmaceutical Professions Act
Auxiliary Legislation: Federal/Provincial
Nurse practitioners practice in accordance with their legally recognized scope of practice and within all relevant legislation. Despite nurse practitioner competence and authorization under the HPA, some provincial and federal legislation does not recognize nurse practitioners as authorized providers with designated authority to perform certain activities. Nurse practitioners have a responsibility to be aware of auxiliary legislation that impacts their scope of practice and adhere to it in practice. This includes but not limited to:
- The federal Food and Drugs Act and Regulation, and the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and Regulation, and;
- The Hospitals Act related to admitting, treating and discharging clients;
- The Government Organization Act related to supervision of non-regulated persons;
- The Protection for Persons in Care Act that is designed to promote the prevention of abuse of adults who receive government-funded care or support services.
Nurse practitioners practicing in Alberta have a broad autonomous and independent scope of practice and are accountable and responsible for their own practice. They are essential health professionals with advanced education, who provide a full range of comprehensive health services to the public across their lifespan. With the broad legislated scope of practice comes a responsibility for the individual nurse practitioners to assess their own level of competence and determine when consultation or referral to other health care providers is required.
CARNA Policy and Practice Consultants should be contacted at (780) 451-0043 or 1-800-252-9392 (Canada-wide) or by email at email@example.com for any questions related to nurse practitioner scope of practice.
The professional conduct process is part of CARNA’s mandate, as a self-regulating body, to regulate members and protect the public. The process begins with a complaint about a registered nurse or nurse practitioner and may involve an investigation, hearing, sanctions against a member’s practice, and follow-up to ensure the member is safe to practice.
Complaints are managed under the Health Professions Act. or any complaints
To get more information on Nurse practitioners visit Nurse practitioners association of Alberta for legislation updates, news clip and general information on the benefits of Nurse practitioners in your community
(taken from CARNA website , update 2016)