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Canadian Nurses Association says ‘It’s About Time’ – News Release

CNA’s new campaign says it’s about time Canadians consider nurse practitioners as the answer to more access to better health care.

Ottawa, Monday, November 7, 2011 – The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) today launched a campaign in the National Capital Region (NCR) to educate Canadians about how nurse practitioners can improve access to quality health care. Almost five million Canadians do not have a primary health-care provider and those that do often have a hard time accessing care. These two factors result in a heavily burdened and overcrowded health-care system. More nurse practitioners will reduce wait times, improve access to more options and enhance the care of the whole patient. “As Canadians, we’re proud of and grateful for this country’s health-care system, but it’s time to recognize we deserve even better,” says Judith Shamian, CNA’s president. “Nurse practitioners have played a valuable and essential role in the system for many decades. Given the stress the health-care system is currently under, now is the time to realize just how much more value nurse practitioners can bring to Canadians’ health care.”

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience. Working collaboratively with other health-care providers, they provide quality care for patients, order tests, prescribe medications, and diagnose and manage chronic illnesses. They work in a wide variety of settings including community clinics, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, hospitals and in patients’ homes.

“In order for Canadians to feel confident in our country’s health-care system, they need to be certain they can easily access quality care whenever they need to,” says Rachel Bard, CNA’s chief executive officer. “As nurses, we know our services can help make health care more accessible, and our commitment to educating patients and involving them in decisions related to their care helps them achieve the best possible health.”

CNA’s campaign, with support from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario, urges the government to recognize the proven value of nurse practitioners and make investments and decisions that would allow for more nurse practitioners in the system working to their full potential. Boasting the largest number of nurse practitioners, with 1,914, Ontario is also the only jurisdiction with nurse practitioner-led clinics. Although strides are being made to increase the number of nurse practitioner positions, there are still tens of thousands of Ontarians and countless Canadians in other provinces who lack access to consistent, quality care.

The campaign was first launched in Fredericton in October before continuing to the NCR. The campaign — with the slogan Nurse Practitioners: It’s About Time! — will continue to roll out in regions across the country.

For more information about CNA’s nurse practitioner campaign, please visit www.npnow.ca.

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 143,843 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca
Website: www.cna-aiic.ca