What Is a Nurse Practitioner, and What Can They Do?

February 4, 2023

Nurse Practitioners are trained to provide comprehensive care with a focus on prevention and health promotion. And they are at the heart of Sprout’s integrated care team.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) aren’t new. It became a regulated profession in 1997, and NPs have been practicing across the country for decades. NPs are experienced registered nurses (RNs) who have completed additional training and education. They hold a Master’s Degree in Advanced Practice Nursing with a Nurse Practitioner focus and specialize in pediatric, adult, or family care. 

NPs can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, refer to specialists, and provide a range of care to meet patient needs. 

In BC, NPs have the broadest scope of practice anywhere in Canada. They can work independently in different healthcare settings, including hospitals, and clinics, providing virtual care, and in private practice. 

Not constrained by the traditional fee-for-service model, NPs can take more time with patients. At Sprout, this means that our NP gets to know you and your family, and you get to know your NP. Extra time and attention mean you can build a relationship focused on your family’s needs and long-term health goals.

What is the difference between an NP and a family doctor?

Great question! For those with a family doctor, NPs can work together with your team to complement the practice of family medicine.

If you don’t have a family doctor, an NP can help. From health screening to stitches and questions about pregnancy or raising your family, NPs can answer your questions, address your medical needs, and even support you with health and behavior changes (like quitting smoking). 

Sprout’s NP (and the rest of the team!) have a particular focus on preventative health. We want to make sure your family is taken care of (before you get sick) so you stay healthy. This means our members have access to things like regular checkups and screening, immunizations, well-child visits, and mental health support. 

In all domains of illness prevention and health promotion, your NP is up-to-date on the latest knowledge, research, insight, and evidence-informed practice.

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References

Zone 2 Training: Your Moderate Intensity Approach to a Longer, Healthier Life

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Reading and Language Skills for Kids: Milestones and What Parents Can Do to Help

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