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Rural and Remote Communities to Benefit From 27 New Nurse Practitioner Positions

The Government of Saskatchewan has exceeded its commitment of adding 25 new Nurse Practitioner (NP) positions. Twenty-seven new permanent NP positions in rural and remote areas are now available with applications being accepted until June 10, 2024. The province announced funding of $4.5 million in this year’s budget for the positions which are designed to increase access to primary care in underserved areas. 

“Nurse Practitioners play a vital role in the Saskatchewan health care system, and adding positions in rural and remote areas will help residents find the care they need closer to home,” Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod said. “We look forward to seeing more Nurse Practitioners providing quality care in Saskatchewan communities.”

NPs are registered nurses with additional training to support a higher scope of practice, and working within a primary care team, can provide many of the same services as family physicians, including;

  • advanced assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illness;
  • ordering diagnostic tests;
  • admitting and discharging patients;
  • prescribing medications; and 
  • performing medical procedures and providing referrals to specialist services.

“The Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners is pleased to see the creation of 27 new positions for Nurse Practitioners across the province,” Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners (SANP) President Elect Michelle O’Keefe said. “These positions will assist with the stabilization of primary health care services in these communities whilst creating employment opportunities for NPs who may have been previously underutilized.” 

The Ministry of Health worked in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and SANP to prioritize communities that require additional NP services.

“We support the integration of more Nurse Practitioners into primary health care teams across Saskatchewan, working alongside physicians and other health care professionals to deliver high quality care,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Vice-President for Integrated Northern Health and Chief Nursing Officer Andrew McLetchie said. “We remain committed to enhancing access to health care for all residents of the province and stabilizing services in rural and remote communities to achieve our vision to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone, every day.”

Communities that can expect NP services as part of this initiative include:

  • Fort Qu’Appelle/Balcarres
  • Indian Head
  • Yorkton
  • Esterhazy
  • Preeceville/Kamsack/Canora
  • Estevan
  • Lanigan
  • Melville
  • Weyburn
  • Kelvington
  • Lestock/Raymore
  • Hudson Bay
  • Cumberland House
  • Nipawin/Aborfield/Carrot River
  • Lakeland Area – Christopher Lake, Paddockwood
  • Biggar
  • Wilkie
  • Meadow Lake/Goodsoil/Loon Lake
  • Lloydminster
  • Herbert
  • North Battleford
  • Outlook
  • Turtleford/Edam/St. Walburg
  • Maple Creek
  • Prince Albert

The 27 additional positions will enhance and expand the use of NPs and enable health care teams to see more patients. There are currently 360 licensed NPs in the province.

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