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About nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are graduate-prepared health care providers who practise autonomously and independently. NPs provide direct care to patients to diagnose and manage disease and illness, prescribe medications, order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests, and refer patients to specialists. In Canada, NPs are licensed by jurisdictional nursing regulators.Reference1

NPs work in a variety of health care settings, such as community care (community clinics, health care centres, physicians’ offices and patients’ homes), long-term care (nursing homes), hospitals (outpatient clinics, emergency departments and other patient areas) and NP-led clinics.Reference2

CIHI collects record-level, standardized, comparative data on the supply, demographics, geographic and distribution characteristics, and education and employment details of NPs in Canada. To find out more about CIHI’s NP data, visit the Health Workforce Database metadata page.

Learn more about NPs in our recent releases on nursing in Canada and Canada’s health care providers.


Back to Reference 1 in text
Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada. Home page External link, opens in new window. Accessed January 29, 2020.
Back to Reference 2 in text
Canadian Nurses Association. Nurse practitioners External link, opens in new window. Accessed January 29, 2020.