Nurse Practitioners
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Nurse Practitioners

A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with advanced special training who can carry out many of the duties of a doctor, such as diagnosing and treating common illnesses and injuries.

Nurse Practitioners are important members of Northern Health’s health care teams. There are currently Nurse Practitioners working in these communities:

  • Dawson Creek
  • Fraser Lake / Granisle / Southside
  • Prince George
  • Prince Rupert
  • Quesnel


What kinds of things can Nurse Practitioners do?
  • Examine you and diagnose common health problems
  • Give you a prescription
  • Refer you to a specialist
  • Order tests and interpret their results
  • Screen for chronic disease
  • Provide wellness care / health promotion and education
Are Nurse Practitioners supervised by doctors?
No, Nurse Practitioners work independently and are not supervised by doctors. However, as part of their education, Nurse Practitioners learn when and how to consult and work with other health care professionals. If your Nurse Practitioner feels that your care needs are beyond what they are trained to provide, he or she will refer you to a family doctor or specialist.

Is a Nurse Pracitioner a doctor's assistant?
No, Nurse Pracitioners are not assistants to doctors, nor are they second-level doctors.

What are the benefits of Nurse Pracitioners?
Nurse Pracitioners have been working in countries all over the world since the 1960s. They provide many benefits to the health care system, including accessible care and cost-effectiveness. Research shows that people who see Nurse Practitioners about minor illnesses or injuries are just as healthy and satisfied with their care as people who saw a doctor.

How do you become a Nurse Practitioner?
In BC there are two ways to become registered as a Nurse Practitioner:
  1. Completing a Masters of Science in Nursing degree from an approved program (currently available at UBC, UNBC, and UVic).
  2. RNs who can show that they have the education and experience to match the level of education provided in approved programs can participate in a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process.
Do Nurse Practitioners specialize?
Nurse Practitioners choose one of three areas:
  • Family (all ages)
  • Adult
  • Pediatric
Within these areas, they can focus of on a variety of areas (for example, Family Nurse Practitioner in Mental Health).