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:

  • Burns Lake
  • Chetwynd
  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort St. John
  • Fraser Lake / Granisle / Southside
  • Houston
  • Mackenzie
  • Prince George
  • Prince Rupert
  • Quesnel


How can a nurse practitioner help me?

  • 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 practitioner a doctor's assistant?

Nurse practitioners are not assistants to doctors, nor are they second-level doctors.

What are the benefits of nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners 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 see 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).