The “super nurses” gain autonomy

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The scope of practice of nurse practitioners specialized has been extended, but they felt that there was still a way to go.

The nurse practitioners specialty (IPS) have been heard : they will have more autonomy beginning in 2018. A new settlement has been reached between the Collège des médecins du Québec and the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ) to frame their practice. Made public Monday, the agreement must allow to better meet the growing needs of patients.


The ones they call “super nurses” will soon begin treatments for six chronic health conditions, i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypothyroidism.


In practical terms, this will allow them to counsel patients and, when necessary, to prescribe medication before they visit a doctor. Nurses may not, however, establish the diagnosis.


The work of IPS, now divided between the primary care and certain specialties, will now extend in three major fields : the care of adults, pediatrics, and mental health. They will also be able to practice in NURSING homes and in the youth Center.


Another gain for the IPS, they will not have to be limited to a list of medications predetermined when the time comes to make regulations, as is currently the case.


Positive reactions


The gains are ” significant “, but there is “still work to do,” says the president of the Association of nurse practitioners specialized in Quebec, Christine Laliberté. According to her, the new regulation does not compensate for the delay experienced in Quebec in the practice of the ” super nurses “. The IPS in the province have the field of intervention that is most limited in the country, she says.


“We are celebrating the victory, but we will continue to work, because we know that we can offer more to the population,” she said to the Duty.


The OIIQ is satisfied with the settlement. “It is a gain major [for IPS], it will give a better access [to health care] to the population, including avoiding the double consultation “, welcomed its chair, Lucie Tremblay.


This last asserts that the “vast majority” of the claims of the OIIQ has been approved.


It would, however, wish that the IPS can establish the diagnosis. “Nevertheless, the fact of being able to initiate treatment for chronic disease is a gain, major “, she argues, pointing out that half of the population of Quebec lives with this type of health problem.


Ms. Tremblay’s account on a monitoring committee should be put in place after the entry into force of the regulations to make recommendations in this regard in the future. IPS will serve on this committee.


For its part, the College of physicians certifies that the agreement will give more initiative and freedom to IPS, in addition to improving the quality of care. “It’s been a long time that this record progresses, it was a lot of pressure for it to be successful,” notes its president, Charles Bernard.


The provincial association of users committees was said to be “very happy” with the settlement. According to its president, Pierre Blain, it allows them to “begin to bridge the gap” in Québec in this area.


There are currently 413 IPS in the province. The government is committed to integrate them in 2000 in the health care network by 2024-2025. Academic courses have started in September to this effect, confirmed Ms. Tremblay.


The minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, wishes to take knowledge of the agreement before you react. “However, at first glance, we see this very positively,” wrote his press attaché, Catherine W. Audet, Duty.


The regulation must be approved by the Council of ministers before entering into force. This should be done at the beginning of 2018.

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