In Canada, health care reform is underway to address escalating costs, access and quality of care issues, and existing personnel shortages in various health disciplines. One response of the nursing profession to these stimuli has been the development of the advanced practice nurse, namely, the nurse practitioner (NP). NPs are in an excellent position to address current shortcomings through increasing points of access to the health care system, providing an emphasis on education and disease prevention, and delivering high-quality, cost-effective care in a multitude of practice settings. With an emphasis on the social determinants of health, NPs are in a prime position to provide care to underserved and vulnerable populations across Canada. Despite the potential for NPs to be instrumental in health care reform, there is a lack of support and regulation necessary for their optimal use. Barriers to mobilizing NPs in Canada exist and impede the integration of NPs into the Canadian health care system, which has both quality of care and social justice implications.
- Health care reform
- Nurse practitioners
- Social determinants of health
- Social justice