VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C- British Columbia will be seeing some more nurse practitioner positions opening up.

According to a press release, Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced that BC is creating 200 new nurse practitioner (NP) positions to support patients as part of a shift to a “team-based primary health-care system.”

“We know that there are significant numbers of British Columbians who have inadequate access to a primary care provider,” said Dix.

“NPs are a viable, patient-centred solution to improving access, but we know that compared to other jurisdictions, B.C. has not made the best use of NPs. With the steps we are taking to fully leverage and integrate NPs into the province’s primary care system, this is about to change.”

The positions are being supported by approximately $115 million over three years, to secure NPs’ employment in primary care settings throughout British Columbia.

Government is also increasing the number of NP education seats by 66%.

Nurse practitioners are health practitioners who can work on their own, or with physicians and other health professionals, to provide care across a person’s life span.

This includes diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medications and performing medical procedures.

There are 426 practicing NPs in B.C, the new positions will make a total of 626 NPs working in communities throughout the province.

“This move is backed by the largest investment in NPs in the province’s history, and is a critical building block of a broader plan to improve access to primary health care,” added Dix.

To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of health-care assistants, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0019-000666

To learn about the University of British Columbia’s nurse practitioner program, visit: https://nursing.ubc.ca/graduate-program/master-nursing-nurse-practitioner

University of Northern British Columbia’s nurse practitioner program: www.unbc.ca/nursing/family-nurse-practitioner-mscn-fnp

University of Victoria’s nurse practitioner program: www.uvic.ca/hsd/nursing/graduate/practitioner/index.php