Nurses could help alleviate doctor shortage: NANB

The Nurses Association of New Brunswick says it has a solution to the province's doctor shortage.

Executive director Laurie Janes said nurse practitioners can help fill existing primary care provider vacancies.

Janes said the number of vacant primary care providers are unnecessary when there are willing and able nurse practitioners seeking employment.

"Legislated to practice in New Brunswick since 2003, we have seen little to no commitment from government to increase the role of NPs within our health care system, forcing graduates to look elsewhere in the country for employment," said Janes.

According to the association, nurse practitioners are trained to assess, prescribe several medications, order necessary tests, and establish treatment plans.

Brenda Kinney, president of the association, said nurse practitioners are more than just highly-educated, competent and safe primary health providers.

"They also offer a viable, cost-effective solution to a financially exhausted health care system," said Kinney.

The association says surveys continue to indicate a very high level satisfaction with nurse practitioner service.