Nurse practitioners necessary, but not a replacement for family physicians

The NBMS recognizes and values the important role nurse practitioners play in providing primary care to patients. Their role in the system is vital and we support increasing the number of nurse practitioner positions in the province. However, the training nurse practitioners receive is in no way equivalent to that of a family physician. While the two roles complement each other nicely and can work together to enhance patient care, it is incorrect and reckless to assume that they are interchangeable. The health care crisis can not be addressed without ensuring there is adequate staffing among all health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses.