The Government of Saskatchewan announced today that 27 new permanent nurse practitioner (NP) positions are now available, with applications being accepted until June 10, 2024.

The provincial government allocated $4.5 million in this year's budget for these positions to increase access to primary care in underserved areas.

The Ministry of Health collaborated with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners (SANP) to prioritize 25 communities that require additional NP services, including Lanigan and Kelvington.

“The Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners is pleased to see the creation of 27 new positions for nurse practitioners across the province,” SANP President-elect Michelle O'Keefe said. “These positions will assist with the stabilization of primary health care services in these communities while creating employment opportunities for NPs who may have been previously underutilized.”

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional training who can perform a wider range of tasks and, working within a primary care team, can offer many of the same services as family physicians. This includes advanced assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. They can also order diagnostic tests, admit and discharge patients, prescribe medications, perform medical procedures, and provide referrals to specialist services.

“Nurse practitioners play a vital role in the Saskatchewan health care system, and adding positions in rural and remote areas will help residents find the care they need closer to home,” said Tim McLeod, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health. “We look forward to seeing more nurse practitioners providing quality care in Saskatchewan communities.”

The 27 additional positions will enhance and expand the use of NPs and enable healthcare teams to see more patients. There are currently 360 licensed NPs in the province.