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Welcome to NPCanada.ca PDF Print
Mar 25, 2007 at 05:59 PM
Welcome to NPCanada.ca

Advanced Practice Nursing (APN), and more specifically the Nurse Practitioner, has traditionally been practiced in northern parts of Canada. Nurses would take courses to advance their skills or they would learn on-the-job. Recently (in the last decade), legislation has been implemented to allow nurses with advanced education (Masters of Nursing in Advanced Practice) to practice in a Nurse Practitioner or Advanced Practice role in settings other than northern communities. 

What can a Nurse Practitioner do? In most provinces in Canada, legislated Nurse Practitioners are able to diagnose and manage many disorders and chronic diseases, prescribe medications for you, order diagnostics, and refer you to specialists if needed. They are able to do complete physicals, and medicals required for most third party companies, and care for you during your pregnancy and after you deliver. They see many clients with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, osteoarthritis, and mental health concerns. They also see patients when they are acutely ill such as in Emergency Departments or in Critical Care units. In primary care settings, Nurse Practitioners are able to see you the same day if you have an earache, sore throat, or other condition that is keeping your from work or school. Some Nurse Practitioners are also able to perform minor surgical procedures. Please call your provincial nursing regulatory body  or your regional health authority to locate a Nurse Practitioner in your area.

As it stands today, all provinces and territories have legislation that allows Nurse Practitioners to practice to their full scope.

Provinces and Territories vary on what type of legislation they have in place for NPs. The Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam (CNPE) is one step toward national recognition of the Nurse Practitioner  however, not all provinces require this exam for entry to practice. For further details on what requirements are needed for entry to practice in the various provinces/territories click here.

NPCanada.ca is a website designed to provide a forum for discussion of issues related to Advanced Practice Nursing in Canada. Although there are many NP sites on the internet, most are American or from the UK. These resources are excellent, but practicing as an NP in Canada is very different. Legal, education and practice issues in the UK or US are unlike those encountered here in Canada. With the ability to share ideas and information on these issues, it is hoped that the profession of Advanced Practice Nursing will be promoted in Canada.

Dr. Donna Alden-Bugden, RN(EP, Manitoba), NP-C (Minnesota), FNP-BC(Minnesota), MN, DNP
Family Nurse Practitioner - Minnesota, Manitoba


View Donna Alden-Bugden, NP-C, FNP-BC, DNP (c)'s profile on LinkedIn

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Last Updated ( Mar 23, 2013 at 07:39 PM )
Nurse Practitioner Column - Your Health PDF Print
Jun 02, 2014 at 08:23 PM

Winnipeg Free Press > Local > That constant chill could be thyroid-related


Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

That constant chill could be thyroid-related

By: Donna Alden-Bugden



Posted: 05/30/2014 1:00 AM |

Have you been feeling cold lately?

Even when you are inside and everyone around you is perfectly warm?

If so, there is a possibility you are suffering from more than just a bout of the chills brought on by our unusually cool spring weather.

Constantly feeling chilly is one of the classic symptoms of a condition called hypothyroidism, a condition that affects the thyroid gland. This condition -- which affects about one in 10 Canadians, with as many as 50 per cent of those still undiagnosed -- is caused by a lack of hormone production in the thyroid, which is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck.

The thyroid's job is to secrete hormones essential to growth and metabolism, which is why hypothyroidism tends to get worse as we age.

When the thyroid fails to do what it is supposed to do, the body begins to exhibit a number of symptoms. In addition to feeling cold, symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, lack of appetite, lack of concentration, vague aches and pains, dry skin, muscle cramps, excessive sleepiness, modest weight gain and depression.

It is important to note hypothyroidism should not be confused with hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland produces excess hormones, and can cause a person to feel overheated, shaky and lose weight. Symptoms of an overactive thyroid include intolerance of hot weather, excessive sweating, shakiness and muscle weakness.

As with many conditions, getting an early diagnosis of hypothyroidism is important. Left unchecked, it can lead to more severe health problems, including heart disease. Other health problems such as lupus, diabetes, arthritis and reproductive difficulties are associated with an under-functioning thyroid gland. Left untreated, hypothyroidism can worsen to where you have symptoms of mental illness, such as depression, confusion and psychoses.

There are four main causes of hypothyroidism:

-- Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that causes an inflammatory process of the thyroid gland;

-- Treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine or by thyroid surgery;

-- Babies born without a thyroid gland or a poorly functioning one (congenital hypothyroidism);

-- Surgical removal of the thyroid gland, for example, as a treatment for thyroid cancer.

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made through a simple blood test which shows an increased level of thyroid-stimulating hormone coming from the pituitary gland, and a lower level of the T4 hormone.

People at risk of hypothyroidism include women over age 60, pregnant or post-partum women, people with Type 1 diabetes, a family history of hypothyroidism or an autoimmune disease.

Newborn babies are tested using a heel pad blood-spot test. Neonatal hypothyroidism is caused in most babies by the absence or underdevelopment of the thyroid gland. As thyroid hormones are essential for brain development and growth, if babies are left untreated, they can develop severe physical and mental defects.

Other diagnostic tests include looking for antibodies to the thyroid, thyroid ultrasound and CT or MRI if your health-care practitioner is worried about tumours.

Fortunately, once the condition is diagnosed, it is relatively easy to treat.

In most cases, doctors will prescribe a thyroid-hormone replacement in the form of a small pill, daily, for life.

The pills contain thyroxine -- known by drug names such as Levothyroxine -- which is a synthetic hormone with few impurities, very few side-effects, and almost no allergic reactions.

If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, you should consider speaking to your primary-care provider to see if you can get a TSH level done. Meanwhile, keep a journal of any symptoms you are having, to be ready to present to your primary-care provider.

Donna Alden-Bugden is a nurse practitioner with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's McGregor QuickCare Clinic.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 30, 2014 A19


Last Updated ( Jun 02, 2014 at 08:51 PM )
The Practice Doctorate: Where Do Canadian Nursing Leaders Stand? PDF Print
Jul 04, 2009 at 02:00 AM

The Practice Doctorate: Where Do Canadian Nursing Leaders Stand?

The Practice Doctorate: Where Do Canadian Nursing Leaders Stand?

This article calls upon Canadian nursing leaders to examine the merits and downsides of the new practice doctorate degree - the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The impetus for the DNP arose from within the American nursing profession in order to address the knowledge and skills needed by advanced practice nurses to work in today's complex healthcare environment. The DNP is the newest practice doctorate degree and in 2015 will be the entry to practice degree required of all new advanced practice nurses in the United States. Advanced practice nurses who will have the practice doctorate include clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anaesthetists. With the establishment and acceptance of the DNP in the United States, American advanced practice nurses will have a different knowledge base than Canadian advanced practice nurses.

The evolution and state of advanced practice nursing in Canada are discussed in this article. Canadian nursing leaders must discuss the DNP, its merits and downsides within the Canadian context and begin to make informed decisions about whether or not the DNP should come to Canada.

Last Updated ( May 07, 2010 at 11:18 PM )
First Writing of National NP Exam - Nov 9, 2005 PDF Print
Nov 09, 2005 at 02:00 AM
Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinic Website PDF Print
Jan 23, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Visit the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinic Website
Click Here


Last Updated ( Jul 04, 2009 at 08:33 PM )
Health team fallout: cash, NPs are the problem PDF Print
Dec 15, 2005 at 02:00 AM

DECEMBER 15, 2005


Health team fallout: cash, NPs are the problem

Ontario physicians feel pushed into FHT model and their grumblings are getting louder

The Ontario government's initiative to control primary health costs through Family Health Teams (FHTs) is being seriously questioned by the profession. The teams, made up of doctors and nurses, and using a funding mechanism based on a combination of salary and "capitation," or patient rosters, was positioned as a way to improve the quality of care, particularly for chronically ill patients. Still, when pilot programs were launched in 2001, a lot of doctors had misgivings. An editorial in the February 2002 issue of Canadian Family Physician, bearing the unambiguous title "Capitation: the wrong direction for healthcare reform," cautioned that it was a scheme designed more to save money than improve care and was based on US and UK models that were, even then, in trouble. Despite misgivings such as these, Ontario GP/FPs largely supported the setting-up of the teams and the government hoped to have 80% of all primary care doctors eventually enrolled. That optimism may be misplaced.


Last Updated ( Mar 25, 2007 at 11:20 AM )
Feb 26, 2006 at 02:00 AM

News Releases



Thursday, February 16, 2006




CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI -- The Honorable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island today announced that new Nurse Practitioner regulations have been approved for the Registered Nurses Act. Proclamation of the Act is planned for February 25, 2006. This announcement opens the door for the development of Nurse Practitioner proposals to be developed for healthcare work sites on PEI.

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) Not Supportive of Clinical Practice Doctorate PDF Print
Sep 22, 2009 at 09:26 AM

See Position Statement from CASN Below

send comments to CASN Executive Director Cynthia Baker at:



Last Updated ( Mar 14, 2010 at 12:03 AM )
Report on the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Framework PDF Print
Jun 30, 2006 at 02:00 AM

Nurse Practitioners: The Time is Now

Report on the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Framework

Last Updated ( Mar 25, 2007 at 10:24 AM )
The Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Canada - The Link, CBC Radio Canada International PDF Print
Jul 22, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Radio interview July 20, 2010 on The Link with Carmel Kilkenny/Marc Montgomery.

The Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Canada

Click on picture below to listen to podcast

The Link


Last Updated ( Jul 22, 2010 at 11:28 AM )
New primary health care site to be established in Deer Lake/White Bay PDF Print
Jul 17, 2006 at 02:00 AM
News Releases
Government Home Search Sitemap Contact Us  

July 17, 2006
(Health and Community Services)

New primary health care site to be established in Deer Lake/White Bay

In keeping with government’s commitment to enhance the delivery of health care services to rural areas of the province, Health and Community Services Minister Tom Osborne, along with Kathy Goudie, MHA for Humber Valley, today announced that government will invest $195,000 to enhance primary health care services in the Deer Lake/White Bay area. The investment includes strengthened primary health care services in the region, along with the hiring of a full-time nurse practitioner.

Last Updated ( Mar 25, 2007 at 10:22 AM )
Nurse Practitioners: Partners in Health Care Transformation, Innovation and Collaboration PDF Print
Oct 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Video from NPAO on the Role of the Nurse Practitioner


Last Updated ( Nov 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM )
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