Female Nurse Practitioner talking to a patient

Who is a nurse practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse who has undergone extensive university training to deliver high-quality, personalized healthcare. In Ontario, NPs provide a wide array of healthcare services across various settings, including hospitals and community clinics in both urban and rural areas. NPs collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals like chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, athletic therapists, acupuncturists,registered massage therapists (RMT) and physiotherapists to promote health and well-being.

What can a Nurse Practitioner help with?

Nurse Practitioners use an evidence-based approach to assess, diagnose, treat, and monitor a variety of health conditions. They work in tandem with physicians and other healthcare providers to address patient needs, manage chronic diseases, promote health, prevent illnesses, and guide patients through the healthcare system. A key aspect of their care approach is engaging patients as active partners in their care plans, emphasizing self-care as much as patients are willing and able to participate. NPs are also able to prescribe medications, as well as medical compression stockings, medical bracing, and custom orthotics. Additionally, they can supervise and administer intravenous (IV) iron infusions, to treat iron deficiency.

Who regulates Nurse Practitioners?

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) oversees the regulation of Nurse Practitioners. Known as Registered Nurses in the Extended Class [RN(ECs)], NPs have been regulated by the CNO since 1998. NPs must meet stringent requirements to obtain and maintain registration in Ontario. They provide healthcare services independently and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, catering to all ages across the healthcare spectrum, including primary care, acute care, and long-term care. In Ontario, NPs have the authority to:

  • Conduct comprehensive health histories and assessments
  • Diagnose and communicate health conditions, considering differential diagnoses
  • Prescribe all medications, including controlled substances
  • Dispense, sell, and compound medications
  • Set and cast fractures and dislocated joints
  • Order and interpret laboratory tests
  • Admit, treat, and discharge patients from hospitals
  • Order certain diagnostic imaging tests (x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound)

NPs are regulated in every Canadian province and territory, with a consistent scope of practice, educational preparation, and professional regulation nationwide.

Becoming an NP in Ontario

To become an NP, a Registered Nurse must complete a four-year Bachelor's degree in Nursing, have at least two years of full-time clinical practice experience (though the average is 17 years), and successfully complete a Master's program. The Master's program includes courses in advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, therapeutics, and professional roles, as well as extensive clinical practice hours. The program culminates in a final exam and an Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) to ensure competence, safety, and ethical practice. Graduates must then pass the NP exam for their specialty area to be registered as an NP. Maintaining registration involves ongoing assessment through CNO’s quality assurance program, which may include online tests, OSCEs, and practice assessments.

NPs are highly effective, safe, and cost-efficient healthcare providers. Their extensive study and proven efficacy distinguish them within the healthcare field.

NP Specialty Certificates and Scope of Practice

In Ontario, there are four NP specialty certificates: NP – Primary Health Care, NP – Adult, NP – Paediatric, and NP – Anaesthesia.

Our Nurse Practitioner, Angena Sathiamoorthy, earned her Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Primary Health Care from York University. Angena brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our practice. She is highly skilled in diagnosing and managing a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses, providing you with high-quality, ongoing care. So whether you have the flu, due for an annual physical, or curious about that noise your knee is making, come see Angena! You can contact us at (289) 554-9919 or book online to arrange your initial consultation. We are dedicated to ensuring you feel comfortable, well-cared for, and healthy.


NPAO. (2020, November 3). What is a nurse practitioner?

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