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Independence and Collaboration:

How You’ll Benefit as an Interior Health Nurse Practitioner

Interior Health (IH) is a Canadian leader in the implementation of Nurse Practitioners (NP’s). Over 60 NP’s work in a variety of healthcare settings within IH, such as Acute Care (Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery), Specialty Clinics (Diabetes, Atrial Fibrillation, Renal), Residential Care, and Primary Care. 

Whether they are caring for the Frail Elderly in Residential Care, partnering in care with First Nations’ communities, providing Primary Care in a number of urban and rural settings, or supporting patients while in Hospital, all of IH’s NPs are united in their dedication to serving the everyday health care needs of clients. To be a successful NP at IH, you need to believe in a team approach to providing care while promoting health, preventing illness, and managing chronic conditions.

Distribution of NPs throughout IH Region:

Source: Interior Health Strategic Information, 2015

Independence and Collaboration

Independent in practice, but driven by an interdisciplinary team approach, each NP holds his/her own caseload and is supported by a strong leadership team. 

Working collaboratively alongside physicians, surgeons, and other health-care professionals, NP’s are deeply integrated into the IH health-care team.

“The thing that struck me the most when I started working with an NP was just the sense of relief from shared responsibility. As a practitioner prior to working with an NP I was very isolated, almost lonely, working in a bit of a silo. I had relationships with other physicians and other care providers but not that kind of collaboration that exists in real-time in working with an NP,” says Blair Stanley, IH Physician in Trail, BC.

Supportive, Caring Environment

NP’s at IH have a well-established Community of Practice lead by the NP Professional Practice Leader and Director of Advanced Nursing Practice. 

“I recommend working for IH as an NP because of the tremendous support we receive from our Managers and Directors. As well, we have a Professional Practice and a Clinical Lead, both of whom are available for consultation and assistance in practice. Support and encouragement is available through our dynamic NP Community of Practice, which is the total collection of NPs throughout IH. We provide one another with answers, recommendations and suggestions on a variety of clinical topics,” says Pamela Klassen, NP for IH in Kelowna, BC. 

Responsibilities

Nurse Practitioners are important members of the Interior Health team. Their goal is to provide quality care to people of all ages, families, groups and communities. 


“I find my role with families is a lot of providing information. Communication is huge with families because a lot of time they’re unsure about their family members care. I’m available to sit and meet with them to go over their care plan, to relieve any anxiety they have, and to be that go-between between the family and the staff to clarify what the family wants for care for their family member,” says Kathy Lepp, NP for IH in Vernon, BC.

Scope of Practice 

“My role provides access to care that patients may not otherwise take part in, and I provide a broader perspective to the team.  I can look at health issues beyond diabetes to help support patients in their health journey.  I am able to refer them to Specialists and order diagnostic test if needed,” says Kim Hayter, NP IH Diabetes Program, Kelowna, BC.

  • Provide comprehensive health assessments and perform check ups
  • Diagnose health conditions
  • Treat and manage Acute and Chronic illness
  • Treat and manage simple and complex health issues
  • Order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests
  • Order procedures
  • Prescribe treatment and medications
  • Refer clients to other healthcare professionals and specialists
  • Treat, transfer, and may discharge in-patients and community out-patients from hospitals
  • Provide counselling and education


“My days are never boring, and I’m always looking things up, which is fantastic.  I love the detective work of diagnosing a condition and the feeling of filling such a big need.  It’s great!” says Sandra Lachapelle, NP for IH in Williams Lake, BC.

Specializations

While selecting a Masters NP Program, students choose to specialize in one area of focus:  

  • Family (all ages)
  • Adult
  • Pediatric 


Family and Adult focused NPs are hired to work in IH.

Recognized NP programs in BC:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Victoria


For additional information on practicing as an NP in BC, check out these resources:

CRNBC

BC Association of NPs

If you’re ready to jump in and explore the diverse opportunities we provide NP’s, view our current openings.

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